Monday, March 11, 2013

Daylight Savings Time and Your Pets

       Daylight Savings Time is when you set your clocks forward one hour. It starts March 10, and ends November 3 this year of 2013. Everybody loves it when they sit down for dinner and there is the sunlight shining in, or when they go to walk with their dogs and they can see the beautiful sunset. In fact, most people say it's their favorite thing about summer. If you have pets, though, the can get very confused for the first month or so, which leads to dangerous health problems. Here are some tips to keep your pets happy and healthy during the beginning of spring.

Heath Problem Warning

        Many health problems occur around this time. Our pets easily get confused by sudden changes such as this. Included heath problems are stress, heart problems, excessive aggression, extremely upset, sudden seizures, and especially excessive activity.


       Cats, rabbits, and dogs are crepuscular, meaning they are more active at dawn or dusk.
With cats, they are deeply affected by the time change, mainly because of their eating routines. Unlike dogs, cats know when they get food, where as with dogs, dogs usually get food anytime possible. They have no idea when it will come, and they get more excited when they hear and smell signs of food that is theirs. Cats just expect it, so around the time they usually get food, they are confused when they don't. Around the same time of feeding they do normal feeding rituals: batting paws, clawing legs, rubbing against you, mewing and howling.......etc.
Surprisingly enough, hamsters get the most affected by this. Since they don't consume a whole bowl of food every day, food isn't a priority. Sleeping is. Every good hamster owner knows hamsters are nocturnal, and when you were young you must have learned nocturnal is when you sleep during the day and stay up at night, right? Hamsters usually retreat to bed at 6-7AM each morning, putting aside an extra hour to make their beds for sleeping. At the usual 5AM each morning when they would be making up the bed, it seems a little later, but looks brighter out. "Hamsters use light and human behavior routines to determine time," Mark Evans, vet and former author of ASPCA Pet Care Guides says."Daylights Savings Time shocks hamsters and leaves them sleeping longer, possibly all day and night." Veterinarians agree Daylights Savings Time has the most pets dying or going into comas of shock.

Change Routines Without Really Changing Them.....Huh??

         The simplest way to solve it is to go back one hour in your mind. If you normally feed your dog at 6 PM start serving it at 5:15 PM for two days followed by two days at 5:30 PM and them two days of 5:45 PM and finally 6:00 PM. Same with breakfast, walks, and cage cleanings for critters. For hamsters use the 15 minutes sooner but in the room close the blinds or put him in a dark room. Every two days leave the lights or blinds on fifteen minutes longer until finally you do it normally and he gets used to it.(same with rats, bunnies, mice...etc.) Use a notebook or schedule to keep track. A little flexibility with the routine lets it be less demanding for you and your pets.

I tried the same technique with Daisy's feeding times.....It seems to work!!



  1. my dog has the same problem! I must be just like a hamster since I Am very tired lately. My son has a gerbil. is it the same thing with them???? Thanks oh and sorry I forgot to do this question on Ask Us....I can't wait to see how much chocolate can hurt a dog, I think it would help my pooch.

    1. It's okay!! Gerbils have different sleeping times. They are crepuscular also, just like cats, rabbits, and dogs. Of course, he can still get mixed up. You might want to use the same idea we use for hamsters but the time change a little different.


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