To begin with, getting your dog outside to relieve herself twice a day is not enough. Taking your pet out of the house is not just for the purpose of elimination but also to stimulate her, to interact with her, and to help her expend some of her considerable canine energy.
That means you’ve got to do more than make sure she has done “number 1” and “number 2.” Even a mellow toy dog needs a jaunt to use her body, burn some calories, and see—and more importantly, smell—the sights around her.
And she needs those jaunts several times daily. “Twice a day” has become the default in people’s thinking, but twice is not really enough. A minimum of three times a day is required for your dog’s mental and physical health.
It doesn’t all have to be walking per se. A game of Frisbee, ball throwing, or other type of fetch in the backyard combined with some general horsing around can count as one of her outside times. If you don’t have a usable backyard, a nearby park will also do the trick as a playground for interactive games.
When you do walk your pet, mix up your routes. Keep in mind that your dog can’t follow plot lines on TV shows. She can’t read, and she can’t while away the time by putting on music she enjoys. If you make her walk the same route every time you go out, it’s akin to reading the same well-worn magazine article or book excerpt over and over—enough to drive someone batty after a while. A dog is reading her world as she walks by sniffing her environment. To be intellectually engaged, she needs the reading material to change, at least sometimes. The more walking routes you can think up, the better.
Finally, consider whether she likes to be around other dogs and other people, or at least likes to be around them sometimes. If she does, some walks can be in somewhat bustling public spaces or dog-friendly parks with her own kind to interact with. Other walks can be on quiet trails or out-of-the-way spots. That, too, makes things more interesting—quiet versus vibrant. We enjoy that mix, so why wouldn’t they?
The more you get your dog outside, and the more you’re able to vary the outside experience, the more satisfied, happy, and relaxed pet you’ll have.