Getting a Puppy During Lockdown? Here’s What You Need to Consider

The UK is currently on lockdown for at least another couple of weeks due to the worldwide outbreak of coronavirus. And with most of us spending more time than ever at home either on furlough or working remotely, it might feel like there’s never been a better time to introduce a new puppy to the family. After all, now you’re at home all day every day, you have all the time in the world to spend playing with and socialising a new pup.

If you’ve been thinking of getting a puppy for some time, the lockdown might have provided you with the perfect opportunity to take the plunge. But there are many crucial things to think about before you welcome a new puppy into your family, especially with lockdown rules in place. Here’s what to consider before you get a new pup.

A Corgi Puppy

Choosing a Puppy

With social distancing rules in place, you won’t be able to go and see your new puppy before they arrive at your home, as you can’t visit other people in their houses right now for any other reason than helping somebody who is vulnerable. This means that unless you’ve already gone to see and chosen a puppy, you may need to find another way, such as a video call.

This is not going to be the same since you can’t really get the same idea of a puppy’s personality over FaceTime compared to in-person, so keep this in mind. In addition, new laws have just come into place restricting who is able to breed and sell puppies, so make sure that if you’re buying from a breeder, that they are reputable.

Do You Have Time?

Sure, you’ve got a lot of time on your hands right now, but what about when things go back to normal? Consider the future when it comes to getting a puppy and determine whether or not you’ll still be able to give them the time and attention that they need once the lockdown has been lifted and you are able to go about your daily activities as normal once again. No, a dog doesn’t need your undivided attention all day long, but you shouldn’t have to leave them alone all day either.

If your puppy is likely to be left alone for long periods of time once the lockdown is over, it may be best to get another pet that won’t mind as much, like a cat. Or, consider whether hiring a daily dog walker or dog sitter is in your budget.

Socialising Your Puppy

Puppies learn a lot in their first few weeks of life, and the experiences that they have now will shape the dog that they grow up to be. Puppies that are adequately socialised during their first few weeks are more likely to end up being confident, polite doggies – with the right amount of training, of course.

Our Maltese puppy Molly is so cute and lively

However, many socialising tips involve having people over to see your pup and taking them to visit others, which isn’t possible in lockdown. There are some things that you can do, however, like taking your pup on walks and getting them used to things like traffic, other dogs, and people walking around them. If your pup hasn’t had their vaccinations yet, it’s best to carry them in your arms.

Vaccinations

Puppies have a range of essential vaccinations when they turn eight weeks of age. These vaccinations are to protect them against parvovirus and other illnesses that can be fatal to a young pup or even an older dog. It’s essential that your puppy gets these vaccinations and it is recommended that you do not allow them to walk outdoors, particularly on the grass or where other dogs have soiled, until a week after being vaccinated.

If you have a secure garden that no other dogs can access, you can let them out there. If you know that your puppy will need to be vaccinated once you bring them home, it’s crucial to check with a vet before you get the puppy since many vets right now are only offering emergency treatment. Speak to your vet about the situation and get their advice on the best course of action to take if your puppy is unable to get vaccinations during the lockdown.

Feeding

Another key factor that you’ll need to consider when bringing a new puppy home, whether or not it’s during the lockdown, is what you’re going to feed them. Consider what they have been weaned on and determine whether or not you are going to feed them the same diet or something different. Many dog owners are recognising the benefits of a raw diet for their pet and starting a puppy out on raw food can help to give them the best start in life.

Pre-packaged raw food is available for puppies, prepared by raw dog food brand Bella and Duke, to help you ensure that you are giving your pup the right type and amount of nutrients for their developing needs. If you want to know more, Bella and Duke explain here with their puppy feeding guide designed to help you get started.

Training

Puppy training can start pretty much right away when you bring your new pup home. Chances are, the first thing that your pup is going to need to learn is toilet training. Some puppies have already had some toilet training at this stage, while others will be clueless. Depending on your situation, you might want to introduce puppy pads to give your pup somewhere to go. These can be useful if you do not have access to a secure garden to let your puppy in to do their business before they are vaccinated. However, it’s not always advisable to use puppy training pads if you do have a suitable garden space, as it may only confuse your puppy further. Instead, take them outside every hour and around half an hour after eating, and provide them with plenty of praise when they go to the toilet outdoors.

Accidents indoors are to be expected but never punish your puppy for this as it will only make toilet training harder. Instead, just clean it up quietly and don’t make a fuss.

Other Pets

Finally, if you have any other pets already, it’s definitely necessary to consider them when bringing a new puppy home during the coronavirus lockdown. Since everyone’s at home right now, it’s safe to assume that in some way or another, your pets’ regular routine has been disrupted somewhat, and they may already be a little stressed. If this is the case, it might be worth holding off introducing a new animal into your family until they have had some time to settle and get used to the humans being around more often than usual.

When introducing your new puppy, be sure to give any other animals plenty of space and make sure that they are always supervised together. Put up baby gates in doorways so that your existing pets and your new puppy can get to know each other at a safe distance before trusting them together without any barriers.

Bringing a new puppy home always means that there is a lot to think about, but if you’re getting a puppy during the coronavirus lockdown, there are even more factors to consider.

About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums

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