When the time recently changed, you may have enjoyed getting an extra hour of sleep due to the clock “falling back.” But it probably didn’t take long to be significantly less excited about this change since it also means the sun going down so much earlier in the evening. While this change is mostly just an annoyance for the majority of the population, some people do experience more significant issues related to the time shift. Those issues are referred to as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Given the minor and more significant impact the end of daylight savings time can have on humans, you may be wondering if animals are affected by this shift. In the case of dogs, the answer to that question is yes. That’s why we’re going to explain exactly how dogs are affected by the fall time change, along with what you can do to help your dog best manage this transition.
What the Fall Time Change Does to Dogs
Unlike humans, dogs don’t use analog or digital clocks to manage any part of their routine. However, they do have a very strong internal clock. Specifically, much of what dogs do throughout the day is governed by their circadian rhythm. This internal component keeps everything from sleeping to eating to going to the bathroom on track for dogs.
Given that dogs are so used to following this routine, what happens when the fall transition means their human counterparts start doing everything an hour later than normal? Not surprisingly, this can cause quite a bit of stress for dogs. Whether it’s getting anxious because they want to go out or feeling concerned because you’re not walking in the door at your normal time after work, these are things that will affect how your dog feels and acts.
How to Help Your Dog Deal with This Seasonal Change
The ideal way to help your dog with these changes is to gradually ease into them in the days or weeks leading up to daylight savings time. Although you can keep that strategy in mind for next year, we’re already past that point for this year. That’s why the best thing you can do now is be aware that your dog may be a little thrown off and try to help with these changes whenever possible.
Another option is to use this time of the year to break your dog out its normal routine. If you’ve been thinking about dog daycare for some time but have yet to actually try it out, now is the perfect time to take action. By giving your dog a new environment during the day, it can more easily adapt to a new routine. So if you’re looking for a place you can count on to take great care of your dog, we encourage you to check out all the details of our dog daycare.