The pandemic has been a time when most people have had the privilege of staying back home for work for months. This is the main reason why many dog lovers have adopted a puppy, including me.
Well, my Misty came into my life when I needed emotional support, and she needed a house, as her original owners refused to adopt her. It was a match made in heaven.
While I enjoyed spending months together without leaving her alone at home when I go to work, now, as my office has just restarted, I find it tough to leave her alone.
I am sure I am not the only one, as many homes have adopted pets during the pandemic time. Well, my puppy was born during the pandemic, so she has had to deal with the consequences too.
As things are getting back to normal, my puppy finds it hard to cope with the everyday world. I have listed a few of the issues I am facing with her and how I am dealing with them. I am mentioning it pandemic challenges for dogs.
1. Dogs Become Too Clingy
For the most part of my dog’s life, she has been in the same room as me. It is because I work from home, and she likes to hang around. I have a Labradoodle, and it seems like she has more traits of a labrador retriever, which is why she has to be around me always.
In fact, in the initial few months, she would follow me to the bathroom too, and if I closed the door, she would start yelping. Thanks to information received from doodle dog website which helped me understand the temperament of my doodle pet.
Dogs are generally clingy as they are pack animals who need to stick together with you- the pack leader.
It is tough to get this habit out of them, but you can start by isolating yourself slowly by closing the room’s door for a few minutes and increasing the duration.
This will teach them to give you privacy when you need it. Also, as your dog grows older, they may need their independence too, so it would be easier to deal with the dog.
2. They Showcase High Separation Anxiety
When I find it tough to leave my dog in one room while I sit in another, I cannot imagine leaving her home alone for a few hours when I go to my office. She has been really anxious when I leave her home alone, so I wondered how she would hold up in my absence.
For starters, I got a video camera with a two-way speaker to communicate with her when I am not around. Also, I had to keep an eye on her the entire time I was away.
Second, I started leaving her alone, gradually withdrawing from 15 minutes to 5 hours.
When I am about to leave, I give her a long-lasting treat so that she is calm as I am leaving the house. Also, I keep her busy placing toys in the house that are safe for her to play with.
3. They Find It Hard to Socialize with Other Humans
Okay, the initial months of owning a puppy are challenging as you need to discipline and train them. This is the phase where your puppy needs you the most.
The best part of being a pandemic dog parent is that I was always available for my puppy when she needed me during those challenging months. I took a lot of time to train her every week.
In fact, I had to leash train her myself and was confident about it till we actually took her on her first vacation after she turned 10 months old. Honestly, I would have loved to take her on vacations much earlier, but the pandemic restrictions did not let that happen.
This was the first time I realized that my puppy did well with all her training lessons at home and in my area. As she was in a new environment, she just got so anxious that she would not listen much to my commands. She pulled the leash so badly that my hands started to hurt.
This is very common when your dog has not socialized much. The only solution is to take your dog out more and more now to ensure that they understand it is okay to go to a new place and meet new people. Encourage your dog’s positivity with lots of treats to behave, and eventually, she will calm down.
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4. They are Scared to Play with Other Pets
I would love to adopt another dog someday, but as of now, I have wanted to enjoy socializing my dog with other pet dogs. Sadly, most dog parks were not open during the pandemic challenges, which means when my dog was a puppy, she did not closely meet any other dog.
In fact, my society does not have many pet dogs, so she has never learned how to play with other dogs. When I started taking her to a dog park, she was so scared that she ran away from every other dog.
If your pet is also scared of socializing with other dogs, start by taking your dog to the park when it is empty. This will help her to find loads of sniffing time so that she gets familiarized with the place. Do this a few times before you introduce her to other dogs.
It will take some time, but slowly, your dog will start enjoying meeting her buddy with every visit.
The Bottom Line
Honestly, the pandemic is not over yet, which only means there are still some challenges your dog will face. You need to be sensitive about what your pet is going through and be patient with them. Scolding them is not going to help.
Instead, it will make them more and more anxious. Better deal with them calmly and patiently as they catch your energy very quickly and respond to that.
On top of that, not everything is bad about owning a pandemic pet of course as when could you find so much time to get love licks by your beloved furry friend?
His professional interests include humane education, ethics, small animal behavior, and veterinary. As a pet lover from school life, having grown up with two cats and a dog. If he isn’t spending time with his friends and family, Justin enjoys traveling. Learn more about Justin here.