Puppies in the Time of Covid

Many people have decided to adopt a new pup while sheltering in place during the Covid Pandemic.

Well, why not? In a lot of households, both parents and children are home so everyone can help care for the pup. It’s a great time to teach kids about responsibility and caring for another living being. It’s also great exposure and fun for your pup. Dogs and pups are great fun but also require a lot of care. Before you run out to your local shelter or breeder, make sure you are prepared for exactly what having a new puppy en-TAILS.

Your pup will need to be seen by a veterinarian.

New puppies need immunizations and/or other medicines and may initially require frequent vet visits. Some breeders and/or shelters require the pup to be neutered. Neutering is generally a good practice if you don’t plan to breed the pup later on. Usually after the first year, a healthy dog needs only yearly vet visits, barring any unforeseen injuries or illnesses.

Pups also need to be properly trained and socialized.

A well-behaved and socialized dog will not be fearful of people, or other dogs. He’ll be friendly and happy to meet new friends without jumping on them or otherwise being naughty. Unfortunately, this does not happen overnight. It’s important to train and socialize your pup right from get-go. Training may be offered in group classes at your local pet store or by having a trainer come to your home. Group classes also give your pup the opportunity to meet other pups, thus allowing socialization. Your vet should be able to help you choose the best training scenario.

Where should your pup sleep?

The new pup will need things at home too. Your pup needs a place to sleep like a crate with a bed, toys to play with, a leash, collar, harness, food and treats. That’s for starters anyway. Of course, some dog owners like their pups to dress for the occasion and may want to buy him a complete wardrobe. That’s an individual choice and not really a necessity!

A crate can be an excellent training implement for your pup and, if introduced correctly, become a safe haven for him as well. Some pups have no problems adapting to a new home and whatever activity goes on there. Others may take time to acclimate to their new life, especially older rescues. It’s good for these pups to have a safe, secure place to retreat if he’s feeling overwhelmed by his new living situation. 

The crate should be only large enough for your pup to be able to stand, turn around and lie down comfortably. It does not need to be nor should it be the size of the Taj Mahal. It’s ok to buy a crate large enough to accommodate your pup when he’s full-grown. Some large crates come with dividers that can be moved as the pup grows bigger. Otherwise, boxes can be placed inside the crate to fill up extra space while the puppy is small.

Your pup may appreciate a nice cozy bed in his crate, as long it’s for sleeping and not eating! Dogs have been known to chew up the bed while left in the crate if bored or scared. It may take a while to find what works best for you and your pup. Sturdy toys like Kongs and/or Nylabones are great as they help the pup when teething and help him pass the time if crated. Also, by introducing the proper chew toys to a pup, he will be less inclined to chew on your new shoes or the tv remote. Treats are a great way to coax a pup into the crate if he does not want to go willingly. They are also a great way to reward a good pup for going potty outside and/or following a command.  

Potty training your pup!

Potty-training is another practice to start right off the bat. This is how a crate can be useful. Pups need to be let out every 2-3 hours to relieve themselves. Usually, a pup will not poop where he sleeps so keeping him in the crate until he can be let out will help him learn to hold his business until he is let outside. It is important to be consistent and follow the same routine all day, every day. It’s also important to be persistent and not give up when the going gets tough, and it may!

Walking your pup!

A pup should be taught how to walk on a leash at an early age too. A leash is a very important tool to use with new puppies. In some cases, a harness may be necessary as well. Even if you are in your backyard with your pup, put a leash on him and walk him around so he gets used to it. All dogs in Milton need to be on a leash when off the owner’s property. Initially, the leash-walks may be short and sweet. In time though, your pup will love to go for walkies and will come to appreciate the meaning of the leash when you show it to him.

With a lot of patience, persistence and love, your new pup will be the “bestest doggie in the world.” It may be hard work, but the reward of having a loving, well-trained best friend is so worth the effort! 

We can help!

Our team of experienced dog-walkers are ready to help get your pup into an exercise routine that fits everyone’s schedules. Call now and get $100 of your first month of dog-walking services.



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