Why You Should Consider Scheduled Feeding and Structured Walks
Do you free feed your dog? It may be easier in the short term to leave your dog’s food out, and let it eat when it wants – but the pitfalls of this approach should give you pause.
These are some of the reasons you should stop letting your dog have free rein to eat whenever they want, and start feeding them on a set routine.
Monitoring Their Health
If your dog is able to eat freely, that could make it difficult for you to notice potential health problems. Reduced appetite is a common symptom of canine health issues, and you’re less likely to notice if you’re not around at mealtime. A structured dog feeding schedule will help you more easily monitor your dog’s health. Structured feeding time may also benefit your dog’s mental stimulation.
Training & Rewards
For a lot of dogs, eating is a big highlight of their day. To make mealtime more fun and special, we can take the opportunity to incorporate some training. Training with your dog builds a strong bond – and as a bonus, it’s a great way to tire out your dog.
Like humans, dogs appreciate the feeling of a job well done. We can give them the opportunity to feel accomplished by taking 15-20 minutes out of our day to work with our dogs to teach simple commands. This short daily session leaves you and your dog feeling happy and more connected.
Encouraging Good Behavior
Scheduled feeding and structured walks go hand in hand. Feeding your dog is a convenient way to remind your dog how much you love them. Teaching them to walk next to you helps you connect with them, even in distracting environments.
The next time you take your dog for a walk, bring their dinner in an easy-to-reach pouch. Reward and encourage all the behaviors you enjoy. Examples of good behaviors could be:
- Walking next to you
- Looking at you
- Stopping when you stop
There is no limit to what you can reward during your walks. You might even notice your dog naturally reducing unwanted behaviors like pulling on the leash.
Structure: Good for Your Dog, Good for You
Daily structured walks promote good behavior and discourage bad behavior. When your dog knows how to walk next to you, it has the potential to prevent a lot of problems. Your dog will have to pay attention to where you are, instead of getting overly excited by strangers or other dogs.
Accidents happen; if you drop the leash, you want to have peace of mind that your dog will continue to walk next to you, rather than take off down the sidewalk. A leash should not be the only thing separating you and your dog from possible disaster.
Looking for more structured training for your dog? DogDayz is here to help! Contact us today to learn about our training services and experience!