Aurora Veterinary Clinic / Puppies: COVID-19

Aurora Veterinary Clinic

305 Aurora Commons Circle
Aurora, OH 44202


Let Us Help You

Help your Puppy

During COVID-19

Article written by our very own

Stacy Richman
Fear Free Certified Veterinary Assistant with a focus in Animal Behavior 



Let's work together:

  • Our lives have changed during this time and are still changing daily due to COVID-19
  • Behaviorists now say that the socialization period is 6-16 weeks for puppies
  • We want your new pet to have a positive outcome and together we can do this
  • We are here to make some recommendations for you, to help your puppy during this difficult time for socialization
  • Please don't be alarmed that lots of resources are from a behaviorist and we are not stating you need a behaviorist
    • They have lots of experience and are here to also help
  • There will be a list of resources at the end for you to explore!


As said by the Late Dr. Sophia Yin:

 Puppy Socialization Stops Fear Before It Starts

"From about 3 weeks to about 3 months of age, puppies are primed for bonding to other animals and individuals, for learning that objects, people, and environments are safe, and for learning what the body cues and signals of others mean. It's their sensitive period for socialization and it is the most important socialization period of a dog's life. Puppies who don't get adequate socialization during this period tend to be fearful of unfamiliar people, or dogs, or sounds, objects and environments"

Where we can start: 

  • We have to remember: what is normal now is not going to be the normal in the future
  • Getting a puppy when you are home more can be great for house training, but we want you to let the puppy succeed when the businesses open and working from home is in the past for most of us
    • The puppies will be confused why someone was home all the time and now they are left alone for hours


Recommendations for preventing separation anxiety before it starts: 

  • Leave the puppy in the home in safe area like his/her crate while you do yard work
    • Alone time is great for everyone even the puppy
  • Leave the puppy home when you run to the store
    • Yes getting your puppy used to the car is also wonderful BUT we need to remember at some point he/she has to be successful at home alone
  • Leave puppy home while you and the family go for a walk to encourage him/her it's ok to let the family have their time and the puppy have alone time
    • Independence helps your puppy succeed 
  • Start with a short period of time and work up to multiple hours
    • It becomes a perfect time for the puppies to use their mind with food puzzles, kongs, and busy toys
    • Let's encourage independence and discourage anxiety and fear
Social Distancing:

  • Social distancing can seem like a negative situation for your puppy as they may not learn other people and pets are okay and not scary
    • Let's make it a positive situation and think outside of the box!
  • This is a great time to have your puppy learn manners
    • A calm puppy greeting people is nice all around
    • A perfect time for learning "leave it" while you walk pass people but make sure to reward the calm behavior
  • Let's work on exercise while social distancing with the puppies
    • During a webinar by Dr. Sally J. Foote she recommends all dogs to walk daily 1 minute per pound
    • So a 60 lb should have an hour walk daily
    • This can allow you to let your puppy explore with his/her nose
    • Its important for them to be allowed to explore their sense of smell, this is how they learn about their environment


Training is very important, and yes, training facilities are closed at the moment but there are many positive reinforcement trainers doing virtual training courses

Website Links To Check Out:

PreventiveVet: Socializing Your Puppy While Social Distancing

Fear Free Happy Homes: Creating a Fear Free Home

Foote & Friends: Sally J. Foote DVM- Veterinary Behaviorist

The Behavior Clinic

Book Recommendations: 

  • Perfect Puppy in 7 Days (Sophia Yin) 
  • Puppy Start Right (Debbie and Ken Martin) 
  • Power of Positive Dog Training (Pat Miller) 
  • Social, Civil, and Savvy (Laura VanArendonk Baugh CPDT-KA, KPAC-TP) 
  • Decoding Your Dog: Explaining Common Dog Behaviors and How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones (Debra Horwitz, John Cirbassi, and Steve Dale) 
  • Before and After Getting Your Puppy (Dr. lan Dunbar)

Please use these resources, but as always, contact us if you have any questions!