Author: Clay Morrison

In a post-Covid vaccine world, we are hopefully welcoming a new normal after months of restrictions. As communities reopen, there’s a sense of relief and optimism. Many people adopted rescue dogs during the pandemic and, as people go back to work, some of these pets may become unwanted or neglected. If you’re considering adopting a rescue dog, or have recently done so, here are some important areas to consider.

The essentials

Ensure you can provide for your dog and give her all she needs for a happy, healthy life. This means a balanced diet (consult your vet if you are unsure what to feed your pet) and a constant supply of fresh drinking water. Make sure she has treats and toys to play with. Give her a quiet, comfortable, and draught-free place to sleep in. She needs exercise every day (in all weathers) and someone to pick up her poo! And don’t forget costs such as pet insurance, vets bills, and dog walking or boarding fees. 

Bear in mind that many rescue dogs will be anxious at first, and some will sadly have been neglected in the past. They may need some time to adjust to their new surroundings, but with the right patience, love, and care they will soon relax and feel right at home.

Holiday plans

Many of us are planning our first getaway since lockdown. If you have a new pet, make sure you factor them into your holiday planning. Will you leave your dog at home or take her with you? If you’re leaving her, do you have a family member or someone to take care of her? Will you put her into kennels? If so, perhaps arrange an overnight stay in advance, to help your pet adjust to a temporary home.

If you plan to take your new dog on holiday with you, bear in mind she might be overwhelmed by a new environment. You’ll also need to ensure that your destination is dog friendly. If you’re travelling far, remember to break up the journey with toilet breaks. And in warm weather never leave your dog unattended in a car, as she could overheat.

Going back to work

If you’re returning to work after lockdown, you may be leaving your dog alone at home for extended periods of time. To get her used to your absence, start by leaving her alone for short periods, and build up time gradually. Make sure she has something to keep her busy, e.g. chew toys, water to drink, and a comfy bed.

If a family friend or dog walker is going to be caring for your pet, your dog may be nervous around an unfamiliar person. Try to be at home when she goes for her first few walks with someone new, in case she needs reassurance.

Remember that dogs suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long, so avoid leaving your dog alone during the day for more than a few hours. And if you must, try turning on to DOGTV’s Relaxation programming to help alleviate anxiety.

Walks and playtime

Playing games and learning tricks benefit your dog’s brain and body, and will help her bond with you. Walks provide fantastic physical and mental stimulation for your dog, as she explores the sights, sounds and smells of the great outdoors. So make time for play, and enjoy your new family member!

Adopting a rescue dog is a wonderful thing to do, and it will be more important than ever after the pandemic. Puppy farms and unscrupulous breeders are a big problem, leading to huge numbers of unwanted pets – so giving a rescue dog a home is a great way to combat this issue. Soon they’ll be an integral part of your family, and you’ll wonder what you ever did without them! 

If you want to learn more about how to care for your dogs after quarantine, check out DOGTV’s special event on June 12, 2021 on Your Dog’s New Normal. Stay tuned for details.