Adopting a new puppy is an exciting experience. After you take your new pet to your local animal hospital for a checkup, it’s time to start introducing him to his new environment. This is important because a pet that never learns to be comfortable in his environment is more likely to be fearful and aggressive. Proper socialization at the correct period in a puppy’s development can positively influence his interactions with others for the rest of his life.
There is a very small window in a dog’s life during which socialization is crucial. Puppies aged three to 12 weeks are more receptive to new experiences than they ever will be after. Once a puppy hits 18 weeks, his survival instincts kick in, making him fearful or suspicious of anything unfamiliar. Their future happiness depends upon this three-month period, so be sure to make it a daily priority to properly socialize your puppy.
While there are precautions you must take, socializing your puppy simply means exposing him to as many different environments, people, animals, surfaces, and noises as you can. Although puppies during this time are predominantly curious and fearless, some may cower away from over-exposure. It’s your responsibility to keep a close eye on your pet’s reactions as you introduce new things and to respond accordingly if a situation presents a problem.
Though your puppy may not have received all of his vaccinations, it is crucial to begin socializing him during when he is three weeks old. By the time your puppy receives the full course of vaccines from his veterinarian, he’ll have grown past the point of being receptive to socialization. It is very important to refrain from taking your puppy to a dog park until he has completed his vaccinations. Instead, find puppy classes in which to socialize your pet with other animals.
Contact Hudson Veterinary Hospital in Ossining, New York to schedule your puppy’s vaccinations so he can begin socializing anywhere! Our animal hospital also offers low-cost spaying and neutering services. Call us today at (914) 762-0063 to learn more.