Have you heard the term “pandemic puppy?”  The pandemic brought much sadness, but it also brought joy to many families.  While we were all on lockdown, several families felt it would be a great time to get a puppy.  You would be home constantly for training, you could give it all the attention it needed, your kids could be very involved since they would be home, and the puppy would be a great distraction to keep the family company.  Unfortunately, we could not have predicted a downside.  We as humans were not allowed to socialize, which meant that our puppies were not allowed to socialize during a very important time in their development.  We were not taking them to dog parks to learn proper etiquette on how to play with other dogs. We did not have strangers or friends over for the puppy to learn how to interact with strangers, and we could not get them into the Veterinarian’s office because it would be 3 weeks before they could be seen due to Covid.

Now that we are starting to open up again, people are returning to work.  Our pandemic puppies are not used to being away from their people or what they consider their pack.  We are seeing more signs of anxiety and destructive behavior than ever before.  Our pandemic puppies are also not used to coming to the vet.  We as veterinarians and staff attempt to make our interactions with animals as stress-free as possible.  We try to provide treats for distractions, talk in a soft voice, spray good pheromones in the room, and give lots of love to make it a good experience.  Sometimes that is not enough though.  It can be scary to be taken away by a stranger from your human or even to be touched by a stranger in a car that you are not used to being in.  We want to help make the visit as low anxiety as possible.  Sometimes it is a great idea to give anti-anxiety medications prior to a visit. If you think your pet may be anxious riding in the car or being with strangers, you can always ask for a sedative ahead of time.  In an emergency, this cannot always be helped.  We will ask if we can give injectable sedation in those situations to make sure everyone, including our pandemic puppies, stay safe.  Giving a pill for sedation prior to a scheduled visit can make a huge difference though.  You can ask for some sedation while making the appointment and pick it up prior to your visit; we will just need your pet’s weight.  Then give the pill or liquid at least 1 hour prior to getting in the car.  If you give it after the stress has occurred, it may take more medication, or the medication may not work.

In the end, we want our pandemic puppies and all animals to have a good experience so that they will continue to have a good experience every time they visit us.  You can also stop by at any time and just have your puppy say hi to one of our staff.  If your pet receives a treat multiple times at the hospital, they are more likely to associate the hospital with good things.  In addition, not feeding your pet breakfast that morning can be helpful as it makes them hungrier and more likely to want the treats we will try with them.  Thank you for helping us help your pet to have a good experience.


Schedule your puppy’s first vet check up.