Seasonal changes can be stressful for everyone, when it comes to daylight savings time the change in time affects your furry friends as well as us. Our animals adjust their lives to our schedules, they want to be most active when we are active.
According to Animal Welfare Association’s Behavior Coordinator Liz Stanley-Reicherter, “Animals find comfort in consistency especially knowing when they will receive food. Abrupt changes can cause our pets to display stress related behaviors.”
Stanley-Reicherter offers some tips and steps that can be taken to alleviate the stress of time changes on pets that might even help their people too.
- Try to adjust to the new time slowly. Gradually start waking up earlier and earlier every day. This way they are not being walked or fed an hour earlier seemingly out of nowhere. You do not need to start with the full hour right away. You can wake up 10 or 15 minutes earlier every day up until daylight savings time. The earlier you can start this the better.
- Try to keep feeding time consistent. There are a few ways to accomplish this and not all of them require getting up earlier. Getting up earlier about two weeks before the time change to keep feeding consistent is an option. However, you can also invest in an automatic feeder that will dispense food at the same times every day. The other option is to feed your pet a little later in the morning and at night. If you don’t have to get up earlier feeding your pets an hour earlier is no big deal.
- Go to bed earlier. Sleep is important to both you and your pet. Making sure everyone gets enough of it is important. Going to bed slightly earlier every day until the time change can be very helpful. It doesn’t have to be an hour earlier for a week. I can be 10-15 minutes earlier each day until daylight savings time.
These small changes the week and weekend leading up to daylight savings time can help to ease you and your pets into a stress free transition.