Most likely, your dog didn’t get the memo. The memo reminding us to turn back time by one hour and reset our clocks. Dog are creatures of habit, and since they don’t read clocks they read you to determine the pattern of their day. They also live by their own internal time clocks. The “extra hour” means nothing to your dog, as he/she remains on track with regularly scheduled bathroom outings and feeding times.
As most of you know, dogs rely on their human companions for daily routines. They are dependent on our own personal behaviors to determine their schedule. For example, when I pull out the dresser drawer that houses my workout clothes, or make my way to the coat closet where the running shoes live, Tatum reacts with a fiercely wagging tail. She follows my lead when I grab my car keys to go for a ride, and wiggles around in circles when I open the food bin. Our actions guide our dogs.
We can help our dogs adjust to the time change by manipulating our actions, and ultimately shifting his/her patterns. Use the power of your personal behavior to make it a slow & smooth transition. Move feeding times, walks and bathroom outings in increments of 15 minutes for the first week of the time change. This will help Fido to adjust properly and avoid a major shock to the system. Try a mid-morning snack (Trail Dog Treats work great for this!) or an afternoon nap. When Tatum started prancing around the house, whining for dinner (now an hour early) I got out the tennis ball. I kept busy for a bit so she wouldn’t fall asleep in her bowl waiting for dinner, and compromised feeding time by ½ hour to help her to adjust.
Whatever you decide to do to help Fido with the Fall-back, have fun and enjoy the season!