We’re all spending more time at home these days and with the nicer weather on its way, you might be thinking there’s no better time to grow your family by four furry feet.
While the extra time at home means more availability to work on training, house breaking, socializing and cuddling, there are other considerations that puppy parents-to-be should keep in mind during COVID-19.
Puppy Ownership in the New Normal: The Pros
Besides the obvious unconditional love and companionship, there are a number of reasons why COVID-19 might be an opportune time to bring home a new puppy.
- Home training. Now’s the perfect time to house break your new pup, get their training in check, work on socialization, and of course, fit in lots of snuggles!
- Adjustment monitoring. All your extra time at home means you’ll be able to dedicate your attention to monitoring your puppy’s adjustment to their new surroundings. It’s also a great time to develop a well-structured routine with your dog.
- Outdoor training. Now that the weather is warming up, you and your puppy will be able to spend more time in the great outdoors. This is an added bonus when it comes to leash and potty training.
- Less time in the crate. Since you’re able to supervise your pup, less time in the crate is a great way to help your puppy adjust and gain some independence. Be sure to keep boundaries in place (even when those puppy dog eyes are looking up at you…. Stay strong!)
Puppy Ownership in the New Normal: The Cons
And along with the pros of a #COVIDPuppy, there are also cons. Be mindful of some of these less-desirable aspects of bringing home a puppy during a pandemic:
- Added public exposure. You’ll need to bring your puppy to the vet, make trips to the store for dog food, and potentially cross paths with a lot of people as you step outside for potty breaks depending on your living situation. Are these risks you’re willing to take?
- Increased separation anxiety. Although it may not feel like it, this pandemic won’t last forever. Your puppy will get used to having your around and once you go back to work, it’s going to be challenging for them to adjust!
- Limited socialization. Socialization is an important part of puppy life in order to raise a dog that’s comfortable around others and in public settings. If you’d like your dog to be relaxed around other dogs and strangers, you need to consider how physical distance guidelines will compromise that.
- Financial responsibility. It’s no secret that our economy is suffering. There is lots of uncertainty about many jobs and paychecks. Will you be able to afford the additional costs that come with puppy ownership? Consider the initial output of money, your vet bills, food, and more, plus – what about unanticipated health expenses?
- Distraction from work. If you’re working from home, be mindful of the attention and supervision that your pup will require. Puppies are like toddlers – they get into everything, and they’ll definitely pull you away from your work at inconvenient times.
- Grooming requirements. Are you comfortable clipping nails, trimming facial fur, or cleaning ears on your wiggly pup? It might sound easy, but that’s not always the case depending on your dog’s breed and temperament. The last thing you want is a grooming accident that lands you at the vet!
Puppies can bring us so much joy and comfort – something we could all use more of! – but please “paws and reflect” before becoming a puppy parent during this uncertain time. We want to make sure that all puppies have a forever home when they’re added to a family.
If you do decide to take the plunge into puppy ownership during this time, be sure to continue to practice physical distancing while you’re outside with your pup, stay on top of vet visits, make sure your puppy has some alone time to help with socialization, and take advantage of all this extra training – and cuddling! – time.