Daylight Savings’ Impact on Pets

March 20, 2023
By: Adriana Valle

As we’re sure you noticed, most of the US “sprung forward” last weekend. The beginning of daylight savings time is bittersweet and can present some challenges. At Shoreline Happy Paws, we find it pretty surprising how disruptive one hour can be to our schedules, sleep, and appetites. Especially considering we do this every year! Today, we’re going to talk about daylight savings’ impact on pets. And, we’ll give you tips on how you can make things easier for them – and yourself.

The Deal with Daylight Savings

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According to Wikipedia, most of the United States observes daylight saving time. The practice of setting the clock forward by one hour when there is longer daylight during the day makes it so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. Daylight savings became a federally established practice in 1967. Prior, states and localities could choose whether or not to participate, making transportation schedules between different regions very dicey.

Today, daylight savings time may become permanent. The idea of getting more daylight appeals to those concerned about energy consumption and our diminishing of resources. As sun worshippers, professional pet sitters, and dog walkers, we too like the idea of longer days year-round.

What Our Pets Think of Daylight Savings

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If you were expecting to read that our pets feel any which way about daylight savings time, you’re about to be very disappointed. Our pets are creatures of habit therefore change can oftentimes disturb their routines. Because they don’t follow the clock, however, they aren’t aware of the changes that are causing dinner to be “early” come spring and summer.

Our pets follow our family’s rhythm therefore they usually adjust quite well to daylight savings start and end. Adult pets usually wake when we wake, chill at home when we’re out during the day, and eat when we serve them. They aren’t as concerned about the location of the sun as they are about the routine that they are accustomed to. Those that spend their days basking in the sun will be thrilled to have more time with the sun gods.

The first week or two after ‘spring forward’ can throw pets for a loop, however. Many think we’ve gone nuts because dinner is at a different time. How dare we change the schedule without consulting them?! If and when possible, it’s nice to push their feeding time back by a bit this time of year. Believe it or not, a half hour can help ease the pain of having to adjust to a different dinner bell. And, if you decide to do something after work one day, your pet won’t have become accustomed to eating an hour earlier than usual.

Benefits of Daylight Savings Time for Pets

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The idea of daylight savings is to enjoy longer days during the warmer months. For this reason, pets stand to get a great benefit from the change. Longer days mean more time to go for an evening stroll once the humans return home. It also means that the resident humans may be staying up a little later for more snuggles on the couch. No matter how you adjust to your new routine, we encourage you to take advantage of the daylight. Whether you spend some time enjoying the outdoors, sitting on the patio, or playing with your pet before dark, they will love the extra attention.

Keep in mind that mornings will be dark so if your dog is accustomed to walking first thing, keep an eye out for wildlife, who surely didn’t get the time-change memo. Dogster.com has a great article about changes to your dog’s feeding and walking routine.

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The start of daylight savings time usually signals the start of spring. We love to watch our beautiful area as it springs to life this time of year. As a reminder, we encourage you to request services as soon as you know you’ll need them. Because of the warmer weather, we tend to see more requests come in this time of year. We, of course, want to be sure we can accommodate your pet’s care as needed. Giving us lots of notice helps us accomplish our goal of being there for your pets when you cannot.

To learn more about our dog walking, dog hiking, and pet sitting services in Old Saybrook, Essex, Ivoryton, Centerbrook, Deep River, Chester, Westbrook, Clinton, Old Lyme, East Lyme, Niantic Waterford, Groton, Uncasville, Gales Ferry, New London, Mystic, Noank, and parts of Lyme, Madison, and Killingworth, please contact us. We welcome the opportunity to care for your pet(s.)

By Adriana Valle

Adriana is the owner and Chief Pet-Loving Officer at Shoreline Happy Paws. She has been a Professional Pet Sitter for over 10 years.

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