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There have been many new pets adopted during COVID.  You might be wondering if it is a good idea to add a new member to your family. Dr. Brandi Eskesen recently added a kitten to a household of 2 adults, 2 young kids, and one ornery 9 year old French Bulldog.  Here is her story:

We were actually planning on adopting a kitten around this time even before COVID began.  My previous cats had passed about 6 years ago and my daughter has been pining for a furry friend that she can snuggle with (our dog is not a fan of children).  I wanted my daughter to be old enough to help with the care of the new animal and to wait until we were not traveling.  The start of the school year seemed like a good time and it coincided perfectly with someone in our neighborhood who was fostering kittens. 

That is how Fig Notaro joined our household.  He has brought such joy during a time that can be difficult, boring, and frustrating.  It is nice to look forward to coming home to play and snuggle with Fig, especially when we might not be able to leave that house very often.

There are pros and cons to adopting an animal during the COVID quarantine so I encourage taking time to really think about if it is right for your family.  First, it can be hard to find an adoptable animal.  Many shelters in Seattle are not accepting new animals from other states and an appointment is usually necessary to visit. 

You may need to be patient to find an animal that is right for you.  Be safe when visiting shelters, rescues, or breeders.  Animals are unlikely to transmit COVID to people but there are always humans associated with the adoption process.

Socialization can also be tough during quarantine. Puppies especially, should have times to experience different situations, meet different people, and interact with other dogs.  There are some puppy socialization classes going on now but they may be hard to get into.  Try to do safe dog playdates where someone drops their dog off or you can social distance while outside with them.  Have members of your family or pod interact with your new friend regularly.

You also cannot forget to get proper healthcare for your pet.  Puppies and kittens require regular examinations and vaccines every 2-4 weeks to make sure they stay healthy and develop properly. 

Veterinary Hospitals are busier than ever while trying to comply with COVID guidelines so call well ahead of when an appointment is needed. Even though Fig had been given deworming medications several times, a fecal parasite screen came up positive for roundworms when he was 3 months old.  That is definitely not something you want crawling around your quarantined home!

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