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The Importance of Routine for Pets

Both dogs and cats are creatures of habit, so establishing a routine is critical for their well-being and long-term happiness. Whether you yourself have an established routine or live everyday with a good bit of change or variety, there are a few surefire ways that you and your pet can develop simple but valuable rituals.

Once you’ve established a consistent routine, you may find that your pet will be able to predict your actions — just like Pavlov’s law. (Conversely, if a pet feels disoriented, she may misbehave or act out at home.) An act as simple as putting on your shoes might become a conditioned stimulus for your pet. You may find your dog waiting at the door ready for a walk, or your cat staking out his favorite hide-out. This is a good sign! Predictability will help your dog or cat feel secure in its environment. The more they can understand and expect from your schedule and actions the better, which will likely lead to a more balanced and well-behaved pet.

Ways to Establish Routine:


  • Food: Feeding your pet at the same time everyday not only helps establish a routine; it will also keep pets’ metabolism healthy and strong. We recommend finding a feeding area in your house where your pet will feel safe, comfortable, and cared for during her meals.
  • Activities: Busy or chaotic mornings can be tough on pets; they sense you’re about to leave and start to miss you! If you have a dog, carve out time for a walk or play session before you leave the house, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Leave active cats with a toy that they can enjoy on their own. These steps will not only ease pets’ separation anxiety but also help them (and you!) relax as you get ready for your day.
  • Quality time: Carving out quality time in your schedule for walks, massages, or play breaks will greatly strengthen your bond and lower your pet’s anxiety or loneliness. This is especially important during transitional times, like if you’re moving to a new house/apartment or if your work schedule changes, when any change in routine can be disorienting and stressful for your dog or cat.
  • Simple tasks or jobs: Give your pet a “job” to enjoy every day. Some dogs might eagerly accept newspaper duty, while other less task-oriented dogs will find pleasure out of simply licking peanut butter from a hollow bone. Cats can also partake in focused games such as chasing a light reflection or trying to grab a feather at the end of a string.

At Pampered Pets, we know your life can get hectic. We embrace everything that comes with a full, busy life, and we aim to make you happier by making your pets happier. As the premiere pet care company in the NYC and New Jersey areas, we know the difference is in the details, and we’re devoted to upholding all the routines, big and small, to which your pets are accustomed.