Do Dogs Comprehend Time


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Many pet owners claim that their pets can accurately tell the time. This ability shows when it is time for dinner or taking a walk. Your dog instinctively knows your time of coming home from a long day at the office. It may seem to a pet owner that dogs have a hidden watch which they surreptitiously read. Animal behaviorists claim that not only dogs, all other animals know the time of the day.

Being aware of time

A research done by the University of Western Ontario found ample evidence of different animals being acutely aware of time. This is the reason a dog visits its feeding place at the exact same time every day. They can also measure short intervals of time if an external stimulation is present. Street dogs are found to hover near restaurant dustbins a few minutes after office lunchtime ends. Domestic pets have the same ability. Cats can tell the difference between five and 10 seconds along with any other time intervals. It means your kitty has an extremely sensitive internal clock which can accurately assess the events' duration. The same instinct makes your dog greet you more effusively when you return home later than the usual time.

Scientists have a number of ideas on how dogs can tell the time. Animals have an internal clock named the circadian rhythm. It is an approximation of the 24-hour cycle in psychological processes which response to a number of cues like light and dark cycles. It is believed that dogs track time following this cycle where a physiological state is connected with a specific event. This is how your dog knows that it is time for dinner.

Markers for time

There is another theory too. Many scientists believe dogs and other animals utilize daily markers to know the time. One good example is the position of the sun in the sky. There is also ample evidence that dogs pick up a number of social cues which gives them a hint of something to happen. Do remember that dogs observe everything around their midst for survival. These cues indicate to them that an event will happen in the immediate future.

Yet another research suggests that dogs may able actually to smell time in a sort of way. This happens as different smells are found in the house at different times of the day and the presence or absence of a specific scent helps it to track time. This becomes more acute when you feed it at a particular time every day. Your dog can then anticipate its meal times based on the food scent wafting around the house. If you come back from office and then give it food, your body scent itself becomes a time marker.

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