Have you ever had jet lag when traveling across time zones? I sure have when we took an 18-hour flight and lost a whole day. It is not a pleasant feeling. But do dogs get jet lag as we do? You bet they do! And even for your fur baby, jet lag is not a pleasant experience.
The last thing you want is for your dog to feel lousy on your vacation. With years of travel experience flying and having a dog that is part of my family, I am here to share with you how to help your dog. No matter is it is a little dog or a big one these tips will make all the difference.
Together, let’s explore how jetlag affects your dog and how you can help.
Do Dogs Get Jet Lag
The answer is a resounding yes, especially when traveling internationally. There may be instances of odd sleep patterns, extended wakefulness, and an increased appetite.
The circadian rhythm affects both you and your dog, so changes to time zones may lead to jet lag symptoms. Additionally, this can disrupt daily activities such as their sleep and dietary habits.
Why do dogs get jet lag? Dogs, like humans, follow specific sleep cycles based on a circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms are behavioral, mental, and physical changes that follow a 24-hour cycle, meaning you sleep, wake up, and eat at a particular time.
So, you must adjust your routine when traveling in an entirely different time zone. For example, most people are getting ready for bed at 10 p.m., but if you cross a time zone, say from the USA to the Philippines, you gain 13 hours. So, just about the time you are heading to bed for your regular sleep schedule at home, you are facing the sun in the Philipines.
Your puppy dog’s canine sleep patterns are no different than yours. However, you may need to gradually acclimate your pet’s routine to the new time zone before the flight to minimize jet lag effects upon arrival.
Pet Jet Lag Symptoms
How do dogs get jet lag? Do they know that they are traveling by air?
Flying is not always easy for pets due to unfamiliar surroundings. For example, your pet may not routinely have loud noises, bright lights, changes in air pressure, cabin temperature, and restricted movement. Changes like these can cause a pet to feel off during the flight.
Do dogs get jet lag after a long-haul flight? Yes, they do. And even if you have made some routine adjustments like nap times and eating times before the flight, your pup will still show some symptoms of jet lag like:
- Overly sleepy despite having numerous naps during the day.
- He wakes up at odd hours and expects to have a meal.
- Disoriented – having more accidents than usual.
- Lethargic – slow reactions and lack of interest in playing
- Displaying signs of separation anxiety.
How Long Do Jet Lag Effects Last For Your Pet?
Do dogs get jet lag or have signs of jet lag for a long time, or is it short-lived?
Jet lag effects should last only a day or two for you and your pup. If the jet lag symptoms extend for more than 2 or 3 days, there might be other reasons for the behavior. A visit to the vet may be necessary.
What To Do When Dogs Get Jet Lag – Creative Recovery Tips
When asking, “Do dogs get jet lag,” it is also necessary to talk about tips to help recover.
While there is no cure for jet lag, pet parents can help alleviate the jet lag symptoms. You don’t have to wait two days for the pet jet lag symptoms to disappear. To help your fur baby recover from jet lag, try these tips.
Observe And Monitor Upon Arrival
Do you have to go straight to your itinerary upon arrival? It will help if you allow your pet time to adjust to the new environment. Monitor his behavior to see if the jet lag symptoms are setting in. If your pup seems hungry and thirsty, and you ask, “Do dogs get jetlag?” please note it is helpful to feed your dog small amounts after you land.
Spend time loving your dog to reassure them that their feeling off is okay and you are there for them.
Sunlight And Exercise Will Help With Do Dogs Get Jet Lag
A little exercise can also work wonders for your fur baby. Even when your pet pup feels sluggish, take him to a park or a garden where he can get as much sunlight as possible.
Your dog may be a bit confused, but exposure to sunlight can help him adjust to the idea that it is daytime and, therefore, time to be active instead of sleeping.
Hydrate And Feed
Do dogs get jet lag worse if they don’t drink or eat properly?
After a flight, your pet may want to eat or drink later. Allow your dog some time to rest and adjust, then provide plenty of water to help your baby rehydrate and recover from jet lag.
When asking, “Do dogs get jet lagged?” we recommend you feed your dog the same food that he usually has at home. Only introduce new food after he has adapted to his new environment following the flight.
Keep The Environment Familiar And Comfortable
You can’t ask, do dogs get jet lag and not do anything to give them a sense of familiarity in a new environment? So instead, stick to the usual routine of sleeping, waking up, and eating in the new time zone.
Encourage his comfort in his new spot by adding familiar items from home. In addition, encourage exploration of the surrounding area to help him become familiar with the environment.
When aiding in your pet’s jet lag recovery, monitor any changes in the symptoms. Then, carry out their usual routine and assess if your dog has adapted to the new time zone.
FAQs – Do Dogs Get Jet Lag
Here are some frequently asked questions about do dogs get jet lag.
What can you do to help with jet lag?
To reduce the impact of jet lag on your pet, you can slowly alter their routine to emulate the time zone of your destination a few days before the flight. Changing their feeding time to half an hour, an hour earlier, or later than usual and adjusting other activities accordingly.
Is flying traumatic for dogs?
Flying with your dog can be a stressful experience, as it involves a new environment for your pet. Therefore, be mindful of any potential behavioral changes to ensure your and your dog’s safety and well-being.
Can dogs get jet lag?
Dogs may have varying levels of difficulty with air travel; however, acclimating your dog to the destination time zone before travel may reduce jet lag.
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Jet lag for your dog is real, just as it is for you. So prepare your pet for the flight, be supportive, and follow the suggestions above to relieve the stress of jet lag.
Most importantly, be there for your fur baby, show them love, and make only a few changes to make it easier for your dog. Keep as much routine as possible.
Happy travels, my friends.
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