Can Dogs Understand the Concept of Time?

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Dogs are undoubtedly intelligent creature. But are they as intelligent as to have grasped the concept of time? Most dogs are aware of when it is dinner time, time for their walks, or time for their parents to get home. You’ll find them waiting on the threshold with tails wagging and hearts full. To expect you to return at the exact same time every day, your dog must know about the concept of time to some extent. Most animal species have a general sense of time.

In fact, most pets are sensitive to time. As you know, cats are really organized creatures who love routines and schedules. They’re creatures that experience a mini panic attack every time there’s even the smallest change in their routine. Dogs have come to expect walks and their food at certain times.

How can dogs keep track of their time?
Unlike humans, dogs don’t have day planers or watches that can keep track of time. So they rely on other methods. Animals have a built-in internal clock that tells them when they can expect certain things like the arrival of their owners and daily walks will happen. They also keep track of time using the day and night cycles. They watch as it gets light and then dark. These intelligent creatures obviously know that something is going on at some point when the light changes from bright, to dim, to none at all. That’s why when it’s a certain time in a day, they’ve come to associate it with dinner or a walk.

The reason behind why your dog is overly alert when you’re about to feed him might not be because he can actually keep track of time. It can just as easily be because he follows and understands social cues to some extent. Your dog is always waiting and watching so as soon as he sees you going into the kitchen, he’ll know that there’ll be treats coming his way.

Some people also believe that in a way, dogs can also smell time. Smells come and go during the day. Dogs have really strong olfactory senses and they can tell when something is going to happen or whether something has already happened through the absence and presence of different smells in the air throughout the day. They know when you’re coming back home based on the remnants of your smell from the time you left for work, and they know when food is coming because of how his food bowl smells when you’re about to feed him again.

While dogs are pretty good at associating different things to different times, they’re not as good with remembering important events that have happened on different days. That would take the help of technology we don’t have yet.

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