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Springing Forward with Your Pets

 March 10, 2020

This weekend brought the annual, pre-spring tradition – the start of Daylight Saving Time. Setting our clocks ahead on Sunday meant one less hour of sleep for us humans. But what does it mean for our four-legged friends?  

Dogs, really all animals, are closely attuned to nature and the daily cycles of light and dark hours. You’ve probably noticed your pup usually wakes up when the sun rises (even if you’re not ready to wake up!) and cuddles up for the night after sunset. While Daylight Saving Time won’t affect your dog the way it affects humans, our reaction to Daylight Saving Time can impact your dog’s routine.

Routine. Routine. Routine.

If “location, location, location” are the three magic words in real estate, “routine, routine, routine” are the three magic words in your pets’ life. Consider these three simple steps to help you – and your pup – successfully make the transition:

  • Stick to regular bedtimes. The clock says 10:00pm but your body says it’s 9:00pm. Adhering to your regular bedtime will help you make the transition more smoothly – and the same goes for your dog. He or she may give you a puzzled look and tell you he’s not ready, but pay him no mind. Let your dog outside and put him to sleep at his regular time. The sooner you both get comfortable with this “new” old schedule, the sooner you’ll both make the adjustment. If, after a week or so, your four-legged friend still has difficulty sleeping, check with your veterinarian about adding a supplement like melatonin to his or her diet for a short time.
  • Diet makes a difference. Like bedtime, make sure to feed your dog at roughly the same time each day throughout the year. Avoid high carbohydrate or sugary foods and snacks. Just like us humans, our dogs’ diet is critical to their overall health.
  • Get active. Longer days, warmer temperatures and the promise of summer ahead will put a spring in anybody’s step. With their natural connection to the environment, our animals are no different. Make time in your schedule for an extra-long walk or game of catch each day. And for the times when you can’t get outside with your pup, consider relocating their favorite sleeping pillow to a sunny window so he or she can enjoy the sun on these longer days.

One last thought on daylight saving time – while it may mean a sleep-deprived transition for us for a week or two, our dogs likely welcome the change because it means longer days and more time to play with you! And that’s never a bad thing.

Helping you keep your pets happy, safe and well trained is our top priority at Aldens Kennel. Visit us anytime at www.aldenkennels.com for the latest information to make your pup a happier pet.