One of the bright spots in these otherwise difficult times is the fact that the adoption of pets increased greatly in the past few months. If you are one of these new pet parents, we have listed out below experiences you can share with your pet that follow the quarantine rules, while also aiding in their behavior training. Enjoy!
1. Surfaces. Introduce your puppy to a variety of surfaces to walk on like grass or gravel outside, carpet or wood floors inside. Try a dip in the tub—without water at first. Take things slowly, let your pup set the pace and offer lots of praise and rewards.
2. Handling. Practice handling for future visits to the vet or groomer. Try slowly massaging all parts of the body, including paws so nail trimming won’t be scary. Practice and get him or her used to the weight of a leash attached to the collar. Handle his or her face, mouth, teeth, and gums so that he or she will not be “mouth shy”. Practice tooth brushing, which is one of the best ways to help promote life long oral health.
3. Virtual socialization and training. Many trainers and training facilities are offering virtual puppy classes, and there are many online training resources and plenty of great YouTube videos specifically for puppies as well.
4. Sounds and scents. Doorbells, vacuum cleaners, car engines, bicycles, skateboards—your puppy needs exposure to anything they might encounter that makes sudden and/or loud noise. You can open an umbrella or even have your phone ring loudly, then encourage your dog to remain calm.
5. DIY stranger. Dogs of all ages are having to adjust to greeting masked strangers, and it’s going to be important moving forward that your pup is ok with this. Try hats, glasses, and wigs, and get your family members to dress up, too.
6. Schedule and routine. Puppies and adult dogs do best on a schedule, and just like with human children, canine kids need a nap around the same time each day. Your pup also should learn to be calm when he is alone, because sooner or later you’ll have to leave him by himself. A Kong-type toy stuffed with canned dog food or a frozen treat is a great idea so that he associates good things with your leaving. Here are two helpful articles from our very own Dr. Barchas, specifically on separation anxiety:
We want you to know we’re here for you and that you are welcome to email us at Info@Sanbrunopet.com with questions you have about your new pet!