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Pandemic Puppy a Problem Pooch? Here’s the solution

June 21, 2021
two dogs looking over a countertop inside Playful Pack's location

As the covid crisis spread across the country, millions of people were sent home. Kids learned using online tools, and employees worked from home. Restaurants pivoted, offering more take-out and delivery options, and even new movies were being released through alternative platforms. More of us stayed in, which led to increasingly smaller social circles. Many people coped with the increased isolation by turning to man’s best friend. In fact, so many people opted to adopt during this tough period that the rescue industry at times struggled to keep up with the demand for so-called pandemic puppies.

If you are one of the many who adopted a pandemic puppy, you might have some legitimate concerns about returning to everyday life as the world begins the reopening process. We’re returning to our “new normal,” but what about your pup? Will they adapt, or will they struggle with the abrupt change in routine? Some people have even rehomed their pandemic pups or returned them to the shelter.

Although rehoming might have crossed your mind at times, too, you do have other options. Even if your dog is struggling with some new behavior issues or separation anxiety, you can take steps to address their unique needs. Playful Pack can help your whole family, including its furriest members, enjoy a smoother transition back to your normal lives.

Lonely Pups

Dogs thrive on predictability and knowing what to expect not just from their people but their environment. During the pandemic, they likely enjoyed highly controlled environments and a great degree of predictability. They knew what would happen at any given time, but as we head back to the offices, their lives are going to be thrown into chaos.

Your dog may show signs of separation distress, acting out when you leave. This is not deliberately bad behavior but rather signs of stress. Understanding it and addressing it can help your dog cope and help you both adjust more easily and happily.

Symptoms of separation anxiety can include:

  • Whining, whimpering, barking, and howling
  • Potty accidents in a fully housebroken dog
  • Destructive behavior focused on doors or windows
  • Drooling, panting, or other excessive salivation
  • Repeated attempts to escape, possibly resulting in injury

You can reduce your pup’s risk of separation distress with a few steps, including:

  • Regular exercise
  • Mentally stimulating your dog with nose work, foraging, puzzles, and similar activities
  • Social interactions with family and friends
  • Rest as needed

At Playful Pack, we can help you better meet your pup’s needs with our daycare facilities. Your dog can socialize freely in a positive, cage-free environment. Our dog-loving staff divides our furry friends into groups based on size and temperament, and each group enjoys plenty of playtime using equipment specially designed for them and fun activities that change daily all in a dog-friendly, pup-safe environment. Instead of quitting your job, just bring your furry friend to daycare. We’ll take care of the rest!

Problem Behavior

Most dogs are naturally energetic and highly social. The pandemic may have changed not just your behavior but theirs, too. Once-playful pups have grown into poorly socialized dogs, and adult dogs may be struggling with fearfulness and anxiety as their families move back into their previous routine.

That old routine might be familiar and comfortable to you as you settle back into it, but it’s unfamiliar to your dog. Your pup has few options to communicate their discomfort with you, which can lead to problem behaviors for us, such as barking, chewing, reactivity, or worse. While the situation might feel dire, you are not resigned to a life spent behind closed doors or the need to rehome. Dog daycare is another alternative.

At Playful Pack, your dog’s days will be filled with exciting behavior to stave off boredom and anxiety. Dogs learn positive socialization skills in monitored, highly controlled environments. Our experienced staff will interact with your pup, giving your furry friend all the mental stimulation, physical activity, and healthy socialization they need for wellbeing and happiness.

We currently offer two locations and are opening more soon. Let us help you make your pandemic puppies permanent parts of your family. Visit us today to learn more about our doggy daycare and boarding services or call us to schedule a visit!