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  • April Schrader, CPDT-KA

The Ultimate Guide for Busy Dog Owners

You already have one job; how could you possibly take on the work of being a dog parent as well?

Owning a dog is a major responsibility that takes devotion and careful planning, but that does not mean you cannot be a good down owner if you are busy. Being a busy pet parent can be hectic but with some organization, time management and a good routine you can make time to enjoy your pet and enjoy your life together.

Here are some tips for busy dog owners....

Have a Routine: You want to set aside a specific time during the day for your dogs meals, exercise, enrichment and training. Daily routines are as important to dogs as they are to their busy owners. Having a routine allows your dog to know what to expect and when to expect it. When your dog can predict when events will happen it allows them to be less stressed and anxious. Routines help dogs feel secure and confident, chances are you will feel more organized as well.

Meet your dogs exercise needs: Just like humans dogs need physical exercise to maintain their overall health. Schedule time in your day in the morning and in the evening to meet your dogs physical exercise needs. Walking is NOT considered exercise, physical exercise should be 10-15 minutes of some type of vigorous running. Easy ways to achieve this are running/jogging with your dog, playing fetch, or having them chasing a flirt pole. If your dog is left alone for long periods of time due to your work schedule exercise before you leave and after you arrive home is essential. Exercise helps burn excess energy which will help your dog to settle when you have to leave them to go to work. When you arrive home your dog will be over joyed to see you so taking time to burn off that energy again in the evening will help them settle down with you after a long day of work.

Enrichment: Enrichment is used to reduce stress, reinforce socialization practices, and provides your dog with necessary outlets for their innate desires. Providing your dog with proper enrichment allows them to have a sense of control over their environment, which in turn helps them feel more confident. Enrichment does not have to be complicated, and there are a variety of ways that you can provide enrichment for your dog. Some of these ways include puzzle feeders, snuffle mats, scent work, long sniffy walks (1 hour minimum), Stuffed Kong's, lick mats, a new edible bone to chew....the possibilities are endless. These activities aim to mimic naturally desired behaviors such as digging, foraging, dissecting etc. By simply providing our dogs with enrichment, we can greatly reduce if not eliminate problem behavior's such as destructive chewing, separation anxiety, and excess barking.

Don't Forget Training: Training is ESSENTIAL! Training your dog from the moment you bring them home can prevent unwanted behaviors from ever developing. Dogs have the ability to learn throughout their lifetime so training can be started at any age. Training provides your dog with enrichment, helps build confidence, and strengthens the human-animal bond. I know... the idea of finding time to train your dog seems overwhelming to say the least! What are the first steps? What should the dog be taught first? How can you develop a good training relationship with your pet that is based on positive reinforcement?

These questions are what prompted Jeff and myself to developed our own online dog training community. Our online dog training community is geared toward educating dog parents on how to train their dog, how to stop/prevent unwanted behaviors, strengthen communication with their dog, and teach them how to get their dog to listen in any situation. You receive access to instructional videos, Live Q&A, and regular Q&A so you can get answers to all of your training questions directly from a certified dog trainer. Our goal is to ensure you’re on the right track to reaching your dog training goals. We understand life is busy and busy pet parents need an easy way to train their dog, without the obligation of going to a class or having a trainer come to your house. Jeff and I are so pleased to be able to bring these training lessons to you, so that we can help you and your dog have the happiest, healthiest, most stress-free relationship possible.

Learn more about our approach to positive and effective dog training, online & anytime!!

Dogs are creatures of habit, and the way they feel depends on how happy they are in their environment. It is of the upmost importance to establish a routine of proper enrichment, training, and exercise to ensure they are confident, healthy and happy pups!

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