All good dog owners know that nutritious food, plenty of exercise, and lots of love are crucial to their pet’s overall health and wellness. But it’s important to remember that proper socialization can be just as vital for a dog, no matter how old they are.
Why You Should Continue to Socialize Your Dog
Make new experiences less stressful.
Socialization is often brought up when talking about puppies, but, just like humans, dogs are life-long learners and need continued exposure to other dogs, people, and environments to help them keep up their ability to thrive in new situations. Dogs who do not experience regular socialization may be fearful of new people, places, and situations. This unfamiliarity with the outside world can make things like car rides, veterinary appointments, and meeting new people uncomfortable and overwhelming.
It encourages physical health.
Part of socialization includes being around other dogs and humans. If you’ve ever seen dogs playing together, you know that it involves a lot of running and playing. Dogs who spend time with one another tend to be more active, which encourages their all-around physical health. Humans can also help promote physical activity through play and interaction.
They develop confidence and a better understanding of the world.
Well-supervised and organized socialization often encourages dogs to improve social skills, make friends, and continue to learn how to respond to new situations in safe, healthy ways. Continued, controlled, and safe exposure during adulthood can help dogs keep their social skills finely tuned. .
Socialization at All Ages
If you have the opportunity, most veterinarians and trainers suggest socializing your dog while they’re still a puppy. This way, dogs will learn at an early age how to adapt and cope in a safe and healthy way when faced with new situations.
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? While it’s true that older dogs may have prior experiences to work through, even they can learn better ways to cope with new situations. If you recently adopted an older dog, you may want to consider formal training to help them feel as comfortable and safe as possible throughout the process.
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