12 Sep The importance of socialising your dog
Castelan owners Helen and Lance Young have been actively involved with animals for over 42 years. During this time, they’ve had various furry family members, been involved in breeding, obedience training, animal showing and of course, running a successful Brisbane pet boarding facility.
Having spent their careers working with animals, they have a wealth of specialty knowledge about how to give your dog the happy and healthy life they deserve.
The Brisbane kennel owners believe that one of the best things you can do to give your dog a great life is to ensure they are socialised at a young age.
Many of us don’t meet our dogs until they’re a few years old. However, for those of us that do adopt puppies, one of the best things we can do to set them up for a healthy life is to ensure they are exposed to different environments during the critical socialisation period of 3 – 17 weeks old.
Vets posit that this window is a critical period of learning and development for your dog.
To socialise your little friend, ensure that the environment is safe and comfortable.
Ways to socialise your puppy (once they’ve been vaccinated):
Puppy school is usually designed for puppies aged 11-18 weeks of age and gives dogs the opportunity to meet and play with other dogs of a similar age.
Play dates with the dogs of your friends & family at one of your houses is a great way to introduce your pet to other humans & pups.
When your vet advises you that it’s safe to do so, you can take your furry friend to the dog park to meet all kinds of pooches & people.
Socialising your dog is important. The effects of improper socialisation can have lifelong results. Some of these impacts can mean that your dog may:
- Suffer from fear-driven health problems
Dogs that haven’t been properly socialised are fearful of new environments. Sometimes, unusual circumstances can trigger a fight or flight reaction. When this happens, your dog’s heart rate and blood pressure can increase. With the focus on pumping blood, your dog’s body is ignoring vital functions, like the proper function of its immune system and ensuring correct blood flow to the kidneys and intestines.
- Make receiving medical attention tricky
To keep your dog healthy and happy, vet visits are vital. When animals are highly stressed during vet appointments, it makes it difficult to accurately assess important functions, like heart, lungs and abdominal organs, to name a few. For the sake of your animal’s wellbeing, it’s vital that you ensure your dog is properly socialised.
- Make getting enough exercise challenging
Poorly socialised dogs often don’t receive adequate exercise. This is because their owners are fearful of them attacking or getting into an altercation with another dog. Limiting your dog’s exercise out of fear of misbehaviour puts your dog at risk of obesity and the health conditions associated with carrying extra weight.
- Have difficulty receiving suitable grooming
Many breeds of dog require frequent professional grooming to maintain healthy skin, fur and nails. When dogs experience extreme distress during these procedures, not only does it risk their health, but it also creates safety risks for the groomer, who can be scratched, bitten or harmed by grooming equipment like scissors.
Socialising your dog is as important as feeding them a proper diet, ensuring they are getting proper vet care and are physically and mentally stimulated.
Introducing them to new environments, pets and people at an early age will help them grow into friendly, happy and confident dogs.
For more tips on raising your pets and for information about our Brisbane boarding kennel & cattery, keep an eye on this page for new posts.