Our brief moment of winter has come to an end in The Woodlands — spring time is officially here! After a week of lagging following Daylight Saving Time, you may be eager to spring forward and switch gears.
However, the change in your behavior could be making your pet a little agitated.
According to LiveScience.com, pets may perceive their owner is acting strangely when their pet parent changes their schedule for Daylight Saving Time. Household animals can become irritable when they show up to an empty bowl at their normal dinner time, or pets can become anxious waiting an extra hour for their owner to come home.
The Pet Health Network says the shift in scheduled rituals can be abrupt and unexpected for most dogs since humans set the routine for the animals living with them.
Some pets are so tuned in with their owners’ schedules that a one-hour time difference can cause psychological and physical stress in pets. PetTime.com says nervousness can lead to various unwanted behavior including potty accidents and destruction of items inside the home.
Also similar to humans, all animals have an internal clock — which doctors call a circadian rhythm — that tells the animal when to eat, sleep and wake up. This biological timekeeper is controlled by natural sunlight, which is why most dogs tend to wake when the sun rises and sleep after sunset. Brighter mornings and longer days could throw this clock off for a few days.
Some dogs operate like clockwork — napping, eating and going to the restroom at the same time every day. Since dogs have to depend on an internal clock versus a face clock like their owners, the shift can appear unwarranted to dogs.
Many dogs make the adjustment with little to no problems — while others not so much. If your pet is still struggling to sleep or is extremely sensitive to time changes there several methods available that may help.
Ask a veterinarian about using nutritional supplement such as melatonin or relaxing scents.
Increase your dog’s physical activity with longer walks or playtime. Camp Bow Wow offers a great dog day care program that can make adding more playtime easier if you have a busy schedule.
It also helps to serve your pet meals around the same time each day throughout the year.
PetTime.com says be sure to pay extra attention to your pet’s needs during this transition, offering him or her extra comfort if they show signs of anxiety. One way is two reward your dog with small treats as they make positive changes toward the new schedule.
Remember all animals are creatures of habit. If your dog is sleeping in pass his normal schedule — Dogster Magazine says let him sleep!
The switch to spring weather should be a great experience for you dog above all. It could mean more playtime, warmer naps and extra time with you.
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