Dr. Karren Prost
Companion Animal Veterinary Services Manager
Puppies are being raised in abnormal circumstances this year. Establish a relaxing environment with synthetic pheromones when socializing your canine companion.
Dogs communicate with each other using pheromones. When puppies are still with their mother, she communicates with her litter by producing appeasing pheromones. Pheromones trigger innate responses in an animal, influencing behaviours and emotions. Small but mighty, pheromones may be the key to helping you raise a healthy puppy in the wake of a global pandemic.
The pandemic has changed the way we socialize with each other. Hoping to stop the spread of COVID-19, people are avoiding public spaces and staying home. Unfortunately, this lack of interaction with the outside world may be having a negative impact on your new puppy.
“Many veterinarians are concerned that puppies are not being socialized properly. When normal socialization resumes, these dogs may struggle to adapt and could develop fear or anxiety related problems” says Dr. Karren Prost, Companion Animal Veterinary Services Manager for Ceva Animal Health Canada. Dr. Prost is worried that these puppies do not have enough exposure to various situations and objects. “These puppies are growing up in a very different environment than what they’ll be experiencing on a regular basis after the pandemic and once the restrictions relax.”
Puppies are lagging behind in social skills
With people being more isolated than ever, there has been a sharp increase in puppy adoption. Though this is mostly beneficial for puppies and owners alike, these animals are being raised in an abnormal environment. “In many cities, there are no puppy classes. There is no chance to expose them to other dogs, people, or kids,” Dr. Prost says.
Fortunately, there are ways to better your puppy’s adaptability, with a combination of early intervention and discussing this situation with your veterinarian at wellness or puppy visits. Dr. Prost recommends that puppies should be introduced to as many new experiences as possible – to household items, abnormal sounds, and to other people and kids (when it’s safe to do so). Most importantly, Dr. Prost says puppies shouldn’t feel anxious or scared when discovering something unfamiliar. “Keep exposing them to situations, people and places while keeping things positive and using high reward treats. Make it a happy experience. If they appear nervous at all, it’s time to give them some space, slow down and try again another time at their own pace.”
Moving from puppy tension to puppy positivity
This is where pheromones can help: Help your puppy feel secure and comforted by sending them appeasing messages while introducing new objects, situations and places. ADAPTIL products, by Ceva Animal Health Canada, are scientifically proven to do just that. “They emit a synthetic version of the pheromone released by mother dogs to make their puppies feel safe, and decrease their stress and anxiety,” says Dr. Prost.
Dr. Prost recommends using the ADAPTIL Junior Collar when bringing a new puppy into the home. “It helps with training and socialization, and it is clinically proven to influence a puppy’s development and help them grow into a well-balanced and confident adult,” Dr. Prost adds. Using ADAPTIL’s Calm Home Diffuser and Refill can also decrease puppies’ crying at night. “If you are able to, expose your dogs to certain activities you plan to do in the future such as frequent car rides” suggests Dr. Prost. When doing so, mitigate your puppy’s anxiety by using the ADAPTIL Transport Spray. Veterinarians recommend ADAPTIL to help puppies and dogs stay positive and healthy. Train your puppy for life after the pandemic while making them feel comforted and safe.