Pandemic Puppy Pandemonium Requires Lots of Time and Love
A Companion Animal Care Article from

FROM Marc Bekoff, PhD., Psychology Today/Animal Emotions
July 2020

Pandemic puppies are all the rage, but adopting a dog is a huge game-changer.


The other day, while at a small, socially-distanced gathering at a local park, someone told me that he’d be adopting a puppy soon and asked the most important thing on what he should focus. Without hesitation, I said, “Socialization. 100%.” He said, “Really?” Really!*

Pandemic puppies are all the rage. What better time to get a puppy than while you’re home quarantining, right? In theory, yes! But there are caveats. A lot of thought should go into choosing to bring any companion animal into your home. Homing a companion animal (“pet”) will not necessarily be a good way to pass the pandemic or decrease your stress, and it's essential to do research to learn about what an animal actually needs and to pay close attention to their individual personality. Our society is already insular, so it’s important not to bypass taking the time to learn about what it really means to open your home to a companion animal.

With puppies, there’s an added responsibility: they need a lot of socialization. And, giving them "more than they need" can be very beneficial for them and for you. Unfortunately, the pandemic has actually made it more difficult to access opportunities to socialize puppies; not only are we in an age of social distancing, but many options for well-run, certified, instructor-led group classes–cornerstones for finding lots of positive socialization opportunities–are limited or non-existent right now. The internet, while a valuable resource, also disseminates misinformation. So let’s start with the science....


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