Canine Companion: Does Your Dog Have A Sense Of Time?

Do you ever feel like your dog knows exactly what time it is?

It’s almost as if they’re able to read the clock. Maybe your dog wakes up the exact same time every day and wants to go out potty. Or, maybe he’s sitting at the window waiting for you to get home every day as if he was expecting you.

Recent studies have found dogs have something called Circadian rhythm. Three scientists (Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young) won the Nobel Prize in Physiology of Medicine for their work with the circadian rhythm.

Basically, the circadian rhythm is a biological clock.

The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour, 7-day per week deal.

And, as a side note, the circadian rhythm is important because it affects all sorts of health concerns including obesity, sleep disorders, depression, and/or diabetes.

This is also why both doctors and veterinarians recommend humans and dogs sleep in a completely quiet, dark environment.

If sleep is interrupted, your circadian rhythm could become unbalanced.

Sense of Smell

Research has also suggested there are certain smells that give off ‘cues’ to your dog regarding the time. For example, if your dog eats meals at certain times each day, her body will likely tell her she’s hungry right as it’s time to eat. She might even come up to you to remind you it’s dinner time.

Regarding your arrival from work, your smell slowly disappears throughout the day. Research suggests your dog may be able to guess when you’re on your way based on how your smell dissip

ates through the day.

Brain Activity and Dogs

Gregory Berns, a neuroscientist at Emory University, was the first scientist to train dogs to lie still in an MRI machine while he researched their brain activity.

His research has provided us with quite a bit of insight about how our dogs think.

He believes dogs have episodic memory, which is the ability to recall personal experiences that are the most influential in their life.

Regardless of Abilities

Regardless of how your dog processes, your dog misses you while you’re gone whether you’re out for 5 minutes or 5 hours.

If you’re worried about your dog while you’re gone, you may want to consider hiring a pet sitter to play with your dog at your home. Or, consider a dog walker to take your dog out a couple times each day so he’s able to continue to receive physical stimulation and some fun attention. As per usual, please feel free to send me any questions. And, ‘like’ my Facebook page to remain up-to-date on all articles at

Until next time.