One of the few positive things from the pandemic – ok, maybe the only really positive thing – has been the uptick of pet adoptions. Rescues and shelters around the country are reporting record placements and many are experiencing a “shortage” of adoptable pets. Unfortunately, the positive change may not be long lasting.
According to a recent Merck Animal Health survey, almost three quarters (73% according to the survey) of people who became first time pet parents of dogs during the Covid-19 pandemic are considering or have considered re-homing the dog once the pandemic ends. This number is driven by three main issues:
- Not knowing enough to properly care for the dog (cited by 25%)
- Caring for a dog takes too much time (cited by 58%)
- Caring for a dog costs too much money (cited by 33%)
A full 33% of new pet parents specifically cited the dog’s high energy and their inability to expel the excess energy as a reason to re-home the dog after the pandemic. All of these are real reasons to be concerned about providing long term care for a dog and some might harshly point out that these are also real reasons to not adopt a dog in the first place.
Rather than admonish, it is more productive to give new pet parents some quick tips on how to deal with excess doggie energy. While some new pet parents might think that the best way to burn off that energy is countless on-leash walks around the neighborhood, here are two, fairly obvious ideas that will use up more energy in less time.
- Mental Stimulation: Yes, training or mentally stimulating your dog for even short periods of time will use up a great deal of excess energy. “Working” a dog for 20 minutes, 3 times a day will bring about a remarkable change.
- Socialization: If your dog is social, allowing your dog to socialize in a structured and safe environment (which may or may not be your neighborhood dog park) will allow your dog to both burn off excess energy and develop socialization skills.
Pet Camp offers a range of activities to help new pet parents and their dogs:
- Play groups for social dogs.
- K9 Enrichment for dogs that need something beyond just socialization.
- Puppy socialization sessions to help puppies become healthy and happy dogs.
If you are a new San Francisco Bay Area pet parent and have questions about your dog, we would be honored to assist in making your pandemic pup your friend for life. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading and stay healthy.