Can Dogs Tell Time?

east shore blog

Dogs know when it's a time for a meal, time for a walk, or time when you come back home. Their sense of time mainly focuses on daily activities and their favorite person, i.e. you. They most definitely can't tell what day of the month is, but they are sure when it is time to go to bed. But, how do dogs do that? And, can dogs tell time?

To answer these questions, veterinarians from Eastshore Vet, the best vet hospital in Madison, CT, explain it this way.

Dogs Lean on Circadian Rhythm to Tell Time

Like other animals, dogs may count on their biological clock orcircadian rhythm to determine when it's time to eat, sleep, or go for a walk.Circadian rhythm is an innate biological mechanism that depends on the cycles of the day-and-night cycle. It regulates body hormones and helps the body adjust to daily changes of temperature, humidity, light, and so on. It causes animals and people to sleep longer in winter and shorter in summer. 

According to canine experts, circadian rhythm may help dogs get a sense of time by affecting hormonal levels. When feeling certain hormonal changes, dogs may decide to take a nap. 

Dogs Use Their Sense of Smell to Detect Time

Canine researcher, Alexandra Horovitz, believes that dogs sense of smell helps them to tell time. The intensity of smell gives them a clue how long it has been passed when it's dropped from high to low. 

For example, to detect when you'll come back home, they wait until your body odor fades. When the concentration of the smell reaches a certain level, they know it's time for you to get back home. That might explain why your dog is glued to the window when you are just about to park your car at the end of your working day. 

Dogs Possess Neurons in Their Brains That Can Tell Time

A recent study, described in the journal Nature Neuroscience, has revealed that animals can count time intervals.Scientists have discovered a set of animal neurons that are in charge of counting time intervals between two events. Even though they experiment on mice, the results can be applied to other animals like dogs. 

Researchers have concluded that dogs may precisely determine time intervals, but only after they've been trained. To judge the time correctly, they need a specific challenge and guidance.

Whether or not your dog can tell time, he will always jump out of happiness when seeing you. And it is always a perfect opportunity to tell him how much you love him.

Read More Blogs


East Shore's Veterinary Hospital
50 N. Main St
Branford, CT 06405
Mon-Fri : Closed
Saturday : Closed
Sunday : Closed


East Shore's Animal Wellness Center
29 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT 06443
Monday : 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday : 9.00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday : 9:00am - 5:00pm
Friday : 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat-Sun : Closed
Copyright © 2020 East Shore's Veterinary Hospital. All rights reserved
Website by Cloud IT Guru