Socializing dogs through different stages of life from puppyhood, adolescence to adulthood is the best way to ensure they become confident and friendly. It also helps them to thrive and adapt to new environments. Here are different ways to socialize your dogs at various stages of their lives.
For dogs, the learning period starts from 3 weeks to 20 weeks. During this period, puppies get exposed to sight, smell, sensation, and sound without being fearful. Puppies that miss this period may never get comfortable in an unfamiliar environment leading to fear, anxiety, and aggression.
- Allow different people to cuddle your puppy: This is a great way to socialize them.
- Gently expose your puppy to different sounds, a great way to get them used to their environment.
- Have people around your puppy while he is eating and encourage them to give him some treats.
- Teach your puppy to be alone: One way of ensuring your puppy does not develop separation anxiety is by slowly teaching him to be alone early on.
Socializing older dogs
Socializing your older dog is a perfect way to ensure your dog lives happily with other dogs.
- Create playtime for your older dog: Invite your neighbour’s friendly dog to play with yours, watch and allow them to get accustomed to each other.
- Walk your dog daily: Dog walks are a great opportunity to have your canine friend meet other dogs and see people daily. During a dog walk, ensure that you do not shout at your dog when he barks but allow him to associate with other dogs freely.
- Use a muzzle for aggressive dogs: If you have a dog that growls at other dogs, then you need a muzzle to prevent him from biting.
- Gradually expose your dog to different social activities: While socializing dogs, it is vital to introduce your dog to one social activity weekly; this will go a long way in making sure they remain calm and well behaved.
Socializing a dog with a cat
So many dog owners believe that dogs and cats cannot coexist. Not true! Dogs and cats are capable of getting along, but there are some steps you can follow to help them along.
- Carefully plan the first meeting: Schedule the first cat and dog meeting at mealtime. Have your cat kept in a carrier on one side of a room, then bring your dog into the room, on-leash and lead him to the dog bed just at the opposite side of the room. Feed your dog his favourite treat and block any attempt he makes to get to the cat. Repeat the same process daily for at least ten days until both the dog and cat become used to each other.
- Keep their food and toys separate: Ensure that you keep the dog’s food and toys separate from your cat’s. Schedule a regular meal time for them and place the bowls in separate areas of the house, or perhaps have the cat bowl somewhere up high.
- Consider raising them together: The best way to socialize your dog and cat is by raising them together at a young age. Puppies and kittens are impressionable and love to form new relationships.
We Are Here for You!
My Peterinarian is not just about providing exercise and attention for your pets while you’re busy or out of town. With us, you’ll have the advantage of having a current or future veterinarian look after your pet. My Peterinarian is owned by a trained veterinarian. Send us a message today!