Do These Five Things For Your Pet Before The Clocks Go Back

Mark your calendars! On November 7th, 2021, our clocks will “fall” back an hour. Well, for us humans, they will, but our pets’ internal clocks will not change. 

Believe it or not, dogs are very good at “telling time.” Those on a specific routine know precisely when their potty breaks are and when feeding time occurs. 

Dogs are on their circadian rhythm, which is their biological clock telling them when to sleep, eat, and go to the bathroom. 

To keep things on track for your furry loved one, here are five things you should do before the clocks go back.

Adjust Your Pet’s Feeding And Medication Schedule Before The Clock’s Go Back

If your dog is used to eating their meals at a particular time every day, adjust their feeding schedule by 10 to 15 minutes. This gradual change will help them get used to getting their meals around the same time every day. This change will prevent your dog from wondering why dinner is so late. This adjustment may also help prevent your dog from engaging in any destructive behaviours like chewing on things they are not supposed to or getting into the trash to find your leftovers from the night before.

If your pet is on any kind of medication like insulin or time-sensitive medicines that they get every 12 hours, adjust their administration time by a few minutes as well. If you give them their medications with food, then try to feed them slightly earlier so you can accommodate for medication time. 

You Will Need To Adjust Bathroom Breaks Too

Going out for a walk is your dog’s favourite time of the day! They get to explore and most importantly, relieve themselves. If you sleep in an hour late, your dog might not be happy with a delay with their bathroom break. Give your dog their bathroom breaks a few minutes early every day so they can get used to the time change before it happens. This is a good idea if you have a new puppy. You will already be working on getting them on a schedule anyway, so you might as well get them adapted with the end of daylight savings. Waking up a few minutes early is undoubtedly better than having your dog do their business inside the house. 

Do These Five Things For Your Pet Before The Clocks Go Back

Get Accessories So Your Are Visible In The Dark 

Make sure you have walking gear ready for darkness. With the clocks going back an hour, it will be dark in the morning and at night. Buy a flashlight to have a clear view of paths or poorly lit areas. Get your pup a reflective leash, and get yourself a reflective vest or something that will make you visible in the dark. You can even purchase a small flashing light to attach to your dog’s collar so cars and other people will spot them from a distance. 

Keep Your Dog Under Control On A Six-Foot Leash

We do not advise or use Flexi/Extenda leashes at any time of year. These leashes are hard to control your dog with. In the dark, it’s even worse. Nobody is going to see your pooch 10 feet ahead of you in the dark. Use a five or six-foot leash, so you always have control of your pup. It is good to keep them close to you if they get startled by something in the bushes that you cannot see. If they run ahead of you it will ve difficult to reel them back in.

Change Batteries In All Your Smoke Detectors

Most people would not think about this, but it is good to replace batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Especially if you can’t remember the last time they changed. If you have an electronic lock on your front door, change those batteries too. The last thing you want is to have it fail on a cold winter night.

Taking these small steps will help reduce the impact that daylight savings may have on your pet. You can enjoy the extra hour of sleep knowing your pet is well established and ready for the switch over. 

Do you have a pet sitter? Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need us to help you get your dog adjusted to their new potty break times before the clocks go back! Our York Professional Pet Sitters are ready to assist.




  1. Peggy Dixon

    My 14 year old Yorkie receives medication every 12 hours. She has been receiving it at 10:30 am and 10:30 pm. I live in Michigan and we have now turned our clocks back 1 hour. What time should I now give my pet her medications? 9:30 am and 9:30 pm? I appreciate your advice. Thank you.

    • Morag Willcox

      Hi Peggy, Thank you for your question. We are not vets so I would certainly check with your vet as some medications are more time sensitive than others. What I would do though is try and get them back on the original schedule by adjusting the time by 10 – 15 minute each day till you are back to your desired routine. I hope this help but again please check with your vet regarding your pups specific medication.
      All the best


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