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Puppy Schedule: How To Create a Daily Routine for Your New Puppy

A puppy schedule is the best way to house-train your new pup. Once you get your puppy home from their litter or the rescue center, you’ll need to have a daily routine ready to go!

A puppy schedule helps establish potty training, mealtime schedules and eating habits, exercise routines, and, importantly, obedience. Without a puppy schedule, your pet pup is going to feel lost, but a rigid routine helps them to adjust to their new home and to get ready for their new future with you and your family.  

In this article, we explain the importance of establishing a puppy training schedule early on before providing an example routine that you can use when preparing for a puppy!

What is a puppy schedule? 

A puppy schedule is a set routine that establishes times for sleeping, eating, exercising, training, and going to the toilet.

Puppy schedules include:

  • Puppy walking schedule;
  • They lay down specific times for sleeping and times for eating;
  • They ensure that each day in your new pup’s life includes opportunities for walking and playing.

They can be as simple as setting down a time for waking up, a time for breakfast, a time for dinner, and a time for sleeping. As you’ll see, though, there are many more benefits to be found when scheduling more complex routines. 

Schedules are so important for a new puppy:

  • They allow them to quickly and easily adjust to unfamiliar surroundings in their new home.
  • They allow you to establish strict guidelines and timings that the puppy is going to follow for the rest of its life.
  • They help you start training your dog, and importantly, they help them to understand where and when to go to the toilet!

What to include in a puppy schedule

The major elements that need to be included are the following: 

  • Sleeping/Nap times
  • Potty breaks
  • Mealtimes
  • Playtime/Exercise

On top of this, as your puppy grows up, you can also start to include more complex puppy training sessions into their schedule.

You’ll also need to think about important health considerations, including the all-important puppy worming schedule and puppy vaccine schedule!

Sleeping and nap times

How much do puppies sleep, you might be wondering? A lot! Puppies are almost always asleep or napping because they need a lot of sleep when they are growing up (up to 18 hours, in many cases!).

It’s so important, however, to schedule a routine wake-up time for your pup. That way, they can adjust their sleeping pattern to coincide with your personal wake-up schedule.

You need to establish firm sleep boundaries, too. It might be okay for them to use a bed ramp for dog to nap next to you on the sofa, but as soon as it’s bedtime, you need to ensure they sleep in the designated sleeping area (their basket, for instance). 

Potty breaks

Potty breaks are so important for house training, particularly in the early days when your pup is adjusting to their new surroundings. 

You need to ensure that your puppy knows where to go to the toilet, and you can enforce this by creating a rigid routine. 

Puppies will need to relieve themselves outside at least once every two to four hours. This timescale increases as the puppy gets older, and they understand there’s a regularity to their toilet breaks. 


Creating a puppy feeding schedule is important, too. A feeding schedule helps your puppy to understand that, yes, they are going to be fed each day!

This is integral when trying to forge a strong bond of trust between you and your pup. Mealtimes should also coincide with your own eating times, where possible, and always be followed by a potty break. 

You might also be wondering how often to feed a puppy. Generally, owners will feed their pups at least twice a day. This is breakfast and dinner. Some owners choose to also feed their puppies a small lunchtime meal when they are growing up too. 

Playtime and exercise

Puppies need lots of playtime and lots of exercise when they are growing up - and you can easily combine the two. 

You should aim to walk your puppy at least once a day once it’s safe to take them outside the home, in addition to a further training/play session. You can also combine playtime with puppy training. 

Regular playtime helps to create strong bonds of trust between you and your dog while instilling obedience in them!

Puppy vet schedule

And don’t forget to take your new puppy to the vets as soon as possible. You’ll need to have them wormed and vaccinated. 

Regular check-ups are necessary, too, so it helps to get your puppy comfortable with the local veterinary practice, as they’ll need to visit at least once a year going forwards. 

Sample daily schedule to try at home

Now that we’ve explored everything that needs to go into a daily routine for the most effective puppy training schedule, let’s take a look at a quick sample routine. The following schedule will help you to visualize how your day is going to play out, when you start a new puppy routine. 

You can customize the timings to suit your own schedule, of course, but the following itinerary is a great way to get started as we break the day down into training sections.  


  • Puppies like to wake early, so you’ll need to be prepared to rise at the crack of dawn if you want to get their training ingrained. Start at 6 am (so early, we know!) by waking up and immediately letting your puppy out to go to the toilet. Always do this first, as this is integral to any puppy potty training schedule!
  • After the toilet, it’s time for breakfast. Prepare their food, and make sure you’re incorporating elements of training into the routine, such as teaching them how to ‘sit’ before they can eat. 
  • Following breakfast, it’s time for a walk (assuming your schedule allows this). At a minimum, they need exercise and some playtime in the morning, ideally in the local park or outdoors. 
  • After exercising, they’ll want to nap. They’ll also need another toilet break, and if you have time, it’s good to incorporate more play time later in the morning. 

Morning schedule: 

  • Wake up/Toilet break
  • Breakfast
  • Exercise/Playtime
  • Toilet break
  • Nap
  • Playtime


  • By the afternoon (from noon onwards), your pup is going to be napping. Make sure they are comfortable in their pen, basket, or crate, and just let them relax. When they’ve woken up, it’s time for another potty break and a lunchtime snack. 
  • Mid-afternoon is playtime, assuming you’re at home looking after them and assuming they are awake! After playtime, take them out for the potty, then they’ll more than likely be ready for yet another nap (puppies love their sleep). When they wake up, make sure they can go out for another toilet break if they need to. 

Afternoon schedule: 

  • Toilet break
  • Nap
  • Toilet break
  • Lunchtime
  • Playtime
  • Nap
  • Toilet break


  • By the evening, your puppy is going to start feeling hungry. It’s important to time their puppy feeding schedule with your dinner schedule. Around 6 or 7 in the evening, it’s time for dinner. 
  • After dinner, it’s time for a potty break. For the rest of the evening, you can incorporate playtime into the schedule, or you can initiate training. As they get a little older, this can also include puppy classes with other dogs, so they have a chance to socialize, too.
  • By 9 pm, they are going to be exhausted. They’ll already be napping with you on the sofa, but it’s important you make sure they sleep in their designated sleeping area to reinforce the routine. Make sure they have the chance to go for a potty break before you close up for the night and go to bed yourself. 

Evening schedule:

  • Dinner time
  • Toilet break
  • Playtime/Training
  • Toilet break
  • Relax/Nap
  • Toilet break
  • Bedtime 

The following morning, you simply repeat the schedule, sticking to a strict routine as much as possible. Always ensure they have plenty of water to drink and that they always have a chance to relieve themselves outside.

After a few months, they’ll be used to their schedule and well on their way to being a fully trained house dog!

Now it’s time to prepare your own pup schedule!

Using this article as inspiration, it’s easy to create your own schedule that’s well-suited to your lifestyle, your work schedule, and your needs. 

Not everyone wants to wake up at 6 am, and it’s fine to train your dog to sleep in for longer (to an extent!). Some owners will have more time to walk their pup in the afternoon, rather than first thing in the morning, while others will prefer to exercise first thing!

If you’re planning to raise a new pup, then why not bookmark our guide to creating a puppy schedule?

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