When You Set Your Clock Back, Your Dog Is Going To Feel It (You Probably Don’t Know Why)


Twice a year in America, we change our clocks. We spring forward an hour the second Sunday in March and fall back an hour the first Sunday in November at 2:00 am. This time change impacts dogs –are you ready for this?

How Time Change Impacts Dogs

Labrador puppy sleeping on blanket with alarm clock ready to ring

What really disrupts our dog’s lifestyle during daylight savings time changes are the sudden differences in our daily routines. Your dogs will probably be awakened an hour earlier or later to go potty. Their meals will be served at a different time; walks are rescheduled and it feels different when human family members come and go,” says Dr. Ernie Ward DMV.

Time change impacts dogs by confusing them. As creatures of habit, a dog’s inner clock kicks in no matter what the electronic clock reads. No one has time for confused dogs! Luckily there is something you can do to help your pup step through the time change without severe difficulty.

How You Can Help Your Dog Adjust

Man and his dog comfortably sleeping in –time change impacts dogs too!

The key to helping your dog transition successfully is to have a routine and stick to it. Especially when the time changes. Chances are, you won’t feel tired just because the clock says it is 9 p.m. and because your body feels like it’s 8 p.m. With that in mind, it’s essential to hit the sack at your usual time anyway. Keep your dog on his routine as well. Let him outside and put him to bed at the regular time no matter what.

A simple way to reduce the impact of time-change on your dog is to wean your daily routine into the change slowly. Begin the process five and seven days out from the time change. The most significant impact seems to occur when the clocks fall back an hour. Therefore, set your alarm clock to go off five minutes earlier each day. This accumulated time adjustment of 25 to 30 minutes will ease into the hour change. Be sure to get up and get on with business as usual. Following this process consistently will encourage your pup to do the same.

This also means you go to bed a little later each day, or earlier, depending on whether the clock moves ahead or backward when the time change hits.

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Let us know how this simple tip helped you and your dog.