How Long is a Day for a Dog?
Has this ever happened to you: You came back from your work to find your pet dog deliriously happy – jumping up and down to welcome you to your humble abode. You looked at its excitement and wondered, “how long was I gone?”
But this isn’t the question that you should be asking yourself. Instead, you should be asking, “how long is a day for a dog?”
There is a reason that dogs excitedly react when they see their owners back at home from work. Your 9-5 cycle is a days-long period for your furry friends. Strange, no? If you’re under the impression that your 24 hours are the same as your dog’s, you are in for “a great revelation.”
A dog’s day consists of three hours and 27 minutes. It means that your 24-hour-long day is a total of seven days for your canine. And that is why your furry family member wags its tail and lets out joyful barks when it sees you back – you were gone for days!
Are you still finding it difficult to get the idea behind this time difference? Consider the Sci-Fi movies where a person goes to the space only to find that their child is older than them. How? Because while the time for the person moved at a snail’s pace, the time for the children at home moved relatively faster.
Now, apply the same logic to your pet. While the time for you moved slowly – or at its regular pace – the time in a dog’s life moved relatively faster. In a matter of months, your puppy transforms into an adult dog.
How to Understand Dogs’ Time
There is a concept called “circadian rhythm,” which will help you understand the concept of time in a dog’s life. This refers to certain behavioural, physical, and mental changes during a 24-hour-long cycle. For dogs, the cycle is much longer.
So, how does the dog perceive time? For humans, the concept of time is defined through hours and minutes. We know that an hour has 60 minutes. We know the difference between a quarter of an hour and a half hour. Dogs, however, don’t look at the time that way. They understand it through their physical needs. This is why many dog trainers tell pet parents to have a strict schedule for dogs and the one to which both the owners and dogs can strictly stick.
You may have noticed that whenever you are out for shorter periods, your dog isn’t as happy to see you back as it is when you’re out for longer set periods – for example, for work. It is because the dog has had made up its mind that you’d be gone for some time.
Understanding Your Dog’s Pattern
As we discussed above, your dog’s understanding of time is linked with its understanding of its daily patterns. It knows your schedule and has worked out its schedule according to it. And while it wouldn’t know “what time is it,” it would know that it is its time to “eat,” “play,” or “poo or pee.” And this is what the circadian rhythm means – getting to know about time through changes in behavioural patterns.
Another thing that is important to know about your dog is that it loves to live in “packs.” It means that they want to mimic the behaviour of their family members. If you have recently bought a new pet, you may have noticed that your dog is copying its schedule. This is because they love to do things together. It is an instinct of dogs to follow what their humans and fellow animals are doing. However, it doesn’t imply that your pet will always be ready to change its schedule.
Cause and Effect
Pet parents need to understand that many dogs don’t have the understanding of “cause and effect.” Imagine that your dog broke a vase when you are out at work. When you come back, you lash out at it. But for your dog, your anger is unjustified because apparently, you are scolding it for something that – for them – happened hours or days ago. To discipline your dog, you have to catch them in the act and then reprimand them accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long is one hour for a dog?
Ans: Your one hour is a dog’s seven hours. So, a dog’s one hour will be around 8.5 minutes in human life – yes, time “flies” when you are a pup! Similarly, a minute for a dog is 8.5 seconds – compare it with us humans, whose minute is 60 seconds long.
Q: What age is two in dog years?
Ans: Your two-year-old dog is at least 24 years in human years. It is not a toddler and has entered its “adult” life. And truly, your dogs grow up real fast!
Q: Why should I learn more about dog and human years?
Ans: Many parents consider human years when setting milestones for a dog. For them, a seven-year-old dog may not be “old.” Senior dogs require extreme care and attention from their humans. To provide a healthier life to your adorable pet, you should learn about its life cycle so that you’d know at what age they will require extra assistance.
Q: Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, I stayed home all the time. Now I am going back to work. Can I train my dog to change its schedule?
Ans: Initially, it will be difficult for the dog to be left alone. You can, however, train it with the help of professional trainers. If you adopted the dog during the lockdown days, you would have to “practice” leaving the dog alone for several hours to train it.
The Final Word
As you spend your day partly at work and at home, your pet has spent its life’s seven full days. Understanding your dog’s schedule is all the more essential if you want to train it to adapt to your schedule. If you are new pet parents, don’t worry! With time, you will learn more about your pet’s behavior and be able to work around its schedule accordingly.