Pandemic Puppies

By Emily Troeltzsch

The pandemic puppy is a developing type of pet. The allure of a furry friend to spend lockdown with is clear. However, many people adopting puppies right now may not fully consider what adopting a puppy really entails. While getting a puppy can be a great thing to do right now it is essential to think through all the implications first. Clearly, there is the monetary commitment, but there is also a host of consideration for what happens after things reopen and you go back to work. Will the puppy be lonely? Will you have the time to take care of it? How are you going to get your puppy accustomed to other dogs and the sounds of the world?

A key point to consider is whether you were considering getting a puppy before the lockdowns began. If you were, this could be a great time to get a puppy because you already have some idea of what you’re getting yourself into and the puppy you were thinking of getting would fit into your “normal” lifestyle. If you weren’t considering getting a puppy and are now concerned you might not be ready to adopt a pandemic puppy, look into fostering! Many shelters need foster puppy parents to help puppies socialize and free up some space. This allows you to practice taking care of a puppy without the future commitment for its entire life.

If a puppy does fit into your post pandemic lifestyle, you’ll want to look at the logistics of adopting. Adopting a puppy gives you the responsibility to care for it which includes giving it a safe happy place to live. Does where you live allow pets? Will your puppy be able to go outside regularly? Questions along these lines are some of the most important in determining if you should adopt a puppy.

Additionally, puppies are expensive both during adoption and also throughout their lives. Make sure to consider the adoption costs and other costs needed to welcome your puppy home. Most puppies will need vaccines, a checkup, food, a bed, possibly a crate, and the other costs of adopting including potentially paying a pet deposit for where you live. Once these have been paid it is generally a good idea to get pet insurance and to take your puppy to the vet for regular check-ups on top of puppy emergencies. Puppy emergencies happen more frequently than expected due to puppies’ penchant for getting into things they shouldn’t.

Later on, down the road, can you pay for an older dogs’ medical bills? What about all of the food costs throughout its life? These are things you will have to pay to give your dog a good home so it’s essential to be prepared for them. If you’ve thought through all of these things and think you can handle a pandemic puppy during and after the lockdowns, go for it!

Here are some tips for giving it a happy and fulfilling puppyhood.

  • Have a set schedule that matches what it would be in a not locked down world (let the puppy get used to being alone for working hours)
  • Keep hellos and goodbyes lowkey so when you do go back to work it isn’t a dramatic moment every morning
  • Sit outside with your puppy to let it get a sense for the world outside
  • Let your puppy explore all the things you have in your home (the weirder the better, think things that move or make strange sounds)
  • Build them an obstacle course to get used to walking on things that aren’t smooth floors
  • Take your puppy on car rides
  • Play them soundtracks of various “real world” sounds so they aren’t surprised to really hear those same sounds
  • Focus on training now while you have the time
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