Pandemic pets are one of the brighter points of life with covid. The pandemic brought about a surge in animal adoptions caused by people seeking companionship with a new pet. Unsurprisingly, these newly adopted dogs have brought happiness into their owners’ lives during a very challenging time.
But many dog owners are now facing the reality of leaving their homes (and dogs) to go back to work for the first time in several months. This transition can be rocky, so we put together a guide to get your newly adopted dog ready for a new normal.
Establish a Routine for You and Your Dog
A consistent routine is key to adapting your adopted dog and keeping them happy. You likely already have structured mealtimes, walks, and nap built into your day. However, if these times conflict with your new post-covid schedule, you will need to start getting your dog used to a new schedule.
Trying to impose a new schedule abruptly will likely make your dog stressed. Instead, you should aim to make little changes over a longer period of time. This will help to gradually introduce a new structure. This process could take longer for adopted dogs who have only known one type of daily structure, having their owner in the home all day. In making a new routine, line up play time or walks with when you will be able to give that attention when work picks back up.
Preparing Your Dog to Travel
While you may not be thinking of making any significant travel plans soon, thinking about how to include your newly adopted dog in a trip is a good idea. Similar to establishing a new routine, preparing your dog to travel should be gradual.
For car travel, use positive reinforcement to help your dog feel comfortable. Start with short car rides to get your dog used to getting into and out of the car. Give your dog treats to make them recognize the car as a good place. Over time, your dog should be ready for longer trips.
It’s a bit harder to practice for air travel. All pets on planes require a crate, with the expectation of qualified service animals. You can work to acclimate your dog to their crate at home. This can take time. That said, it’s important your dog can feel comfortable in a crate since they will have to be in a crate throughout the entire flight. Owners will not be able to know how their dog will react on a plane until they have a flight. Any amount of preparation is worthwhile to help your dog find comfort in a stressful environment.
Adjusting to a New Normal
We know it is sad to think about leaving your dog at home, especially when you are used to spending the whole day together. Post-covid life will be a big adjustment for both of you. Remember to be patient, stick to a routine, and enjoy the time you do bond.