If you’ve recently brought home a new puppy, you’ve probably got a lot on your plate! It’s exciting and fun, but it’s also a lot of work. Potty training, working on manners, figuring out a routine are all likely top of mind right now. But, it’s important to remember socialization – with both humans and other dogs. If your puppy is too young to be fully vaccinated, avoid places where there’s lots of dogs around, like the dog park, but it’s not necessary to completely isolate your young pup.
The importance of puppy socialization
Puppies are very impressionable at a young age, especially during their first three months of life when they’re essentially learning how to be a dog. During this time, it’s important they have good experiences with things they’ll encounter on a regular basis like adults, children, other dogs and even cats.
Here are some things you can do to help develop your pup’s socialization skills:
- Sign up for puppy playtime classes. Check with your local rescue shelter or doggy daycare. Many offer puppy playtime classes that are designed to get your pup used to spending time with other dogs. Plus, they’re usually very affordable!
- Crate train. Crate training for socialization? Yes, learning to be alone can actually help your pup remain calm in social situations.
- Introduce new things. Introduce your pup to plenty of new scents, smells, environments and even sounds to help desensitize them to changes.
- Handle your pup. Touching your pup’s ears, toes, mouth, and other body parts helps when it comes to trimming their nails, brushing their teeth, taking them to the groomer’s and visiting the vet.
- Independent play time. Just like children, dogs can develop separation anxiety. Give your pup some toys and leave them alone to play by themselves to help discourage an unhealthy attachment to you.
- Safe puppy play dates and walks. At this time there’s no evidence that suggests pets can spread COVID-19 to other pets or people. It’s important that your pup meets other dogs while they’re young if your health permits, just make sure you’re practicing social distancing and following your province’s rules and regulations.
Protecting your puppy with Petsecure can help you avoid unexpected costs
Let’s face it, even with the best care and a loving home, puppies can still have accidents or get sick. Petsecure can help with the cost of unexpected vet bills. Learn what’s covered by Petsecure and get a free quote today.