COVID-19 is an unfortunate event in history, that’s for sure. But on the flip side, it brought a spike in canine companionship among families. More dogs have found new homes, fewer are left at shelters, and more families happily added new members to their families.
Shelter Animals Count has tracked shelter, rescue activity and adoption rates in 500 organizations across the country during the pandemic. And their database says that there are 26,000 more pet adoptions in 2020 than in the previous year. In figures, that’s 15% higher than in 2019.
So if you’re considering to adopt in 2021, here are 10 tips to raising a happy, healthy and friendly dog.
Start off with basic training. Teach basic cues like sit, stay and lie down.
We know it’s obvious, a puppy’s nutritional needs are a lot different from an adult dog. Puppies need easily-digestible protein for muscle growth; fatty acids like Omega-3 for brain development and eye vision. Carbs and veggies are must-haves, too!
Dogs thrive on routines. As a dog parent, you need to introduce a routine to your pup, so they know what to do each day and when to expect it. Create a schedule for their mealtimes, regular walks, play times, and other daily tasks.
Every single fur parent knows this is quite challenging. You need a high dose of patience and a little bit of sacrifice for the first two weeks. Take your pup outside more often, find the perfect spot, and give some treats every time they eliminate outdoors.
Just like humans, dogs need to socialize. If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, being connected and interacting with You can’t keep your pup inside your house forever (or until the pandemic is over). You need to introduce your new furbaby to sounds and smells they might not be used to yet.
And then, start familiarizing your dog with other dogs and humans. Make sure they become friends or playmates, at least.
Pups need regular vet visits. These visits can consist of health checks, vaccinations, and the like. Their first encounter can be quite intimidating for them, so you need a lot of treats and positive reinforcement to cheer them up.
Some breeds are high-maintenance. Others need regular grooming. If your pup fits any of these two qualities, then you have to prepare your furbaby for its first grooming sesh. It doesn’t have to be a total makeover. Just schedule a special first-time sesh where your dog gets familiar with trimming, cutting and brushing.
Dogs and humans are inseparable, but there have to be some boundaries. Remember, both of you need personal space. And crate training can help you with that. This also allows your pup to find a comfortable, quiet and safe place for sleeping and relaxing.
Once your pup is ready to go out for walks, make them wear a collar with a tag that includes your name, number and address. This will keep your furbaby safe and sound in case the unthinkable happens.
SepAnx is common among puppies, but it shouldn’t be the norm. No fur parent likes to hear their dog cry. So you can start off slow by leaving and arriving several times. Build this up, and tie this in with crate training. Crate training helps them to be calm and steady whenever you’re not in their sight.
Bringing home a new puppy is fun and exciting. But, it can also be challenging during the first few days and weeks. With these tips, you can make little progress and help your pup become the lovely, healthy and well-behaved dog you want them to be!