With remote work, virtual schooling, and any type of social life or outdoor activities canceled, many people have fallen for the cuteness and comfort of a furry friend during these especially trying months. But a new puppy isn’t just a cuddly quarantine buddy. In addition to cleaning up their messes, you’ll need to make sure your pup sees a vet, start training them, and help them overcome separation anxiety before you return to work.
If you’ve recently become (or are planning to become) the owner of a pandemic puppy, here is everything you need to know to make sure you and your puppy are ready for the long-haul together.
Schedule a socially-distanced vet visit
With lockdowns and stay-at-home orders in place across the country, many new dog owners have put off bringing their new pup to the vet for their first annual check-up and set of vaccinations. However, vaccinations, check-ups, and medications are essential to your dog’s health. Because of this, many veterinary practices have continued to provide regular services through telehealth platforms or curbside appointments to ensure the safety of pets and their owners.
During a curbside appointment, you’ll call the front desk when you arrive, and the staff will come outside to retrieve your pet. Next, your vet will examine your dog and call you to discuss the results. When your pup is ready to come home, the staff will bring your pet straight to your vehicle.
Start training right away
For new dog owners, the initial training period can be a lot of work. Training should begin as soon as you bring your dog home and preferably through positive reinforcement training tactics, which reward your pup with treats or toys when they do what you want.
New dog owners should also consider crate training their puppies to create a safe place to put them in the absence of supervision. To start, train your puppy to stay in their crate for short sessions. Encourage your puppy to feel more comfortable by offering them treats and keeping them crated with family members at home. You can then gradually practice leaving them alone and keeping them crated overnight. Just be sure to calculate in bathroom breaks.
Although you might be spending most of your time home right now, creating a safe environment for your pup will be especially important when you return to work and your children go back to school.
Prevent a bad case of separation anxiety
One of the main problems with pandemic puppies is that they become too bonded to their owners. Our pets are the focus of the family, and this is especially true in the face of stay-at-home orders. While most puppies are used to seeing people come and go throughout the day or even spending time home alone, pandemic puppies are always by our sides.
As we readjust to our routines, our dogs are left to spend time without us for hours, sometimes for the first time in their lives. To prevent separation anxiety, early-life socialization during the first 6–16 weeks is essential. Enlisting the help of reputable doggy daycares, experienced dog walkers, and dog training schools can help entertain and socialize your dog as you return to work.
Although the timeline of a return to normalcy remains uncertain, new dog owners should be mindful that adopting a new puppy is not a way to alleviate boredom. Dogs are a long-term responsibility, and you’ll need to work with your new dog, help them socialize, and schedule an appointment with your vet to ensure they live a happy, healthy life.
Professional equipment for veterinarians
At TriStar Vet, we design and manufacture equipment to match the unique needs of veterinarians. If you own a vet clinic and are looking for a veterinary exam table, grooming tub, kennels, feline scales, veterinary scales, or other specialized equipment, shop our products to find your perfect fit.