FAQs About Socializing Your New Dog

When you get a new dog, socializing him or her is the key to a happy, healthy relationship. Without proper socialization, dogs can be skittish, aggressive, or otherwise mal-adjusted, which puts both your pup and your family at risk. Plus, puppies love to explore and make new friends, so socialization keeps him or her happy. Your veterinarian can answer questions specific to your pup—and a trip to the animal clinic can also be part of the socialization process. Here are answers to some of the questions new dog families often have about socialization.

 

When should I start socializing my dog?

Puppy socialization should start right away. In fact, from birth to four months is a critical time for socialization. During this period, it’s important for puppies to spend time with the people and fellow pets that make up his or her family. You should also introduce your puppy to the places he or she will be spending time frequently, so that they are familiar and comfortable as he or she grows. After this time period, socialization should continue throughout your dog’s life.

 

Can I socialize my dog before he or she is vaccinated?

Your veterinarian will likely recommend that you avoid dog parks and doggy day cares until your pup has been vaccinated. We certainly say that. However, there are still plenty of ways to socialize your dog in the meantime, through frequent play at home and interaction with visitors to your home.

 

Does my dog need to go to puppy school for socialization?

School isn’t required for puppies, but it definitely helps. In puppy school, not only do dogs and their human families learn the tools necessary to relate to each other, but dogs also get a chance to play together. Puppy school is a good place for your dog to practice things like bite inhibition, which is best taught through interactions with other pups. Your veterinarian can help you decide if puppy school is right for your pet.

 

For all of your new dog’s firsts, from spay and neuter services to vaccinations, choose Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. We’re here to keep your pup healthy from their first day at home to their senior years. Make an appointment at one of our AAHA-accredited animal hospitals by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas, or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.

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