The Daily Morning Routine Of 2 Fit Dogs

The Daily Morning Routine Of Fit Dogs

Today, I’m sharing what the morning routine of fit dogs looks like!

MY fit dogs.

Because here’s the thing.

Ever since the launch of my own pet sitting & dog walking business in early 2015 AND taking blogging seriously, my daily schedule has been packed to capacity.

That makes a structured morning routine for my pups & myself a strict necessity. 

After all, almost 60% of all dogs in the US are obese!

That’s according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, and I’ll be damned if my dogs fall into those 60%.

The Daily Morning Routine Of Fit Dogs

The daily morning routine of fit dogs

Disclaimer: This blog post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated in 2023. It contains affiliate links I may earn compensation through at no additional cost to you. 

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 routine!

Now without further ado, here’s what the daily morning routine of my fit dogs Missy & Buzz looks like:

The Pups Typically Sleep Until 6:30/6:45 AM-Ish

That’s 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.

That means, my pups need to be 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 I need to leave for my morning visit(s).

On weekends when I only have travel clients, I let the pups out back into our yard to go potty before I leave for my morning visit(s). Once I’m back from my morning visits, I take care of their exercise needs. 

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!

Quick Potty Break In The Yard

Once the pups are up, they’ll typically come and find me in my office to let me know they’re ready to start the day!

Boxer mixes Missy and Buzz in my home office
Missy & Buzz came to find me in my home office

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.

Missy & Buzz Out On Our Morning Backpack Walk
Missy and Buzz on a morning walk

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!

Yard Playtime

Once we’re back from our walk, we head out back into our yard for 10-15 minutes of playtime.

Buzz will play fetch with one of his balls, 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 he jumps for the ball.

Buzz playing fetch with a ball while Missy is watching squirrels
Buzz playing ball while Missy is stalking squirrels

Doggie Breakfast

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 raw dog food.

Boxer mixes Missy and Buzz lying down on the threshold between the living room and the kitchen

By this time, their raw meals that I took out of the fridge before our walk have had enough time to warm up to room temperature.

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.

Bonus: It’s incredibly relaxing for me to be around my calm pups. #LifeIsGood

Bone appétit - My Dogs Are Digging Into Their Raw Dog Food

Morning Nap

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 finish my breakfast, check emails, and then clean 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, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below this blog post!

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.


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16 responses to “The Daily Morning Routine Of Fit Dogs”

  1. MilitaryWifeandPugLife Avatar

    Your schedule is insane!!
    Also, I think I’ve been missing your blog posts. Bloglovin is acting really weird. :/ sorry about that!

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      I’ve been working on maintaining a positive attitude in order to be able to stick to my self-inflicted routine 😉 It actually works quite nicely – I just need enough sleep (about 7 hours), lots of water, and healthy food to keep my energy levels up.

      No worries – you’re back today :-))

  2. Emma Avatar
    Emma

    Your mornings are similar to ours. We are usually up at 5, Mom works at the computer on blog stuff until 6-6:30, we then run, walk, play in the yard. The only difference is sometimes our schedule is off because Katie takes a longer walk which we can’t rush. After the exercise, we have breakfast and then settle in for our morning naps. Mom either goes to the office for a couple hours or works from home until early afternoon. We love our schedule.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      That’s so awesome, we love our schedule, too! It’s pretty rewarding to review your activities at the end of the day and realize that you’ve accomplished quite a bit. Almost addictive 😉
      Your Katie is such a sweet senior lady. Good for her that she gets the exercise tailored to her and that you don’t rush it.

  3. Kate Obrien Avatar
    Kate Obrien

    Excellent start to the day. We have a routine too that incorporates their exercise and my own. One thing about seniors dogs is their exercise needs are a little lighter, so that helps in the morning.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      It’s all about routines, isn’t it?! Yes, I’m sure that the pups will slow down at some point 😉

  4. Mark S Avatar
    Mark S

    I am glad I am not the only one that gets up super early to make sure the dogs get their exercise. We are all outside by 5:15. Mary Katherine just goes for a loop around the yarf. While Veruca, Ava, and I head out for a 30 minute walk It makes for a great start to the day. But no pictures because it is still dark out at that time. Haven’t visited your site in a while. Love it!

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Thanks so much, Mark! I implemented a few changes to the layout 😉

      It’s definitely refreshing to hear that there seems to be a club of early morning dog exercisers! I know of so many who rush their pups in the mornings and only allow for a quick potty break before breakfast. All because they aren’t willing to get up a little early to accommodate their dog’s needs before having to leave for work. Makes me sad.

  5. Julie Smith Avatar
    Julie Smith

    I love everything about this post!! I totally always think of Cocoa as my puppy and I make sure she always has her exercise before leaving for the day. Oh my goodness you have a busy dog walking schedule. I would love to be able to do something like that. I thought I found a perfect fit and started working with a dog walking service but I had to drive too far to make it worth my time. I love doing it but need to make some money!! I am going to be looking through your blog for help with Cocoa’s leash aggression and training in general. Hope you are having a nice day!!

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Thanks, Julie!!! You rock for meeting Miss Cocoa’s exercise needs 🙂

      Yes, your clients definitely need to be within an acceptable range. For me, that’s 15 mins – everything that goes over, I charge extra for. The vast majority of my clients live within that 15 min range though.You could always start your own pet services – even if it’s “just” for weekend jobs to start with. You could have some flyers/postcards made and distribute them in a neighborhood or two close to you. Do consider becoming a member of a professional pet sitters organization such as PUPS (Professional United Pet Sitters) and/or PSI (Pet Sitters International), and getting liability insurance (I got mine through Pet Sitters Associates, they have reasonable rates).

      Enjoy the training posts & have a great evening with your pack 🙂

  6. Pamela | Something Wagging Avatar

    Ahhh, another early morning blogger. It’s true that few things will disturb you at 5 a.m. 🙂

    And great to hear how a ball helps Buzz focus on fun instead of reacting to other dogs. I’m sure that makes everyone much happier.

    One of the hardest things about living on a boat has been the lack of structure. It prevents us from having too many steady habits. For instance, this morning we were planning to leave North Carolina. But our 5 a.m. weather check told us it was too windy to go anywhere. So now we’re planning our day entirely differently than we expected to last night.

    Yesterday, Honey got a five mile walk because we needed to buy groceries. But we don’t always take such a long walk. Especially when we’re in areas like this that are VERY unfriendly to pedestrians.

    She can always count on several games of fetch and tug along with a shorter walk. And we’re lucky to be near a park with a fun playground we practice climbing on.

    Sometimes I feel like Honey would definitely appreciate the structure you are able to give Missy and Buzz. So if a golden retriever shows up at your door, you’ll know why. 🙂

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      BOL, ok, I’ll know who to return her to, then 😉 Honey may not have the daily structure Missy & Buzz have currently, but she certainly lives an adventurous puppy life!! She is the only K9 I know of who lives on a boat.

      @disqus_OtP5qzvoUS:disqus mentioned in their comment above yours that they alternate their routines and have some lighter exercise days followed by harder ones – it sounds like Honey has a similar routine! The one consistency in Honey’s daily life is certainly that she’s around her humans a lot – which is something I’m sure many dogs might be jealous of!!

  7. DZ Dogs Avatar

    What a great routine!
    We switch and either walk or play depending on the day, I try to have easy/hard days just like training my own body. Then we have breakfast, potty time, and I leave for work. When I get home in the afternoon we go out and play or walk, in the evening we do a more formal training – usually tricks or some obedience work. 🙂

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Thank you! The morning walks work best for me because I’m pretty exhausted in the afternoons when I get home from my dog walks 😉 There might be something like too much fresh air…the bright side is that I NEVER have trouble falling asleep at night.

      It’s great to read about your morning & evening routines. I wish all dog owners were as involved in their dogs’ lives. You’re setting a wonderful example.

  8. 2 brown dawgs blog Avatar

    We usually save exercise until late afternoon or evening during training season which will hopefully be here shortly as the days are already getting longer. Days off and weekends we might do morning stuff but not so much on workdays.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Oh gosh YES, I’m pumped about the days already getting longer!! Those short winter days are just not up my alley. It sounds like you have an exercise routine that works for your schedule – that’s awesome!

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