The end of daylight savings time may seem inconsequential or, at worst, an inconvenience as you remember to forward all your clocks and adjust to one less precious hour of sleep. Your dog on the other hand relies solely on his own body clock, or circadian rhythm, to know when it is time to eat, sleep and exercise, and that one hour difference is enough to throw that clock into disarray.
Dogs love a routine, and will automatically fall into one by habit. For example, if you usually wake up at 7am, they will expect you to wake up at 7am every day, and they can often find it confusing and disorientating if you don’t. Some dogs may find this more unsettling than others, but particularly for those dogs who are used to a strict routine, even a small deviation can lead to anxiety and mild stress, which in turn can affect their behavior.
Symptoms of stress
- Accidents or increased scent-marking
- Excessive barking or whining
- Hiding, pacing or trying to escape
- Destructive behavior (for example biting or chewing furniture)
There are a number of things that you, as a dog owner, can do to help reduce this anxiety.
Gradually adjust feeding/walking times
The simplest technique is to gradually adjust feeding/walking times in increments of 10 minutes or so for the days leading up to the clock change, so that the difference doesn’t seem as obvious.
Vary your pet’s daily routine from an early age
In order to avoid this problem from day one we recommend, where possible, to try to vary your pet’s daily routine from an early age, to encourage them to adapt more easily to any unavoidable fluctuations.
Consider a Dog Supplement
If your pet is prone to stress or anxiety, or has already been used to a rigid timetable since puppyhood, we recommend K-10+ Calming Formula. The gentle, non-drowsy formula is specifically designed to help relax your pet in times of increased environmental stress, and can help to reduce associated negative behaviors such as excessive barking, abnormal or frequent urination, trembling and aggression.