Dogs and their human companions have something very important in common: both are creatures of habit.
Even though we have no human children in this household, back-to-school is super important because it also means "back-to-work" for me. I'm co-owner of a student travel company, and the new school year is just as busy for us as it is with any household that includes children or teachers.
With school about to start—it's the perfect time to make sure the whole family gets off on the right paw with the right habits at the start of the day. (And it's so much more fun when the whole family is involved!)
Being self-employed has its perks, and I am so fortunate that I don't have to run out the door at the crack of dawn, or battle traffic. I have a 5-minute commute, and I work at home in the mornings. This gives me plenty of time to be with the dogs at home for our morning routines. The hounds usually get up when they hear a neighbor or two, and I let them outside into the back yard where they relieve themselves and run around for a while and yell at the neighbors! The cats either go out with them, or, any cat that was out all night comes back in!
After that, we usually go back to bed for "snooze time" (yes, they sleep in my bed). The dogs understand the phrase "snooze time" (I've taught it to all my dogs). They know it means we fall back asleep for 15-20 minutes. I get up for real around 8:00, make coffee, and check my email. If there's time, I take Charlie Brown for a walk, or take Cooper for a ride to run errands. Admittedly, this is not exactly "exercise"! But Cooper is disabled, so we have to be careful not to exhaust him. The dogs have a couple of Milk-Bone classic dog biscuits, and I clean the kitchen, eat my breakfast, take my vitamins and meds, and take a shower. They are well-trained to understand that when I shower and brush my teeth, it means I'm getting ready to leave the house for a while, and fun time is over. They lie calmly outside the bathroom door and then move to their beds. They stay inside all day until I get home from work in the early evening. Most days, my pet-sitter lets them out mid-afternoon for a quick romp around the back yard.
Here are some great suggestions from the folks at Milk-Bone for getting your pup in good habits, along with the rest of the family:
1. Get active with your four-legged trainer in the morning.
40% of doggy mommies and daddies do healthy things with their pups at the same time that they do healthy things for their families. By adding doggy exercise to the rest of your family's morning routine, your dog can actually begin to encourage the rest of your family to stay active!
|Charlie Brown and yours truly having a morning walk on the beach. Hydrant and football optional.|
2. While caring for Fido, care for your family, too.
Dogs need role models. A solid routine, and good daily habits like brushing teeth, exercising, eating right and taking vitamins is key. If you have human children, get them in the same habits at the same time. Good habits will last them a lifetime, and they'll learn to be responsible and caring towards animals. Win-win!
|A basket of fresh fruit by the printer!|
3. Make sure your dog consistently receives the nutrients necessary to live a long and happy life.
1 in 3 pet parents are confused about what's needed for proper pet nutrition, meaning many pup parents are unaware that their dogs' diets may be lacking in essential nutrients. Milk-Bone Good Morning Daily Vitamin Treats were created specifically to promote your dog's well-being and longevity. So when you're giving your kids their daily vitamins, remember that your pup needs their nutrient-packed treats too. Your dog adds so much to the family—make sure to take care of him/her for the long-term!
Learn more about Milk-Bone's Good Morning Daily Vitamins on their site:
What are your family's favorite morning routines? Tell us how you and your pooch get ready to take on the day in the comments section below!
As compensation for writing this post for Milk-Bone I received a gift box of goodies for my dogs. As a decades-long supporter and consumer of Milk-Bone products, I am happy to endorse their products! Find @milkbone on social media for more great products!