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Published: Nov 02, 2012

The wagging, barking and perhaps licking that wakes you up each morning may be even more reliable than your alarm clock - dogs have been known to be creatures of habit. Once they are given a schedule, say, breakfast at 7 a.m., they are going to stick to it - even if you want to sleep in. Does that mean when it's time to "fall back" each November for daylight saving time, your canine companion may face some issues? According to, the answer is yes.

Creatures of habit
Dogs depend largely on consistency in their daily schedule, and when this is disrupted, it can affect the canine's behavior. Although dogs are pretty good at syncing their schedules with those of their owners, sometimes they need more help - especially when sudden shifts like Daylight Saving Time happen.

Sometimes it seems like dogs can read clocks, like when, at 7 a.m. on the dot, your canine starts whining for breakfast. When you set your clocks back an hour this November 4, it's important to remember your dog does not read time - he feels it. That means your dog will be waking you up for breakfast at 6 a.m. this Sunday, presenting you with a lovely alarm of dog barking. Same goes for dinner time - Fido might be expecting a meal earlier than you are able to give it. According to, this can cause minor stress and anxiety in some dogs, so you may want to help your dog adjust to the change.

Working up to a change
If your dog is sensitive to time in this way, it might be a good idea to help him through this adjustment by gradually pushing back his feeding, walking and any other activities that are scheduled in his daily routine. A few days before Daylight Saving, start adjusting the schedule earlier and earlier in 15-minute increments. William Berloni, author of Broadway Tails and director of behavior for the Humane Society of New York, told the news outlet.

Generally, it might be a good idea to use a less-strict schedule when it comes to raising puppies or dogs. Berloni told the news outlet that varying the times by a half hour throughout a dog's life can help keep the dog accustomed to an unpredictable life, reducing stress when changes in routine inevitably happen.