Daylight savings, pet tips, feeding routine

Help your pet adjust to Daylight Savings feeding schedule

Daylight savings can be difficult to adjust to, particularly when it comes to getting up in the morning, but did you know it can also be hard for your pet to adjust, too? If your pet has a strict and reliable feeding schedule,  moving their meal time by one hour when the clocks go ahead can make a big difference. Dave Wilson, retired veterinarian and Director of Shelter Health and Wellness at the Ontario SPCA, has tips to help.

Adjusting to the Daylight Savings time difference

Daylight savings, pet tips, feeding routine
photo credit: Josh Liba Dog Days via photopin (license)

Wilson says when helping your pet adjust to the time difference, it’s useful to look to the example of dairy farmers. When the time shifts, not only does the feeding schedule for cows change, but also their milking schedule.

To help deal with this problem, Wilson says farmers will start adjusting their milking time by small increments over the course of a full week ahead of the time change.

With pets, Wilson says you can make the change over a shorter period of time. He suggests starting on the Wednesday or Thursday before the time change. This way you can change the feeding time by 15 minutes each day, creating a gradual change that will make it easier for your pet to adjust.

What if you don’t prepare in advance?

“If you realize late afternoon Saturday that daylight savings is tomorrow, consider splitting the difference,” Wilson says.

On the day of the time change, if you haven’t made gradual changes, Wilson says you can at least split the time in half, and feed your pet 30 minutes earlier than normal.

He says you can also do this process backwards. This would mean ignoring the clocks Sunday morning and feeding your pet at their regular time, and then changing their feeding time by 15 minute intervals over the following four days.

With these tips, you should be ready for the Daylight Savings time change with your pet!

Mar 09, 2017
by Emily Cook