It’s undeniable that puppies are sociable animals. They like to be around people and various environments because it mentally stimulates them. Puppies are also intrigued by other dogs. During times of social distancing, it’s vital to stay safe. Therefore, the question becomes, “how can I socialize my puppy while maintaining social distancing rules?”. Today we’re going to answer just that.
Socialization Goals to Keep in Mind
You shouldn’t necessarily put a dog in a new situation and see what will happen. Instead, you should introduce a dog to new situations but ensure their safety and that the experience is positive and will boost your dog’s confidence. It would be best to keep in mind that every dog is different and has different needs. You should be attuned to your puppy’s needs and refrain from exposing them to an overwhelming amount of noises, people, or anything that could discomfort them.
What Puppies Should Have Exposure To
During the first 16 weeks of a canine’s life, they should have exposure to specific situations. The good thing is that amid a pandemic, most of these exposures are in or around your home. These positive, confidence-boosting experiences include:
- Your puppy touching different surfaces (e.g., grass, carpet, wood)
- Your puppy hearing different everyday sounds (e.g., the ringing of a cellphone; the sound of the vacuum cleaner). To help your dog not feel distressed by specific sounds, act happy around the sound, and use positive reinforcement.
- Your puppy being around other dogs: If there are dogs in your neighborhood that you trust because they’re well-mannered and you know the owner well, this type of exposure should be safe. The same goes for a friend that you know. You can arrange some play dates so long as you are socially distanced.
- Your puppy being around other people: If you live with family, this is the best and safest way to expose your precious pup to other people. Another safe way to expose your pup to other people is by letting them look out the window. You can also take your dog for a walk outside. By social distancing anyone you come across, your pup will learn to be around other people without the expectation of saying hello to everyone.
Is Owing a Puppy During a Pandemic Worth It?
The honest answer is that only you can determine that. You have to weigh the pros and cons. There are many benefits to owning pets. They warm our hearts and keep us from being lonely. These are stressful times, and puppies help alleviate them. The good news is that the CDC reports that COVID-19 cannot be transmitted from pet to human and vice versa. With that in mind, you should still practice necessary cautions like social distancing, wearing a mask, and washing your hands as much as you can, and sanitizing them when you can’t. More good news is that at MCAH, we have many precautionary measures in place to keep our clients safe!
Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!