Did you get a new puppy during these unprecedented times? If so, you’ve probably got some problems and need help on how to socialize a puppy during COVID-19 pandemic.
The social distancing necessary during these times has made it almost impossible to socialize a puppy, which is crucial to its development. Positive socialization experiences for puppies between 8 and 14 weeks are required so that they can grow up to become confident and well-rounded dogs.
How to Socialize a Puppy during COVID-19
But, what are you supposed to do when you’re stuck in the house and can’t have outside contact, for the most part? These tips will help how to socialize a puppy during COVID-19.
- Change up your style. Put on different hats, different sunglasses, a surgical mask, a scarf, a hood, and other fashion statements, and interact with your puppy. It will at least give your little pup some experience with different looks. If you live with others in your home, take turns practicing this tip and mixing it up a bit. For instance, try a hat along with a mask and sunglasses, and so on.
- Go for car rides. Your puppy will not be allowed out and about until it has been vaccinated. So an eight-week-old puppy can’t really go on walks safely, so take her for a drive. Start off with pleasant short trips, especially if she gets carsick, and extend them each time.
- Drive with your puppy to a nearby grocery store that’s still open and sit in the parking lot so that she sees different people walking around. Be sure to give her treats and ensure the experience is fun and pleasant. Learning how to socialize a puppy during COVID-19 will make your life in the future a lot easier.
- Get her accustomed to different sounds. Dogs have very keen hearing, so it’s essential to get your puppy accustomed to sounds that she might hear in a typical day-to-day environment. Remember to make it a happy time and not frighten her. No matter what your activity, have music in the background, or turn on the TV, sometimes louder than other times. Give her praise and reward her with a treat.
- Let your puppy experience the yard after you’ve puppy-proofed the backyard! Always supervise everything your puppy is doing because puppies are quick to swallow things they shouldn’t. Puppies are also known to chew on plants that can be toxic, so be sure to keep her away from them or remove them entirely because they can be fatal to dogs.
- Exploring your home. If you’re like most new dog owners, you’ve probably prohibited your puppy from going into certain rooms, at least in the beginning. Perhaps it’s a good idea to give your puppy a little more leeway in these unprecedented times and let her explore different rooms that you would have otherwise kept off-limits to her. If you have concerns about floor coverings in those spaces, it’s recommended that you let her explore those rooms immediately after she pees. And to make these experiences more long-lived, allow her to explore only one new room a day, since we don’t know how long these measures will stay in place.
- Let your puppy in your puppy-proofed garage or garden shed. There are lots of different items in there that would be of interest to a curious puppy. Watch her closely as she explores the different textures and items and be sure to reward her.
- Sit on your front porch or at the curb with your puppy. Let her watch neighbors go by on their walks, their bicycles, or their cars. You can also give your puppy the benefit of watching neighbors doing lawn work. Again, reward your puppy with treats and praise her.
- You and I’m just on the Internet like nothing else in Alexander’s. Put her up on a table, a counter, or on the washing machine, ON A NON-SKID MAT. With treats within reach, touch your puppy like the veterinarian would — on her tail, ears, and belly.
While this is not perfect, it is the best that we can do in this pandemic. If you have any more tips, please share them with us. Learning how to socialize a puppy during COVID-19 and following through with these tips can help her develop into a dog that you’ll be proud of.