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Few things in pet parenthood are more exciting or exhilarating than your first few months with a puppy or the first tender days welcoming a new pet into the family. These are formative and impressionable times for both pets and people, as your pet settles into a new rhythm of life, the household adapts to its new member, and everyone is learning about each other.

With more people adopting pets than ever before as a result of the COVID-19-induced quarantine, these hand-picked articles from our blog address a lot of questions first-time pet parents and those adopting pets during these unusual times may have. Whether you’re wondering how to best socialize your pet during a pandemic or just looking for some basic training resources, you’ll find it all below in this collection of stories generated by our team of expert dog trainers, veterinarians, and writers.

From puppies to foster pets and cats to kittens, read on for how to survive the first week with your new pet, training tips, how to make interspecies introductions, and more.

Here’s to a lifetime of happiness with your new forever friend!

So, You Got a Pandemic Pet: Now What?

From socialization to training to easy, simple ways to nurture your new bond, our writers and experts share their tips for how to survive and thrive during the COVID-19 pet adoption boom.

golden retriever puppy playing on her back

COVID-19 Pet Adoption: Puppies

Rover’s Puppy HQ
Your one-stop destination with everything you need to know about to live your best life with your puppy, from the basics of dog adoption, the must-have puppy essentials, the low down on puppy breeds, and how to provide the best care so that your dog will be healthy and thrive, to fun puppy names, heartwarming puppy stories, top puppy training tips, and more. Continue reading here…

What to Do With Your Dog in the First 30 Days
So you’ve just brought home a new dog! Congratulations! The next 30 days will be filled with moments of absolute joy and a love so strong that it crosses the species barrier. But it won’t all be fun and games. The next 30 days will also test your patience and your wallet. There may be times when you question your choice or realize that you don’t know as much about dogs as you thought. And other times when you feel as if you’ve discovered your soul mate. Continue reading here…

The Essential New Puppy Checklist
What kind of puppy products should you get for your new puppy? Think about health and safety, training tools, grooming tools, and essential services. This list has all the details. Continue reading here…

How Long Can I Leave a Puppy Alone?
Getting a new puppy is exciting, but it also comes with a lot of changes to your routine. Your work schedule and social life have to flex around your puppy’s needs. Puppies crave company, exercise, and plenty of interaction. Plus, they can’t hold it for very long. So, how long can you leave a puppy alone, really? Continue reading here…

Puppy Socialization: What It Really Means (and How to Do It Right)
Never underestimate a puppy’s ability to learn. Between three weeks and sixteen weeks of age, puppies go through what’s called the “critical socialization period.” As a trainer, I’ve worked with many puppies, and these are the key tips I offer to dog owners in terms of how to socialize a puppy. Continue reading here…

How to Crate Train Your Puppy to Keep Them Happy, Cozy, and Safe
On first glance, crates seem pretty uncomfortable. They’re such small spaces—how can a dog, puppy or otherwise, ever be comfortable inside of them? But the magic of the crate is that it taps into a deep genetic desire in your dog to want to “den” or curl up in a cozy, dark, warm space. As long as a pup is introduced to the crate properly and not forced to be inside of it for too long, it often becomes a favorite snuggle space. Continue reading here…

man and beagle snuggling

COVID-19 Pet Adoption: Fostering Tips

Record Numbers of People Want to Foster Dogs and Cats. Here’s How You Can, Too.
Published 4/3/2020: Millions of Americans are stuck inside because of the novel coronavirus outbreak, and many are looking for a little company, especially if they live alone. This is good news for animal shelters and pet rescues. If there’s one thing that can alleviate loneliness and make the world a better place at the same time—it’s fostering a dog or a cat. While the need has always existed, the demand for foster pet parenting is higher than ever. Continue reading here…

How to Foster a Dog 101: Everything You Need to Know
Fostering a dog—taking a dog into your home and providing it with shelter and care for a predetermined amount of time or until a forever home is found—is one of the most rewarding things a dog person can do. Our guide on how to foster a dog covers how to tell if you’re ready to foster, what to expect, preparing your home, and getting in touch with a rescue or shelter. Continue reading here…

Three Experts Share Their Tips on Fostering Rescue Dogs
What’s the best way to go about fostering dogs? I wanted to get the facts, so I called upon the expertise of 3 fabulous doggy foster moms for great tips on how to foster dogs. They dished on all the joys and difficulties of temp dog-parenting. Continue reading here…

How to Introduce Your Dog to Pets and Kids
For a dog who’s just been adopted, the world can be a frightening and unpredictable place. Just when they were getting used to a shelter or foster home, everything has once again been upended. There’s a different routine, different humans, different scents, and a whole new set of expectations they must learn to navigate. Continue reading here…

stylish couple holding a white fluffy cat

COVID-19 Pet Adoption: Cats and Kittens

Cat Adoption: A Guide to Bringing Home an Adult Cat
If you’re considering adopting an adult cat, you’re in for a treat. Adult cats tend to be calmer, better trained, and less hyperactive than kittens. What’s more, many shelters have a significantly higher population of adult cats and would really appreciate you taking one (or two) into your loving forever home. Continue reading here…

How to Survive the First 24 Hours with Your New Kitten
Are you the proud pet parent of a new kitten? Congratulations! Life is about to be a whole lot more fun. The first full day with your new pet is an exciting time. It’s normal to feel a little nervous, but don’t worry—you got this! These tips for how to survive the first 24 hours with your kitten will get you off to a great start. Continue reading here…

How to Introduce a Kitten to a Cat
Here are some tips on how to best show your new kitten the ropes without causing your current housemate too much stress or angst. Continue reading here…

How Long Can You Leave a Kitten Alone?
Every kitten is unique. But there are some accepted guidelines for how long you can leave them by themselves. Read on to answer the question: How long can you leave a kitten alone? Continue reading here…

Tips For Introducing Your Dog to a New Kitten (From an Owner Who’s Done It)
Congratulations! You’re bringing home a new kitten. First, let’s bust an old myth: Cats and dogs can totally get along. Whether your dog has lived with cats before or not, whether your dog is a puppy or a senior, here are some expert tips for introducing your dog to a new kitten and helping the move-in go smoothly. Continue reading here…

How to Introduce a Cat to a Dog Household: A Step-by-Step Guide
Phoebe was about one-and-a-half years old when I first learned about her. A friend of my friend found Phoebe in a garage covered in grease as a kitten but needed to re-home her because of some serious changes in his life. Although my San Francisco apartment was already filled with fluff, I’d been thinking about adding a cat to my two-dog family. Continue reading here…

man high fiving a dalmatian

COVID-19 Pet Adoption: Adult Dogs

How to Adopt a Dog: Everything You Need to Know
Are you endlessly scrolling #shelterpetsofinstagram and #dogadoption? Have you dreamily imagined morning walks with a new best friend and low-key stalked dog parks? You may be ready to provide a forever home to a dog in need. Let’s go over some basic prerequisites, preparations, and strategies for finding a great human/dog match. Continue reading here…

How to Adopt the Right Dog for You
Every time I walk into an animal shelter, I’m overwhelmed by the desire to love and care for every single dog there. Yeah, I have my favorite breeds just like anybody (fluffy littles and herding mutts) but really, if it has a wet nose and is in need of a home, big or small, fuzzy or sleek, snaggle-toothed or three-legged, I just can’t resist. Continue reading here…

Bringing Home Your New Adult Dog: Your Step-By-Step Guide to the First Week
Your adult dog’s transition from shelter to forever home is a doozy. While you prepared for a new addition to your family for weeks or months or even years, your dog only knows that they woke up one day and suddenly everything was different. Continue reading here…

Do I Have Enough Time to Care for a New Dog?
Getting a dog is a life-changing decision, and the commitment can be intimidating at first. But in exchange for your time, care, and attention, your dog will give you a lifetime of love and companionship. Read on to learn how to fit a dog into your busy life. (Trust us: it’s worth it.) Continue reading here…

How to Introduce a New Puppy to Your Older Dog
Adopting a new puppy is an exciting time for pet parents! If you have an older dog at home, you might be wondering how to introduce the new puppy to them. With some preparation, however, you can make the meeting a success. Here’s how to introduce your two furry family members to each other. Continue reading here…

How to Adopt a Dog in Your State or Town
Check out Rover’s many state and regional dog adoption guides to learn more about adopting a dog near you. Continue reading here…

woman with st. bernard snuggling on couch

COVID-19 Pet Adoption: General Resources

Pet Socialization and Wellness During and After a Pandemic: What the Experts Say
In the months since the global pandemic upended life as we know it, we’re spending a lot more time with our pets, and, in record numbers, adopting new cats and dogs into our families. In some ways, the COVID-19 era has been a golden age for pets and pet parents, with more time than ever to nurture the special bond between us. Continue reading here…

Dogs and the Coronavirus: A Resource Guide for Pet Parents About COVID-19
Updated 5/26/20: In consultation with Dr. Gary Richter, a veterinarian on Rover’s Dog People Panel and author of The Ultimate Pet Health Guide, and in accordance with the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), we’ve put together this resource for pet parents to address some of the questions you may have about dogs and COVID-19. Continue reading here…

Working From Home with Pets: An Expert’s Guide to Making the Most of It
For the foreseeable future, we’re going to be spending a lot more time in close quarters with our beloved dogs and cats. And that’s good news for pet parents—even in these stressful times. Rover surveyed pet parents who are now working from home because of the coronavirus outbreak and discovered that…Continue reading here…

Dog Training 101
Training your dog—whether you just got a puppy or want to teach an old dog new tricks—can be a rewarding experience for both you and your pup. Training not only keeps dogs safer in unpredictable situations, it’s also an excellent way to strengthen your bond and deepen your relationship. Continue reading here

Separation Anxiety in Dogs: What It Is and How to Help
We turned to two dog training experts to find out more about separation anxiety in dogs and to learn a few tips and tricks for alleviating it. Continue reading here…

Categories: Pets