Let’s face it: we’re in unprecedented times right now. States are on lock-down. School years have ended early. Businesses are either closed or operating at very limited capacity. You’re not supposed to leave your house and working from home is the new normal. All the extra time at home may have you thinking, “Wow, now would be a great time to get a puppy!” But let’s take a closer look at everything that goes into raising a puppy.
Look, we get it! Puppies are amazing and wonderful and everything that is good in the world. But they’re more than just a cute face, and a lot of what goes into raising a well-rounded puppy may be hindered by the current state of COVID-19 in the world.
As you already know, veterinary offices are currently operating at bare minimum requirements in terms of staff and the appointments they are allowed to see. This may be problematic for puppies, as they require a series of monthly vaccinations to be properly protected against disease. Puppies may also need to see a veterinarian for any myriad of reasons. Whether it be gastrointestinal upset, injuries, ingestion of foreign objects, the list could go on and on. Surgeries like spays and neuters have been deemed non-essential in an effort to conserve medical supplies and personal protection equipment. You must also take into consideration the added exposure you are receiving as you take your puppy to and from the vet, as well as the exposure to the staff as they care for your puppy.
There are also behavioral aspects of raising a puppy that should be examined during these specific circumstances. Puppies require socialization, and lots of it! Improper socialization can result in fearful, shy, and (hopefully not but it does happen) aggressive dogs down the line. Ideally your puppy should be exposed to as many different things as possible! Big humans, small humans, men, women, beards, glasses, strange and loud noises, other dogs! It’s difficult to teach your puppy these things are ok when social distancing is touted as the #1 way to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Plus, it may seem counter-intuitive, but being able to spend all your time with your puppy right now may not be a good thing. What happens when things calm down and you return to work and life returns to (semi)normal? Whether that’s weeks or months from now, your pup will be accustomed to having you around 24/7. They may not take the change in what they consider their “normal” routine lightly and could develop/exhibit separation anxiety.
For those that do currently have a young pup during this COVID-19 pandemic, there are some things you can do and should be aware of. It is advisable to have your pup spend some time alone each day. Set them up for a nice nap in their crate that is away in another room. Practice being away from each other. And while it may be tempting to bring them on every walk with you, they should stay home until they are fully vaccinated. Having to hospitalize your puppy with parvovirus is an added stress that can be easily avoided.
So if the idea of “Let’s get a quarantine puppy!” comes up, you obviously have to do what is best for your family and your circumstances. We are not here to say what is right and what is wrong, only to bring up some thoughtful points. Don’t get us wrong, we love puppies! And, as always, we will continue to do our part in keeping your pup in great health for a long life ahead.
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4268 Three Mile NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:30 am to 6:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 8:30 am to 6:00 pm
After hour emergency consultations are available to clients of record until 10:00 pm. Our main line will direct to the doctor on call.