Teaching your pet to socialize is as crucial as making sure they get routine vaccinations and parasite preventatives. Dog socialization is an essential part of pet parenthood. When you start socializing your pet while young, you’re broadening their bank of experiences that will prepare them for future situations.
If you’re ready to socialize your dog but don’t know where to begin, we’ve prepared some guidelines you can follow.
How to Socialize Your Pet With Other Dogs and People
Teaching your furry friend to socialize is one of the best ways to guarantee they become confident and friendly canine citizens. Although there might be challenges when exposing your pet to social environments, the benefits far outweigh the struggles. However, it’s important to remember that the best time to socialize your puppies is when they have completed three shots of core vaccines, including one booster shot. This is to avoid contracting lethal viral diseases, such as parvo and distemper.
So we’ve compiled five dog socialization pointers to get you started.
1. Go for Daily Walks
Taking your pet for walks around the neighborhood or a public place helps them grow more comfortable in the world around them. From seeing many people to vehicles driving down the street, the world becomes familiar and less scary for them when you walk them around the block. Take different paths on each walk to experience new sights and allow your pet to meet new friends.
Always observe moderation and practice safety when walking with your dog to avoid unexpected injuries. If you suspect fractures or broken bones following a walk or exercise with your pet, take them to a vet surgeon immediately to attend to the situation. If you’re looking for animal surgeons to examine your pet, you may search for “dog surgery near me” for specific results.
2. Consider Pet Boarding Facilities
Boarding your dog allows them to engage with other dogs and humans in a safe and controlled environment. Since dogs are pack animals, interacting and playing with their fellows in pet boarding facilities like Critter Creek Veterinary Hospital can greatly improve their socialization skills and behavior.
3. Introduce Them to New Smells, Sounds, and Sights
To puppies, the world looks strange, unusual, and new, so take this chance to make a positive association with everything they may encounter. Try to expose them to various sounds, textures, places, people, and other dogs. The more your pet becomes exposed to many things surrounding them, the more they’ll become relaxed moving around wherever you take them.
When your pet becomes more acquainted with being around many people and other pets, consider taking them to doggy daycare or dog classes to further broaden their bank of experiences. But before doing so, you’ll need to take your pet to the veterinarian to ensure they’re up-to-date on their vaccinations and parasite preventives. This is necessary to protect them from common pet diseases when mingling with their fellows. You may click here to see the important vet care services your pet will need.
4. Take Baby Steps
When starting canine socialization training, avoid doing too much and don’t rush things. For instance, if you want your pup to get used to being touched by many people they don’t know, start with your few family members, slowly introduce one stranger at a time, then two, and so on. Starting socialization training in a busy public place or huge party can be intimidating for your pet and might trigger fearful responses to groups of strangers in the future.
5. Don’t Lock Them Up
When you have close friends or relatives coming over, unleash your pets, and tell your friends you’re training them to socialize, so they’ll know. Let your dog know the people you’re close to so your pet becomes more comfortable each time they visit. Doing so also keeps your pet from having a bad sense of visitors and being fearful of new people.
Unsocialized dogs pose the risk of developing behavior problems and aggression toward others. So while you have the chance to socialize them, do it. Although it’s never too late to socialize adult dogs, it’s way easier to do it when they’re three to six months old after completing their core vaccines, including one booster shot. When training older pets to socialize, consistency is the key. Gradually introduce them to new situations and environments, and don’t forget to reward them with treats when they show positive social behavior.