Pandemic puppies: The downside of adopting a puppy during the Covid-19 crisis

Pandemic puppies: The downside of adopting a puppy during the COVID-19 crisis

Pandemic puppies The downside of adopting a puppy during the COVID-19 crisis Paws For Reaction

You're home from work with extra time on your hands. This must be the perfect time to get a puppy right? The demand for puppies is high during the COVID-19 pandemic- so high that the media has dubbed the term 'pandemic puppies.' While having the free time to welcome a new pet in the home seems ideal, there are a few ways that these pandemic puppies could come back to bite you. 

Puppy scams

Scammers of all kinds are hard at work since the novel coronavirus hit, taking advantage of the potential to prey on people's fear and desperation. It seems that pet adoption is not immune to this, and in Canada, there is some fido fraud taking place right under our noses. 

CBC News reported that scammers are taking advantage of the rising demand for pandemic puppies by selling people sick dogs, or mixed breeds misrepresented as purebreds. People are paying big money just to end up with a puppy mill mutt- and not the purebred pooch they expected. 

Reputable breeders are getting twice as many inquiries for puppies than normal, and the high demand means that they are selling out quickly. With many animal shelters closed to the public, potential pet owners are running out of options. So it's open season for scammers, and with the COVID-19 crisis, many puppy purchasers aren't asking questions if the 'breeder' won't allow them into their home to see the puppy first. As a result, these scammers set up outside a home that's not their own, making it impossible for people to return to the scene of the canine crime.

Pandemic puppies The downside of adopting a puppy during the COVID-19 crisis Paws For Reaction

It's difficult to find veterinary care

Veterinary care is hard to find right now since animal hospitals are restricted to only providing urgent care services. Many clinics aren't booking appointments for vaccines or spay and neuter surgeries. 

Needing an emergency visit is another potential risk of purchasing a pandemic puppy during a time where veterinary care is limited. Many veterinary clinics are understaffed and most clinics have shortened their hours of operations. Clinics are moving a lot of business to telemedicine to reduce person-to-person contact. 

This means if your puppy gets sick, for a mild or serious illness, your only option may be an expensive emergency clinic. Plus, with veterinary clinics so understaffed, now is not the time to be calling your vet clinic to have a 20-minute conversation about everything your new puppy needs. They are too busy with other urgent matters and stressed from dealing with sick patients non-stop. You need to respect that they just don't have the time.

No access to dog training

Socializing a puppy is a great way to allow other dogs to teach them 'doggy manners' and nothing works better than puppy class. Puppy classes create routines, set boundaries and train them on the basics. It can help break them of bad habits early on and develop the skills they need to become well-rounded adult dogs.

Dog trainers are not considered an essential service, so finding trainers or puppy classes right now is highly unlikely. Your puppy will miss the opportunity to learn from other dogs.

Pandemic puppies The downside of adopting a puppy during the COVID-19 crisis Paws For Reaction

Separation anxiety

When things normalize and everyone in the household goes back to school and work, it is going to be a huge change for your puppy. Puppies need to be left alone for periods of time as part of their training, so they become confident on their own. This makes them less likely to develop separation anxiety. 

While being home 24/7 sounds like the perfect recipe for raising a puppy, it can turn sour once you have to leave for longer periods of time. Pets with separation anxiety can destroy the home, develop other behaviour issues like aggression and become pets that live with everyday anxiety. If you must get a pandemic puppy, you will need to factor physical distancing into your training schedule.

Lifelong commitment

Pets are a lifelong commitment and many dog breeds live 10 to 15 years. I understand that things happen in life and people are forced to rehome their pets, but in this special circumstance, I think it needs to be closely considered by anyone interested in a pandemic puppy.

While this seems like a good idea now, how will you feel about it when you go back to working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week? Will you still want to walk your dog 3 times a day? Another thing to consider is expenses and job security. The economy is taking a major hit with COVID-19. Will you be able to afford to spay or neuter a puppy during a recession? Will you be able to keep your job or full hours? 

Pandemic puppies are living, breathing, adorable creatures that deserve a balanced and stable forever home- not a for-now home. Paws and think hard before you purchase a pandemic puppy because while we all hope COVID-19 is only temporary, a pet is for life.

Pandemic puppies The downside of adopting a puppy during the COVID-19 crisis Paws For Reaction

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