Getting a puppy is a big, life altering decision any time, but with all the Covid restrictions that seem to change daily, there are a few more considerations a new puppy parent should keep in mind before making the big decision.
First let’s talk about the positive reasons to bring a new family member home during Covid. As you are home, you will have more time to facilitate the house breaking process. Everyone is home, so everyone can help with the puppy. More people at home, means quicker family socialization. Bonding with the family will happen quicker. And for the human members of the pack, a puppy or a full-grown dog can be soothing, great for helping with anxiety and promotes daily exercise. Sounds great, right? What about the special challenges that will arise during this Covid time?
Socializing your new pup or dog with other members of the canine universe can be a challenge. Some breeders are keeping their puppies a bit longer to help facilitate this. This way the pup has a longer time with other young dogs, maybe their litter mates and maybe others, as well as other adult dogs beside their mom. You may be able to find some socially distancing friends who have just brought new members into their packs or have a well-established, well- behaved pack member you can visit. By now most of us have expanded our initially isolated group. Hopefully, this expanded group contains someone with a puppy or well-behaved dog, and a fenced in yard that you can borrow for some socialization.
How does one take the puppy to the vet for its vaccinations and early exams? Veterinarians are essential. That means they are, and have been, open for business. Your puppy should have the same schedule during Covid times as it would pre or post Covid. It is quite simple. You make the appointments according to your vet’s recommendations. You bring the pup to the vet’s office parking lot. A member of the staff comes out to your car and brings the pup into the office for the appointment. Afterwards, the staff will report what they did, how your baby behaved, and what is next. This actuallyworks better for some folks who get nervous taking their pet to the vet, and if that is the case, it works better for the pup, who won’t react to his mom’s less than positive vibe.
You don’t want to raise a puppy that has separation anxiety, which could happen if you are never separated from your pup. Prepare your pet by making sure he will be OK alone, even for short periods of time, from the beginning. Put your pup in his space, which is where he should be sleeping and eating. And then leave him alone, maybe with some entertaining toys or a snack for distraction at the beginning. Later these distractions won’t be necessary. Don’t think just going into the next room with the door shut is sufficient. Your new family member has a dog’s nose! You, and everyone else in the house, needs to leave the house, so the pup is alone. Doesn’t have to be a long time, but long enough so the pup realizes he is OK alone, by himself.
While there are some things that are different when bringing a puppy into your household during these Covid times, they are all things that can be overcome without a huge amount of extra work. Certainly not trouble enough not to go ahead and bring that K9 addition into your household! Get adopting!