As the pandemic continues to affect our nation, more people are staying home to reduce the spread. Now that you have more time on your hands, you have decided that it is the perfect time to adopt a furry friend. However, the “new normal” we are living in has affected the way we raise a puppy, so here are three tips on how to successfully raise a furry friend during a global pandemic.

1. Get your pet adjusted to being alone.

If you have been home all the time, your pet is used to getting lots of attention. However, what happens when you begin leaving your home more often? This change from being surrounded by people all the time and then being alone could lead to separation anxiety for your pup.

To help this, you should practice leaving your dog at home alone a few times a week for short periods to make sure they adjust to this lifestyle. Dr. Doug says that you should work in a separate room away from your puppy so that they know you are in the house but can still adjust to being alone. Also, leaving the house for short periods to go for a short walk or a drive can be beneficial. This way, the little guy or girl will be fully alone but you will not be gone for long. These tips will help when you begin to leave the house more often.

2. Safely socialize your pets.

Puppies need to learn how to socialize with other dogs while adjusting to both new sounds and surroundings. Unfortunately, limiting social interaction between humans also leads to less interaction between pets. To keep yourself safe but still help your puppy adjust, Dr. Brooke suggests that you play YouTube videos with noises that you normally hear daily, such as a bus, a car, or a plane. Another option is to sit in a park away from others with a mask on and let your puppy watch the surroundings to get used to being outside of the home. Also, if you have neighbors or family members with dogs, you could introduce the pets to one another while you and the other people stay six feet from each other. All of these little activities should help your puppy feel safe around other dogs and comfortable when they enter new surroundings.

3. Create a routine.

Dogs are very routine animals and they need a set schedule to keep them content. Dr. Jordan says that even if your schedule has changed because of COVID-19, try to keep your puppy on the same schedule you had before the pandemic. Schedule times that your puppy will wake up, eat, play, nap, and go to bed. Make going on walks or getting outside a routine activity as well, as this can help you to get outside more and the puppy to know when he or she can use the bathroom. If this schedule is changed drastically after quarantine, this might cause some confusion from your pet and more accidents in the house. Trying to keep the schedule as similar to how it will be in the upcoming six months or so will help your fur-baby adjust to his/her new life in your happy home.

All in all, adopting a puppy is such an exciting change in your life. It is not easy to raise a puppy but with these three tips, your pup will feel ready to take on the world. Enjoy this time at home with your fur-baby and contact us at AHOM with any questions!