If you consider taking on a puppy, it can be helpful to know in precise terms what you are getting into.
Unfortunately, there has been a concentrated rise in dog fishing and puppies being abandoned in recent times, as the pandemic potentially brings out the worst in many would-be breeders and would-be owners out there. If you consider offering a dog a permanent and loving home, then there are a few things you should know first.
So, why are pandemic puppies being abandoned at an alarming rate? What can you do that might better your chances of success in raising your own furry best friend? You may find some helpful ideas in this article.
Nurturing Your Commitment
The rates at which dogs are abandoned can sometimes ebb and flow with seasonal shifts.
The RSPCA claim that they see a strong surge in dog abandonments in the summer months, with 1,509 dogs making up a large portion of the 3,492 reports of abandoned animals to them last year. Their suspicions for the cause of this was that it “may be a combination of the warmer weather making people feel less guilty about dumping a pet […] and people doing away on holiday”, which is probably shocking to many people.
However, as travel has been mostly suspended over the course of the pandemic, at least half of this suspicion doesn’t hold firm at this time. However, warmer weather could prompt more owners to turn their backs on their puppies, perhaps favouring some kind of return to freedom or normalcy when training and care gets too tough. You should really try to avoid falling in line with this kind of attitude.
Therefore, it’s important to realise that a puppy means staying committed for the long-term. It may be that this summer sees some restrictions eased, as the NHS chief seems to think such could be possible in the months ahead. When your friends start dining out again in the future, you may be required to stay in and look after your dog on occasion, pandemic or not. Try to come to terms with that realisation and nurture your commitment. Some establishments could even welcome dogs, so there may be no reason to choose between your social life and your dog anyway – you could bring them along to all your engagements instead.
It might be that your dedication to quality dog care we never under any doubt, but another in your household is objecting to a puppy in the house.
Sadly, household disputes around dog ownership are quite common, so it could be important to make sure that everybody is on the same page in this endeavour. Your partner or housemates may just want some clarity on what dog ownership involves, or it could be that they have allergies that prevent them from joining in entirely, forcing you to potentially give up your dog if you wish to remain living on the property.
Consequently, clearing the air (figuratively speaking) might be a fruitful prospect. Even if you all appear to be on the same page, negotiating who walks the puppy when, who is responsible for which aspect of the ownership, and even silly little things like names may all help to prevent further arguments down the line. In the end, clarity and communication might improve the quality of care that you have to offer your puppy!
Researching Dog Care
Undertaking some quality research could give you a solid head start in providing quality dog care.
Once you have that innate desire to look after a puppy, doing some further reading can be a great way to prove to yourself that you are a responsible owner. It may even be enough to instil you with the confidence that you might feel you’re currently lacking. As we now know, dogs being abandoned could likely be because some owners just don’t ready themselves with what to expect or prepare for. If you do, then you should be better equipped to handle anything puppy care throws your way.
You should try to derive much of your dog care knowledge from reliable resources, such as the RSPCA, who have a pedigree in providing all the up-to-date tips, tricks, and data. They could inform you about the sensitivity of dog’s senses, their athleticism, and the nature of your puppy’s inquisitiveness or their omnivorous diets. The more you informed you are about the innate qualities of a puppy, the better you can tend to their needs.
Moreover, it could also be a good idea to consult others about all the demands dog care requires. Perhaps friends and family have anecdotes to share that could help you steer your efforts? It might be that they’ll provide you with some much-needed encouragement, or they could supply you with cautionary tales to consider. Even helpful internet articles could provide a unique insight into a dog’s life, giving you a great deal of consensus to grapple with. Still, the decision is yours in the end.
Providing the Right Company
Some dog owners might make the mistake of thinking that they are their puppy’s only friend, adding a significant amount of unnecessary pressure on themselves in the process.
However, your dog could potentially enjoy a range of suitable friendships, from visitors at your door to the dogs they encounter during their walks. It could be that, should you open up their social life somewhat, you find that they become less dependent on you for all of their play and interactive needs. Additionally, it may be that instead of behaving in overbearing fashion throughout the day, your dog will instead rest and sleep more during your alone times, potentially content with the amount of social stimulation they have had.
Consider that your dogs are predominantly pack animals, and that they need their fun from a variety of different persons and creatures. If you and another owner want to nurture a friendship between your dogs, then patience and close supervision could help you reach the finish line a lot sooner. They may try to establish their dominance and become the ‘alpha’ in the pack if their owners aren’t around, but if they consider you to be the owner, then all that might be left to happen is a wonderful friendship!
Handling Multi-dog Pressures
You may struggle to look after your new puppy if you have other dogs at home already, but you could make this process easier.
First there’s the matter of all the paperwork, and how to best safeguard your dogs now they are a collective. Some insurers have a pet limit, which means you can’t protect as many pets as you might like to. However, you can find pet insurance for multiple pets, and Everypaw’s offerings could well help you as they tend not to mind how many pets you have. With their multi-pet insurance, each of your four-legged friends will have their own policy, potentially making things a lot less stressful for you in the long run should accidents and incidents occur.
Finally, if the new puppy is joining other dogs in your care, then this could present unique behavioural problems. Introducing a new face in the pack may disturb the dogs you currently have in your care, spurring feelings of jealousy and territorial instincts within them. Some tips that could help here include orchestrating their first meet away from home and reaffirming your alpha status, which will minimise chances of conflict between the dogs. You could try to make them peers, and that way, the puppy will be better assimilated into pack life.