Does the change in Daylight Saving Time affect a dog’s clockwork?
This weekend we fall back an hour as Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday. What are some of the effects on your dog?
Like humans, dogs have circadian rhythms, an internal clock that tells dogs when it’s time to sleep, be active, eat and poop. Circadian rhythms are triggered by light and dark. Animals naturally adjust their bodies and biological clocks throughout the year as the amount of sunlight changes. But twice a year when humans change their time by an hour, pets can be confused because their internal clock hasn’t changed.
Dogs are creatures of habit, so the change from Daylight Saving Time can be stressful. What are some possible effects?
Potty time – If your dog likes to go first thing in the morning, you may find your dog waiting and whining at your bedside as you try to sleep that extra hour on Sunday.
Meal time – If fido is fed at certain times, the pup may be peeved when dinner is served an hour late.
Together time – Do you go for walks at a certain time? Or out in the backyard for a game of catch? Do you cuddle on the couch at about the same time each day? Doing these things on a different schedule can also cause a pup to be confused or anxious.
What to do to help your dog’s clockwork adjust to the change in Daylight Saving Time.
Some trainers and veterinarians suggest to start adjusting your pup’s schedule this week. Do everything ten minutes later each day. Most dogs can hold off on pee and poop for a short period. Same for eating and playing. Ease into the changes rather than plunging the pup into a different schedule.
Other people say dogs will adjust quickly to the time change, just like their humans. Dogs are tuned into their humans’ activities and will take cues from their pet parents. Read more from the Pet Health Network.
Probably the best advice is to be patient and understand that a dog may feel a little stressed for a week or so because things are different. Do a little paw-holding and things will be fine soon.