Daylight Savings Time and its Effects on our Pets

As humans, we love when spring Daylight Savings Time comes around. Our days stay brighter, get longer, and it means the glorious seasons of Spring and Summer are just around the corner. Feels like heaven, right?

Sadly, it doesn’t have all the same great benefits for our pets! They don’t live their days by the time on the clock like us. For some pets, even slight changes in their daily routines can leave them feeling hungry or confused. 

Here are a few tips on helping your pet adjust to the adjustments that come with Daylight Savings Time.

Mealtime changes

Our pets do everything based on their circadian rhythm. Like us, if our regular mealtime is pushed back an hour, they may feel hungry and confused. Or when they are fed too early, they may not eat it.

If your pet’s mealtimes are mostly regular right now, consider adjusting them by just 10 or 15 minutes every week until you’re at the new times. This more gradual change will be easier for them to keep up with.

Doggy-doo times

If you take your pet outside at specific times of the day or have a dog walker who always comes at 1 pm to take them outside, changing this schedule can again confuse them and they may be more prone to piddles in the house, and leaving you a “present” by the back door. 

Be patient with their potty breaks. If you’ve arranged for the dog sitter to come by at at a particular time every day, consider working a variable schedule they can slightly flexuate slightly so your pup can get use to a slight fluctuation and gradually work back to the correct time over a couple of weeks.

They may start “acting out”

While they readjust their new rhythms for the time change, watch them for unusual behaviour. If they are hungry, for example, they may seek out their own source of sustenance, which may not be healthy for them. Just like when you’d child-proof your home, pet-proof it as well.

March is Pet Poison Prevention Month, which seems like a good time to go over a few of the most common toxins our pets might find and ingest when in distress during the time change.

These are top toxins that have dangerous side effects for both dogs and cats:

  • Rodent poison
  • Antidepressant Medications
  • Stimulant Medications (like you might take for ADD/ADHD)
  • Anti-inflammatory Medications

These top 6 toxins can be dangerous or deadly for dogs:

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol (found in many foods including some peanut butters)
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Acetaminophen
  • Vit D overdose
  • Fertilizers

These top 6 toxins are dangerous or deadly for cats: 

  • Lilies
  • Spot-on flea/tick meds for dogs
  • Household cleaners
  • Essential oils
  • Onions and garlic
  • Vit D overdose

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these toxins, call the Pet Poison Helpline 855-886-7965 any time of day or night to get the help you need.

What’s my best piece of advice?

During the transition into and out of Daylight Savings Time, consider giving your pet a little extra attention. They may be quite confused with all the changes, but they won’t complain too hard if they get extra cuddle time, or extra time tossing a toy in the yard with you.

I don’t imagine you’ll be complaining too much either when you can get extra snuggles at the end of a long day!

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