Prepare Pets for Daylight Savings

Photo: Maureen M.

On Sunday, March 8, 2020, at 2:00 am the time will officially move ahead 1 hour for Daylight Saving Time.   If you are like me, you will be feeling this loss of sleep for the better part of next week. Did you know that your pets can also be affected by the switch to daylight saving time (DST)?

Your cat or dog, just like humans, has an internal clock that tells him when to eat, sleep, and wake. Since dogs are creatures of habit and love consistency in their daily schedule, they may experience confusion for a few days. When a familiar routine is disrupted, this change can affect your dog’s behavior. Is there anything you can do to help them adjust?

William Berloni, the author of Broadway Tails and director of behavior for the Humane Society of New York, says, “If we start adjusting their schedule in 15-minute increments a few days before the time change, it makes the transition easier. This incremental change is easier than trying an hour all at once. You can transition to the new wake-up time this way too. Try setting the alarm 10 or 15 minutes earlier each day until everyone is getting up at the correct time. Unfortunately, you won’t get that extra hour of sleep this week, but your pets will have a smoother transition to the new schedule.

Of course, this won’t ensure a perfect transition.  Be patient and know that he’ll adjust within a few days, and your household will once again run like a well-oiled machine—at least until Standard Time returns in the spring.

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