Ever since the launch of my very own pet sitting & dog walking business in early 2015 AND taking blogging seriously, my daily schedule has been packed to capacity, making a structured morning routine for my pups & myself a strict necessity.
I allocate 2 hours for the pups’ daily morning routine and stick to it come hell or high water since their morning activities are part of their fitness “program”.
They’re still young at 4.5 years of age and full of energy after a good night’s puppy sleep (yes, they’ll always be my “puppies” as opposed to “just” dogs!), so unless I want them to be out of control and mischievous, I better stick to our morning work out!
A Peek Into My K9sOverCoffee Pet Services Schedule
The pups typically sleep until 6:30/6:45 am-ish, which is why I’ve been getting up around 4:45 in order to be able to blog from 5:00 – 6:30 am. This is the only time of the day when I have uninterrupted “me” time, so I’ve been making the best use of it.
On those days when I only have my midday client dogs to take care of, I leave the house between 9-10 am, meaning my pups need to have been exercised, played with, and fed by that time.
On days when I have early morning visits for travel clients (typically around 7 am), I ditch the early morning blogging and take care of my pups before needing to leave for my morning visit(s).
On weekends when I only have travel clients, I may let the pups out back into our yard to go potty before I leave for my morning visit(s), and will then exercise them once I’m back from my morning visits.
My point is that I ALWAYS make time for Missy & Buzz’s exercise needs, regardless of what my work schedule looks like – if I need to get up at 4 in the morning to take care of them, then so be it!
Now without further ado, here’s what our daily morning routine looks like:
Quick Potty Break In The Yard
Once the pups are awake, they’ll typically come and find me in my office, letting me know they’re ready to start the day!
I then let them out into our backyard for a quick potty break and a first squirrel check (those critters are all over the place!).
They’re never out for more than 5 minutes, really, and once they’re back inside, I take their raw meals out of the fridge (more on why I do that later in the post), put on Missy’s backpack, grab their leashes, and we’re ready to leave for our morning walk (Buzz is currently without a backpack because his old one fell apart, so a pack for him is on our “to-get” list).
30-60 Minute Morning Walk
We’ll walk around our neighborhood for the next 30-60 minutes, and although it’s not huge, it offers enough different streets, a wooded area, a creek, and a pond to keep things interesting.
We incorporate basic obedience commands such as “sit” & “stay” during our walks, which come in handy for our little photo shoots that are also part of our outdoors morning adventures.
I started carrying Buzz’s favorite chuck-it ball on me as it is a wonderful means of redirecting him from being dog reactive while on leash. Once we spot another dog being walked near us, I say “Buzz, where’s your ball?” and pull out the ball. He IMMEDIATELY looses all interest in any other dog(s) and focuses 100% on that darn ball. Pretty amazing!
Once back from our walk, we head out back into our yard for 10-15 minutes of playtime. Buzz will play fetch with his chuck-it ball, and Missy will chase her brother – or a squirrel 😉
Waiting to play ball until after our walk has the bonus of Buzz having warmed up and being less likely to injure himself when jumping for the ball.
Playtime outside is followed by breakfast inside 😉 The pups lie down at the threshold area between kitchen & living room, and watch me prepare my coffee and their food.
By this time, their raw meals I took out of the fridge before our walk have had enough time to warm up to room temperature – more on why I let them warm up a little in my post Missy Is A Warm Protein Girl ~ Regurgitation Mystery Solved! #RawFeeding.
The pups are in a down-stay for about 20 minutes until I put their bowls down and give them the “ok to go eat” command. I’ve been feeding them breakfast this way for pretty much their entire lives, so lying down calmly and waiting for breakfast has become the most normal thing in the world for them, and it’s incredibly relaxing for me to be around my calm pups. #LifeIsGood
The pups’ breakfast is always followed by their well deserved morning nap. They’ll hop up on a couch and start to snooze while I’m finishing my breakfast, checking emails, and then cleaning up the kitchen.
I’ll let them out into the yard once more for a potty break before I leave for my dog walking visits, but there’s no playtime at this point. I don’t want to risk bloat – you can read more about this deadly condition in my post When Not To Exercise Your K9 – Avoiding Bloat.
Besides the physical fitness aspect of our morning routine, it’s also a wonderful bonding time between the pups & myself. We walk together, explore together, practice obedience & play together – it’s a pretty awesome way to start my mornings, even if it requires getting up early! #TheEarlyBird…
Do you have a morning routine with your pup(s)? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!