According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), more than 23 million American households—which adds up to about 1 in 5 nationwide—adopted a pet during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the adoption of so many animals in need of loving homes should always be celebrated, animal adoption during the pandemic came with a unique set of challenges, many of which are only becoming obvious as pandemic restrictions begin to lift.
This article (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/01/07/covid-dogs-return-to-work/)from the Washington Post explains: “With many doggy daycares and boarding centers nationwide reporting months-long waiting lists — and newly adopted pets often lacking the socialization for boarding — pandemic pet owners are appealing to families, friends and businesses to ensure their dogs are living their best lives, or at least not spending the day alone. Veterinary practices report being slammed with appointment requests. Vet emergency rooms are warning of longer wait times.”
Why Socialization Is Important for Your Puppy
Most humans were unable to socialize with others in person, opting instead for virtual hangouts, phone calls, video calls, and socially distanced meetups. Many of us felt the strain—and so did our dogs.
Puppies go through a crucial period of development in their first few weeks and months of life, with their first year being their most formative. Socialization during this time is absolutely necessary to produce a well-rounded, happy dog. Unfortunately, the pandemic limited—and is still limiting, in some cases—opportunities for socialization of both the human and canine variety.
What Can You Do?
Luckily, you still have some safe options for socializing your dog in a pandemic-conscious way. Doggy daycare provides a safe alternative to dog-park meetups and other forms of socialization you might not yet feel comfortable accessing yet.
Of course, we always recommend you follow age and vaccination guidelines before enrolling your puppy in doggy daycare. We’ll also perform a temperament test to ensure doggy daycare won’t cause any undue stress on your pup. If it doesn’t work out, don’t sweat it—some of even the most well-rounded dogs just aren’t into doggy daycare, and that’s okay.
What If Doggy Daycare Isn’t an Option?
If doggy daycare isn’t a match for your dog, or if your puppy is too young and hasn’t had its full round of vaccinations, do what you can to introduce them (safely) to other people and dogs. Reach out to friends and family with friendly dogs and organize meetups and playdates in a space where you socially distance—or simply follow the pandemic guidelines all parties are comfortable with.
Meetups like these can help to expose your impressionable puppy to new people, dogs, and situations and prepare them for encountering similar situations in the future.
Visit Lucky Dog to See If We’re a Match!
Interested in signing up your puppy for doggy daycare? Contact the team at Lucky Dog! As long as your puppy meets our safety requirements, our doggy daycare can provide an excellent solution for proper socialization, helping you to shape a well-rounded dog.