Compared to your jam-packed work week, your dog’s carefree existence looks pretty great. But It can actually be pretty stressful for them when they have no idea what’s happening next. After all, they have no way of knowing if you’re coming home soon or if it’s just them and the cat against the world now. That kind of uncertainty could make any pet uneasy, skittish, and destructive.

A schedule is like a security blanket.
When dogs know what to expect, they have something to look forward to. That way when they’re lying around the house, contemplating mangling your couch to relieve some anxiety, they can focus on how you’ll be home soon (and the couch gets to live).

It also keeps your floors cleaner.
No one likes holding it. Many dogs can go 8 to 10 hours between bathroom breaks, but it helps if they know when to expect them. Being consistent and sticking to specific times, like after meals, before bed, and when you get home each day, makes it easier for dogs to set their bodily needs accordingly.

A schedule can even cut down on begging.
Dogs who get to eat at the same time every day know when their next meal will be, so they can trust they won’t go hungry and relax. Even if that burger you’re eating does look delicious.

Don’t forget to pencil in quality time.
Dogs crave hangouts with their human families and relish their daily walks, playing fetch, belly rubs and ear scratches. So no matter how busy things get, make sure you include together time in your daily routine. And hey, it will make you feel better and more relaxed too.

Once you set it, your “dogtimer” will remind you.
Dogs will adapt and adopt a schedule very readily. You just need to worry about sticking to it for a few weeks. After that, your dog will remind you when it’s time for any activity.