Sunday March 13th, it's that time of the year again, if you haven't done so already, it's time to move your clock ahead an hour before going to bed, but how will your dog cope with the time change? In humans, the effects of daylight saving time aren't that good. Losing one hour of sleep may sound like a small change, but in 1999, researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Stanford found a small, yet significant increase in the number of car accidents. From the average 78.2 seen on a typical Monday, the numbers jumped up to 83.5 on the Monday following the daylight savings time shift in spring. Fortunately, dogs aren't likely to be at the wheel on Monday morning with a cup of Java besides to keep them awake, but the time change can sure affect them as well.
Dogs Love Routines!
As we have seen in our previous article on dogs predicting when owners come home, dogs are very routine-oriented animals. They have an internal clock, that provides them with information about when it's time to eat, go to sleep and wake up. Some dogs even seem to keep tabs on when it's time to go on a walk or when owner come home from work.
This occurs courtesy of circadian rhythms, which include all the physical, mental and behavior changes occurring in a 24 hour cycle. In evolutionary terms, circadian rhythms offer the advantage of helping animals and plants prepare for environmental changes.
How your dog reacts to daylight saving time depends on how precise his routine has been so far. If your dog is used to you getting up and feeding him at different times, he may hardly notice the difference, but if you have being feeding your dog every single day precisely at 7AM, it's quite normal for him to look at you with a puzzled face when you wake up an hour earlier.
Your dog may still be in snoozing mode and his gastric juices may not be actively flowing, but the good news is that most dogs adjust fairly quickly to their new routines. There are a few things though you can do to help them out.
Just for thoughts: In the spring, you're likely the one to have to wake up your dog, while in the fall, your dog is likely to wake you.
Helping Dogs Adjust
There is a way to help dogs and prevent them from getting confused about the daylight savings time change. You can adjust your dog's schedule gradually in 10-15 minute increments starting a week prior to the time change.
Simply wake up each morning earlier and earlier. If you haven't started doing this, you still can remedy by playing with your dog or going for a walk an hour before bedtime.
This should allow him to relax and be able to go to sleep an hour prior to make up for the earlier Monday morning awakening. Going to bed a little earlier Sunday night can benefit both you and your dog so you're both more likely to wake up refreshed.
Did you know? Losing" an hour in the spring is more challenging to adjust to than "gaining" an hour in the fall.
Six Dogs Who Hate Daylight Saving Time
Think you're the only one to dislike Daylight Savings Time? You're not alone. Here are six adorable pooches who are not too excited to start their day. This is just for laughs, we know most dogs are eager to get up, eat and start their day!