5 Lessons We Should Learn From The Pandemic Puppy Trend

The pandemic will certainly be a time in history that will be studied for years to come. Especially when it comes to human behavior. Between shortages due to travel restrictions, to panic and impulse buying. It's all so very interesting. Unfortunately there are some who are now suffering and paying the price for one such trend. Specifically "pandemic puppies". During much of the pandemic we were held up in our homes, left to find ways to be productive and keep our minds focused. Everyone was dealing with unprecedented levels of stress and constantly adapting to rules and everchanging situations. So what did we do? We looked for ways to soothe our woes and fears any way we could. One of those ways for some, was the impulsive purchase of a puppy. This trend is now begining to have consiquences. When people were locked down and so many were forced to work from home, getting a dog as a companion may have seemed like a great idea. It may be still working well for some, but a dog should never be an impulsive thought and there are now record surrenders of dogs as things slowly get back to normal. Here are 5 important lessons we should all learn from the "pandemic puppies".



A long haired dachshund looking up from the floor 

1. Dogs Are Like Children In Many Ways 

Dogs are sentient beings and are highly intelligent. Think of them as having the knowledge of about a two year old child or more, as that is generally the level of comparison. By treating them as commodities we no longer recognize that they have feelings and are not just a thing to have around whenever it suits us. Loving a dog is more than thinking they are cute and fun to have around. Just like a child, they have needs and those needs are the responsibility of their family. 



 young dogs in a cage multiple breeds

2. Who Benifited From Pandemic Puppy Sales

The saddest part is that the demand for puppies during the pandemic brought out the worst of the worst as far as sketchy backyard breeders and puppy mills. Because of the surge of people wanting dogs and many people wanting to skip the more stringent rules of a proper adoption those people took advantage of the demand and exploited it. This happened more and more. These were people who didn't care at all for the animal's health as long as they got their inflated profits. By selling a puppy without proper records of the dogs health and origins it opened up an opportunity for these people to profit with no consiquence. Easy money for some. Suffering for the dogs and very dissapointed buyers who thought they were getting a happy healthy pet.


3. A Dog Is A Family Member

If I come off a little harsh on this point it's because I mean to. Dogs are not meant to be an afterthought!  A dog has capacity to love and care for their people and they should not be tossed to the side when the novelty wears off. I once lived in a neighborhood where a person had a sweet Border Collie. The dog was always tied outside, bored and sad. He would beg any passerby to throw his ball. Border Collies are known for being energetic working dogs that need stimulation and attention. Yes, the dog was fed, and had a place to live but was clearly not valued or cared for. Different dogs need different care and their individual needs should always be considered. So basically what i'm saying here is if you get a dog make sure you are able to accomodate that individual dogs needs before taking on the responsibility. Surrendered pandemic pups are in many cases a direct result of this not being done.



Bulldog puppy looking up with sad eyes 

4. Dogs Get Separation Anxiety

As many people go back to work, a new problem has arisen with dogs aquired during the pandemic. Even the most well loved and cared for pups are experiencing serious separation anxiety. Imagine how unsettling it must be for a young dog to adjust suddenly to the change of being alone more often when having their people at home is all they knew. This can result in unwanted behavior issues such as chewing or destruction of property. Dogs are social creatures and when they are suddenly without their pack they may even become depressed. It is very important to recognize this behavior and they may even need some independance training. This does again go back to the point in #3 because different breeds have individual needs as far as time on their own. Some dogs do fine alone where others may need day care or looking in on through the day.


5.  In The End Do What's Best For The Dog

Every situation is different. Not everyone who happened to get a dog during the pandemic did it on whim and the fact is some people became ill or had no choice but to move where a dog may not be allowed. The main lesson from "pandemic puppies" phenomenon is that there is so much more that goes with adopting or buying a puppy than just a fun ball of fur to keep us company. It's always best to keep your commitment but if giving up is the only choice then making sure they end up in the best place should be a priority. Perhaps a family member or someone the dog is familiar with to make the transition easier. Dogs are there when we need them most and we should always do right by them.


     Before Getting A Dog Consider:

  • Energy Level
  • Breed Characteristics
  • Size
  • Cost of Insurance
  • Your Time 
  • Training
  • Lifestyle
  • socialization
  • Pet proofing home
  • Allergies


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