Dog Blog

How Daylight Savings Affects Your Dog

If you’re anything like me then each spring and fall you are entirely thrown out of sorts by Daylight Savings Time.

Don’t get me wrong, that extra hour of sleep each fall is nice, but the havoc the time change wreaks on my body, mind, and schedule as a result is awful. And when spring comes around and we lose an hour of sleep I’m a complete mess.

It’s hard to get used to the sudden shift in time and the sudden change in the number of daylight hours. I’m sure you’ve heard people complaining about the time change all your life!

For instance, people will often complain that the time change makes them feel sluggish or it makes them feel sick. Others complain that the time change makes it hard to sleep.

So how does the time change really affect us? According to an article by CBS news titled “5 Ways Daylight Savings Messes With Your Health,” the time change can “ have a serious impact on your mood, motor skills, appetite, and even your heart.” The time change can lead to irritability and moodiness, increased cravings and appetite, and problems with memory and coordination. As a result of the time change, work related accidents and car crashes increase as well.

As loving dog moms and dads, you might be wondering if the time change affects your dog just as much as it affects you. The answer might surprise you.

It turns out that the time change not only affects your dog, but that its affects may be stronger for your four legged friend.

So how exactly does the time change affect Fido?

It disrupts their routine!

Dogs are major creatures of habit and when the time change throws off our routines (when we wake up, go to bed, and go to work at what feels like a different time to them) it throws their routines off as well.

Remember that dogs cannot tell time like we do.

According to an article by the pet health network, dogs are very “tuned to the cycles of light and dark in terms of their physiology and behavior.” When we feed them, walk them, or try to take them to the bathroom at different times than we normally would, our dogs end up very confused.

Now when you try to take your dog to the bathroom at what is a later or earlier time, they may not have to go or they may be dying to go.

When you feed your dog their breakfast and dinner, they may not eat or they may be starving.

Lastly, when you go to walk your dog or spend time together, they may be confused as to why they are going so late or going much earlier.

Remember daylight savings time affects your dog because it affects:

1.    Potty breaks

2.    Meal times

3.    Walk times

4.    Bed time

5.    When you come and go

To help your dog with the change, remember to be as patient and understanding with your pup until they too are used to the time change. They may need a few extra minutes to go potty or they may cry because they are hungry. During the weeks up until the time change, you can also try adjusting meal times, bed times, and walk times by a few minutes each day to slowly ease your dog into a new routine.

Just remember that your dog doesn’t understand why the time is changing like we do. Be patient, be loving, and your dog will get back on track eventually.

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