Dog and person snuggling post pet adoption

So, You Got a Pandemic Pet: Now What? Tips for Pet Parents During the COVID-19 Pet Adoption Boom

Did you adopt a dog or cat during the pandemic? With more people adopting pets than ever before as a result of the COVID-19-induced quarantine, we at Rover wanted to support new pet parents with a post-pet-adoption resource. These hand-picked articles from our blog address a lot of questions first-time pet parents and those adopting pets during these unusual times may have.

Few things in pet parenthood are more exciting than your first few months with a puppy or the first days welcoming a new pet into the family. These are formative and impressionable times for both pets and people. As your pet settles into a new rhythm and the household adapts to its new member, everyone is learning about each other.

Whether you’re wondering how to best socialize your pet during a pandemic or just looking for some basic training resources, you’ll find it all below in this collection of stories generated by our team of expert dog trainers, veterinarians, and pet care writers.

From puppies to dogs and cats to kittens, read on for how to survive the first week with your new pet, training tips, how to make interspecies introductions, and more.

Here’s to a lifetime of happiness with your new forever friend!

Post Pet Adoption Advice From Human-Animal Bond Expert and Dog People Panelist, Philip Tedeschi

Philip Tedeschi is a clinical professor and is the Executive Director of the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver within the Graduate School of Social Work. He is also a member of Rover’s Dog People Panel.

The past year has been challenging for everyone including companion animals—impacting animals in some noteworthy ways—and we are not done with these changes yet. People in the US found that companion animals are valuable companions: offering social support to avoid social isolation and loneliness, while also helping them cope with pandemic requirements of social distancing. We opened our homes to animals at a level that is rather unprecedented.

Like people, animals have complex cognitive and emotional lives. One of the most acutely challenging health issues for people is to find themselves unintentionally, or as a result of crisis, displaced and having to establish a new home and relationships. This is a challenging time for companion animals as well. If you’ve adopted a dog or cat, here are a few things to consider:

  • Recognize that this change is stressful and requires understanding on our part of the human-animal bond.
  • Build in realistic expectations of time and the patience needed for each dog or cat to adjust and build familiarity and trust with the immediate surroundings and members of the family.
  • Establish a clear routine and schedule that promotes the individual’s capacity for regulation and sense of safety and well being for the pet.
  • Create opportunities for your new family member to get familiar with the immediate environment, activities and other people.
  • Build certainty into the safety, kindness, fun and predictability of these interactions. 
  • Our companion animals have a wide range of emotions. Consider: What would you need under these kinds of circumstances? 
  • Remember that smell, taste, touch, sight and hearing are the animal’s way of experiencing the world. When moving to a new home some or all of these are altered and require time and exploration to reestablish a sense of familiarity. 

You might expect your new animal to have feelings of loss and grief and depression related to these experiences of being re-homed or newly adopted. Some pets express these in their own unique ways. For example, a dog living in a new home will become aware of new sounds and smells—maybe they’ll bark after hearing footsteps upstairs. It will be helpful to your new pet to show compassion as they adjust to their new life with you.

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