adopting a dog

Furry Friends: A Guide to Adopting a Dog During the Pandemic

If there’s one good thing to come from the COVID pandemic, it’s that people are now adopting pets in droves. All that time spent working from home is so much better with a warm and furry companion by your side.

But like everything else, the pandemic has changed the way pets are adopted. You may find the process to be a lot longer—and with so many people competing for an available animal, it can be frustrating as well.

Here are some tips you need to be aware of about adopting a dog now during these uncertain times.

Do a Reality Check First

Before you bring a precious pooch home, ask yourself if you’re truly prepared to be their forever home. Owning a pet is a commitment that you should be prepared for both financially and emotionally. The last thing a shelter or rescue group likes to deal with is a returned pet because the owner wasn’t fully aware of the responsibilities.

If there’s a possibility you’ll be returning to your office to work at some point, you’ll need to make sure your pet is taken care of. That may require hiring a dog sitter to visit your home to feed them and spend quality time with them. Pets also require veterinarian care, and those bills can add up quickly.

You and your family should do a reality check first to make sure adding a furry member is a good move.

Do Your Research

You’ll also need to determine what type and breed of dog will fit in best with your household. A larger breed such as a Newfoundland or Presa Canarios won’t be right if your home isn’t big enough for them to walk around in.

Likewise, some breeds may be cute but not have a compatible temperament or might require extra care you can’t give. Research different breeds and mixes—and don’t forget that many shelter dogs are mutts, which can be the perfect match!

Be Patient

The pandemic has lengthened the adoption process. Many in-person adoption events have been canceled, and many shelters aren’t allowing visitors or allowing volunteers to work in their facility. Meet-and-greets with the pet are now being done online, at least initially.

The demand for pets means you could be waiting for months to adopt. You’ll also find yourself competing against many other prospective owners who are all interested in the same dog.

Be patient during the wait and don’t expect to be able to adopt a dog right away. Follow local shelters and rescue groups on social media and sign up for their emails so you’ll be notified right away about new dogs that are available for adoption.

When you are invited to meet a dog in-person, follow the shelter’s rules about wearing a mask and staying six feet away from others.

Be Flexible

You may have a dream dog in mind for your household, but if you want to find true animal love and bring a pet home sooner rather than later, it helps to be open and flexible to different types of dogs. Senior dogs, for example, often wait for a good home the longest since many people don’t want to deal with the health issues they often have. Or a dog may get overlooked because it looks different compared to the others.

But you can be this dog’s hero by being open to all possibilities.

Adopting a Dog Now is Not Impossible

Above all, don’t give up on adopting a dog now even if things seem out of whack. There are plenty of puppies being born every day that end up in shelters and with rescue groups. The right one will need your loving home.

Once you bring your fur baby home, you’ll need more tips on caring for them, so check out my Pets archive!

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