Prepare your pets for Daylight Saving Time

Find out how to prepare your pet's daily routine in time for the clocks to change.

22nd March 2024

Whether clocks are about to ‘spring forward’ or ‘fall back’, those one-hour differences signal the beginning and end of the UK’s summer season – thanks to ‘Daylight Saving Time’. 

Here in the UK, clocks move forward by one hour on the last Sunday in March, then they go back by an hour on the last Sunday in October. As the name suggests, ‘Daylight Saving Time’ is supposed to help us get the most out of British Summer Time (BST), since it allows for lighter evenings. 

However, for our pets, this can have a big impact on their daily routines, here’s how to prepare them for the clock changes. 

What does Daylight Saving Time mean for our pets? 

Our pets seem to have an incredible ability to tell the time – though when the clocks change, it can take a while for them to readjust their natural rhythm. 

Both dogs and cats are considered creatures of habit, meaning they find comfort in following a set routine every day. The clocks changing can affect your dog or cat in the following ways: 


Breakfast and dinner are the most exciting times of day, according to many of our dogs and cats! But making them wait for their meal without warning of a change to their daily routine can cause some pets to feel anxious or stressed. 

Toilet times

Alongside the changes to their mealtimes, our dogs and cats might struggle with any sudden changes to their toileting habits, too. For example, dogs who toilet following each meal, need to be let out in the morning, or have to ‘relieve their excitement’ when you get home, could become confused when the clocks change, so may have accidents indoors.


Reliable sleeping patterns tend to allow a restful night’s sleep for dogs, cats, and pet parents alike! Any changes to your dog or cat’s sleeping routine could become an issue if they aren’t tired enough to settle down to sleep. Trying to settle a pet who isn’t tired could result in unwanted consequences, e.g. over-excitement or destructive behaviour.  

Preparing our pets for Daylight Saving Time

Sudden changes to their routine can be stressful for our canine companions and feline friends. So, we should start working towards a stress-free transition for our pets before the clocks change – and here’s how:


Should you feed your dog or cat at specific times each day, start shifting their feeding times in 10-minute blocks in the week leading up to the clocks changing. 

If the clocks are springing forward, feed your dog or cat 10 minutes earlier each day, to offer a gradual adjustment in preparation for that. 

When the clocks are about to fall back, it’s helpful to shift your pet’s feeding time every day during the week before, so it’s 10 minutes later each time.

Toilet times

Your dog or cat might be used to going straight outside to relieve themselves as soon as they wake up in the morning or immediately after every meal. 

Depending on your pet’s personality, you may be able to adjust their toileting times to align with their gradually changing mealtimes (e.g. 10 minutes earlier or later each day). If the gentle shift in their feeding routine doesn’t affect your pet’s toileting habits, stick to their normal toileting routine until their body naturally adjusts to their new feeding schedule. 


To lessen the chances of having your sleep interrupted, minor adjustments to your pet’s evening routine can work wonders. 

Since springing forward to an earlier bedtime might mean they have extra energy, your canine companion could benefit from going for a walk closer to bedtime or from some in-house playtime. Likewise, if your feline friend struggles to settle during the lighter nights, playing with them a little longer before it’s time to sleep might help them feel calmer.

Home time

Dogs who expect pet parents to return from work at the same time every day may end up suffering separation anxiety when the clocks change, if nobody’s home ‘on time’. Visit our article about separation anxiety in dogs for further information and handy hints on how to help your canine companion feel better. 

For extra support to help your dog or cat as the clocks change, speak to a vet at any time, from anywhere, through the Joii Pet Care app!

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