Across the country, many shelters are reporting they have no pets available for adoption due to a massive increase in adoptions and fosters following shelter in place orders. People’s reasons vary, from wanting to help their community, to the need to have an animal companion since they can no longer leave home to socialize. In fact, studies show pets can provide emotional support and offer relief to their owner’s anxiety levels. Interesting, March is when adoptions are needed most, as the rate of birth in the stray animal population traditionally increases at the start of spring.

If you are one of the many adopting during the coronavirus pandemic, below are a few tips to care for your new pet as they adjust to your home:

  1. Pet proof the area where your new pet will spend most their time. This includes putting away or taping up wires, storing cleaners on high shelves, removing plants from easy access and setting up a crate or installing baby gates if needed. By setting boundaries, you’ll help your pet be confident in their new home by knowing their place and feeling safe.
  2. Decide as a family your pet vocabulary. Be sure everyone is on the same page for the pet’s commands, like “Stay”, “Sit” and “Come”. This will prevent different commands being used by different family members, so your pet can learn much more quickly. Need a place to start learning? Check out this article on “How to Talk to Your Dog.”
  3. Keep to a schedule! By waking up, feeding and walking/letting out your pet at the same time each day, you can housetrain them quickly. Even if a shelter animal is housetrained, being introduced to a new environment can result in some accidents. By keeping to a schedule, your pet will acclimate to their new home and have a set routine, which will also be a benefit once you return to your work.
  4. Keep them busy! As you get to know your new pet, introduce new types of play to see what they respond to best. Maybe they prefer to stay indoors with a puzzle toy with treats or they enjoy playing fetch outside – whatever their preference, by keeping them busy you can avoid the destructive behaviors that often rise from boredom.
  5. Find a vet near you to keep your pet healthy! Many shelter animals may have pre-existing issues, be in the middle of an immunization schedule or recovering from a recent spay or neuter. When you adopt a pet, it’s important to find a vet you can rely on now and throughout your pet’s life. As dog and cat adoptions soar during the COVID-19 pandemic, we at THRIVE want to celebrate YOU for stepping up and helping during this uncertain time. In honor of those who adopt, THRIVE is offering a FREE pet exam for any new client! Use code ‘NEWPARENT’ and book online at THRIVEVET.com. We are still open, but or lobbies are closed as we care for our clients and their pets. Your understanding and cooperation is appreciated as we come together to keep everyone healthy.