Pandemic Puppy-Paloosa: Get off on the right paw with your new dog
A healthy dog is a happy dog, inside and out. Before you bing your your new dog home, ask for his/her health records including vaccine status, heart worm test results, medication schedule including heart worm, and flea/tick prevention.
Call your veterinarian to introduce your new dog. Your veterinarian will enter your dog’s medical records into their system, so you get reminders in the months and years to come. These reminders will help make sure that you stay up to date and do not miss important future vaccines and medical care. Your veterinarian will get you scheduled for your dog's immediate essential care needs. Essential care is defined differently in different states and regions.
Stock up on puzzle feeders. A meal served in a bowl is a wasted opportunity for fun and engagement for your dog. Dogs were born to do a job - herd sheep, guard the house, retrieve ducks, etc. When dogs don’t have a job, they get bored and eventually they get frustrated. Puzzle feeders are a great way to give your dog a job, without ever leaving the house! And, the more the better. You can divide your dog’s meals and treats into as many portions as you like, and feed them in puzzle feeders.
Develop and maintain a routine that you can sustain when you go back to work. Your dog will adjust their physical and emotional needs to your schedule. Their bodies come to expect food and the opportunity to urinate/defecate at specific times during the day and night. If you spend 24 hours a day with your dog, and feed and walk them any time, they will not be prepared to cope when you suddenly leave them alone in their crate 8-10 hours a day. So, walk and feed your dog on your regular work schedule. If you plan to crate them when you go back to work, have them spend time in their crate alone every day now, and wean up to a few hours at a time. When you go back to a regular life, they will be living their regular life.
Train and socialize your dog. You won’t be able to attend puppy class, or go to the dog park in person, but you can do all of these things virtually! And, now you have access to the world’s best trainers and behaviorists.