For many homebound people, a pandemic puppy is a real response to the global health crisis – for good reason. Most of us have more time on our hands than ever before, and combating loneliness and despair has never been this challenging. 

Adopting or fostering during this time helps people cope with high blood pressure, stress, fear, and isolation. But how can you socialize your dog when everyone is keeping their distance?

New Trend

Since March, a record number of pets have been fostered or adopted. These animals have been spared long months of waiting, and their new owners achieved a dynamic that provided a sense of normalcy in this turbulent, unpredictable time. Pets and their people are enjoying the benefits of cohabitation like never before.

Supporting Positive Behaviors

There could be a downside to this current paradigm. Newly adopted or fostered dogs might get the impression that normal life is quarantine life. At some point, hopefully, we’ll all get back to our previous routines, and our pets may have difficulty accepting new schedules.

Socialize Your Dog

Life feels inexorably different right now, and the usual methods of training may not be entirely possible. But socializing must remain a huge priority, in any capacity.

Preventing unwanted behaviors is easier through experiential opportunities that establish and support long term confidence. 

A Well Adjusted Pup

Taking advantage of this time with your dog can help them grow into a well-adjusted, relaxed, and easygoing adult adult. 

The most impressionable age of a puppy is between 7-16 weeks old. During this time, they should be calmly introduced to as many sights, sounds, smells, and environments as possible. Please socialize your dog only when and where it is safely appropriate. 

Without ample opportunities to learn about the world dogs can develop certain behavioral problems, such as aggression or separation anxiety. Start small with the following suggestions:

  • Try on all sorts of accessories to get them accustomed to sunglasses, hats, coats, and more. You could even get your Halloween costumes out a bit early!
  • Give them a chance to walk on, sniff, and even sample various textures.
  • Introduce them to household appliances, like the blender, vacuum, lawn mower, hair dryer, and anything else that makes a jarring, loud noise.
  • Present them with lots of different smells.
  • Play certain recordings for them, like crowds, laughter, thunderstorms, fireworks, and anything else that you think your dog may experience in the future.

Keep It Short, Sweet, and Safe

You don’t have to go far in order to socialize your dog. Simply sit on your front porch or driveway and watch the world go by. Reassure them when trucks, cars, bikes or people whiz past. Use the opportunity to train them on their leash, and start with simple commands.

Getting Out and About

If your dog is over the age of 4 months old and fully vaccinated, take them out and about with you. As more and more stores and public places begin to open, be cautiously open to socializing your dog if conditions are safe. We recommend following all the proper health protocols, such as wearing masks, sanitizing, and remaining 6 feet apart from others.

Always Here For You

If you have further questions or concerns about how to safely socialize your dog during COVID-19, we’re here for you Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital.