On the second Sunday in March, at 2 o’clock in the morning, most of America “springs forward” to accommodate the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. And just as you might be thrown off to find the sun hasn’t yet come up at your normal waking hour, your pet’s circadian rhythm is also thrown off by this adjustment of the clocks. Here’s what you should expect when it comes to daylight saving and pets, and a few tips to ease your animal’s anxiety about the change in his schedule.
If you’ve ever raised a dog from a puppy, you know just how important a canine’s schedule can be in maintaining consistency and good habits. And if you have a lazy dog, like some of us on the SkinnyMs team, you know how hard it can be to get him out of bed when he’d prefer to keep snoozing. But It’s important to keep Sparky on his regular walking and feeding schedule as much as possible.
The time adjustment means that it will stay darker longer in the morning and lighter longer at night. If your pup has gotten used to going for his evening walk all winter when the sun is already down, you might find he suddenly has an extra burst of energy in the evenings when it’s still light until 8 or 8:30. If you anticipate this being a problem, try to prepare him for the change a few weeks ahead of time by adjusting his walk schedule by 15 minutes every few days, rather than an hour all at once.
The same goes for feeding schedules. If you have a cat that meows seemingly on cue when it’s feeding time, you may want to slowly adjust your kitty’s feeding schedule in advance so you’re not bombarded by a chorus of hungry cat moans waking you up early or keeping you up late.
Just as humans eventually adjust to the time change, so do our pets. Just be prepared to give them a few extra kisses and belly rubs during the week or two of transition!
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