Daylight Saving Time 2015 ends this coming weekend when the clocks fall back an hour. When you change the clock on Sunday, November 1, at 2 a.m. your time table has changed, but what about your dog? A dog has no clue that Daylight Saving Time exists, never mind it changing the time of his daily routine.
The clock on the wall will tell you what time it is, but it’s your dog’s bodily functions that work like a clock telling him what time it is. Those functions won’t automatically “fall-back” an hour, which can cause a problem for both you and your dog. Now is the time to get pro-active and change things slowly each day this week leading up to the Daylight Saving Time change on Sunday.
Daylight Saving Time brings another problem for both you and your dog now that is darker earlier in the afternoon. Walking your dog when you get home from work will most likely happen in the dark, reminds The Charlotte Observer on October 26. Folks often walk their dogs in the streets because of overgrown bushes or trees along the sidewalk. Now that it will be darker in the evening, drivers will find it harder to see you. It is a time to exercise a bit more caution if you are finding yourself and your dog walking after dark.
Another very important point is made by Dogster: “The local wildlife don’t get the DST memo and can be wandering around when you are; keep an eye peeled for them so you don’t have to do a gagging Google search on ‘removing skunk odor.’”
The time that you walk your dog and the time that you feed your dog is all in your control. Readjusting your dog to go the bathroom earlier in the morning and later in the day when you get home an hour later than usual from work could be a challenge. As this bodily function is in your dog’s control, but you can help your dog adjust for the time change according to the experts. You can do this by slowly changing his feeding time and the time that you walk him for his bathroom breaks.
According to Dog Time, dogs have their own circadian rhythm much like humans. Their “biological clock helps them know when to eat, sleep, go potty, and do everything else in their day. So when humans change the clock for the end of Daylight Saving Time, it can affect dogs more strongly.”
Many dog owner’s will take their dog out first thing in the morning to do their business, but when the clock goes back an hour it means the dog will be an hour off his routine. It is highly suggested that a few days before Daylight Saving Time ends you start changing the time you take your dog out in the morning by 15 minutes a day so when Sunday morning rolls around your dog is getting adjusted to the new time change.
According to Dog Time, when you come home an hour later than usual from work because of the Daylight Saving Time change, this can also play havoc with your dog. Your dog “expects you to come home when the sun is at a certain point in the sky,” so when you are later than usual he will know this. “When you return an hour late, especially when the sun goes down, he can suffer added anxiety. This nervousness can lead to all sorts of unwanted behavior, including having accidents or destroying your belongings.”
According to Dogster, an expert on dog behavior points out the added stress on your dog that the Daylight Saving Time change can cause. “Getting up an hour earlier or later causes stress,” explains William Berloni, author of Broadway Tails and director of behavior for the Humane Society of New York. “For instance, they have to ‘hold it’ an hour longer, wait an hour longer to eat, and wait an extra hour for you to come home from work. All that is stressful to dogs.”
Berloni reminds dog owners that getting your dog to do his business within the new time frame isn’t an easy feat. This is why the suggestion to slowly do things differently during this week leading up to the Daylight Saving Time change on Saturday can make it a smooth transition for your dog and in turn it makes it easier on you.
Start off feeding and walking your dog just 15 minutes earlier and increase the time by 15 minutes each day so that Fido can get acclimated to the new time change on Sunday. If you want to sleep in that extra hour on Sunday without that cold nose nudging you to get up and take them for their morning walk, ease your pooch into Daylight Saving Time this week!