When pets act up during chaotic days, it’s no accident. The four-legged members of the family, even the ones with feathers and scales, love a routine. They need to know their bed is always in the same spot. That their humans behave in a certain way and that their favorite toy is on always hand. The water bowl can be found in the kitchen’s corner and meal times never change.
But why is routine so important to pets?
Routine provides a sense of safety. Feeling secure is very important for animals. Even species that have been domesticated for a long time, like dogs and horses, remain wired for survival. Something in their genes is always telling them that they could become prey, hurt or separated from the safety of the group. A routine allows pets to predict their day. When an animal learns what to expect and then experience its own expectations on a daily basis, the instinct of fear withdraws.
Reduced fear breeds another benefit.
One that serves owners as well as their furry friends. Nearly every pet that feels safe and cared for will improve its own behavior. Needless to say, some individuals might not improve due to boredom, breed characteristics or a medical condition. But routine always settles pets that are healthy and actively involved in their family’s life. A trusting pet is also easier to handle when it’s been injured or needs to do something new, like get into a car for the first time.
Another perk cannot be overstated.
Routine also reduces stress, which in turn is responsible for a host of health issues. Birds and fish are particularly sensitive to a stressful environment and can even succumb when they endure too much. A calm animal won’t produce the excessive stress hormones known to damage the body. Every person who loves pets wants them to live as long as possible. A simple routine is a step in the right direction.
Pets don’t ask for an elaborate routine. They respond well to the barest things that allow them to predict their day. Some dogs thrive just knowing their meal and walking times and that every night they’ll snuggle with their owners and watch the news together. For this reason, fusing one’s life with a pet’s routine isn’t hard.
Just take stock of your day and then plan something that fits.
Incredibly, some pets meet you halfway by highjacking human activities to build their own sense of predictability. Many owners can testify to the hilarious fact that their dogs love it when they do certain chores. Why? Because dogs can predict that when clothing is carried to the laundry room that somebody is going to iron for a while. In their minds, it’s routine. This makes them feel satisfied.
Bonus tip – make certain things non-negotiable. In other words, they must happen every day. Then it doesn’t matter how chaotic a day becomes. Your pet will have an anchor and feel safe. Pick three simple things, like a grooming session, a snack and a short game. Here’s the best part. Doing daily activities with a pet can refresh the owner after a rough day.