Photo: Duke (silky terrier) far left, Hudini (bichon frise) in the middle & Addie (labradoodle) on the right are socializing at my family's home.
First, let's clarify what socialization is and how it applies to your pet.
Socialization is the process of exposing your pet to new situations and environments. For example, in the photo above, three dogs that I dog walk and pet sit for are socializing with one another in a new environment. Each of these dogs has very different personalities and characteristics but, it's important to remember that dogs are pack animals! This is how dogs used to live before they were domesticated by us humans.
3 Reasons to Socialize Your Pets:
#1 Stress is reduced in your pet if you start socializing them at a young age. If your dog or cat is used to hearing the sound of an ambulance or a motorcycle engine then, they are less likely to bark, meow, hide or shake. Its never too late to start socializing your pet. Our dog is 7 years old but, I always make sure to walk her at the local park, at the dog park, by Starbucks etc. These new experiences exposes her to many things that she can not experience at home or in the back yard.
#2 Your pet will be friendlier with other people and pets. Our dog Addie, shown in the picture above, loves to meet new people and give them her paw. How did this happen? When she was a puppy we started introducing her to new people and eventually she became used to having people come to our house and she would come with us to places like the Lazy Dog Cafe in West Covina, Starbucks, Chipotle in Pasadena etc.
#3 Your pet will be happier if he/she has been socialized to a variety of people and situations. Many pet owner's can attest to the fact that having a well adjusted dog or cat has made them have a better life. Our pets depend on us to feed them, love them, care for them etc. so, it is critical to be responsible and make sure they are socialized to live long and happy lives.
Please share your experience with pet socialization. Did you take your dog to obedience classes? Dog parks? Day trips?
San Gabriel Valley Pet Care
Jacklyne & Jeanine Tesoro