Has anybody gotten a new family member recently? We have seen so many new puppies at the clinic lately that I thought we should talk a little bit about how important social interactions are for our furry friends.
The goal when socializing our puppies is to help them acclimate to all types of sights, sounds, and smells. By doing so, we can prevent our pets from being fearful of new situations or people, and help our puppy develop into a well-mannered, happy friend.
Here are a few things to keep in mind during the early stages of your puppy’s life:
- A whole new world: to a puppy, the world is a new, strange, and unusual place. The more places, people, sights, sounds and smells we expose our puppies to, the more familiarized they will be with these new things. You can find online a few comprehensive checklists for puppy socialization that you can use as a guide.
- Positive experiences: this is the most important aspect of any social interaction. Make sure you reward your friend for every single little accomplishment so they associate what they are being exposed to and the feeling of seeing something new as a fun rewarding experience.
- Involve family members and friends: the more people you have as part of the socialization process, the more comfortable your puppy will be with other people and experiences, no matter who they are with.
- Baby steps: make sure to not over-stimulate your puppy. Little positive interactions are much healthier than too many at once. Taking your puppy to a busy area to start the process may result in a fearful response.
- Vaccines, vaccines, vaccines: Remember to start the socialization process with other dogs once your puppy is vaccinated and dewormed to prevent infectious diseases! Always talk to you veterinarian for appropriate immunization protocols and the best time for dog park visits.
You know what’s a great option too? Bringing your furry friend for vaccines and deworming and making sure to mention to our sweet ladies at the front desk that your puppy needs some socialization time! I am sure I speak for all of us when I say that we won’t mind it at all!
Treats and cuddles on us!