Posts Tagged ‘behavior’

We’ve noticed an increase in the number of calls about new puppies during this period of stay-at-home orders. For many people, this is the perfect time to be at home with a new pup for training purposes — and the puppy provides its owners with excitement and a new cuddle buddy during unprecedented downtime.

Socialization with other pets and people can be difficult while practicing social distancing. The point of socializing is to meet others, and the point of social distancing is to stay away from them!

See this video on Socialization While Social Distancing.

The American Veterinary Medical Association has tips for socializing your kitten or puppy. Check out this list, so that you’ll be ready when the world starts to get back to normal.

Orange tabby cat with fawn puppy

What is socialization?

Socialization is the process of preparing a dog or cat to enjoy interactions and be comfortable with other animals, people, places and activities. Ideally, socialization should begin during the “sensitive period” which is between 3 and 14 weeks of age for puppies, and 3 and 9 weeks of age for kittens.

Advice to new puppy and kitten owners

Adopting a new kitten or puppy is a wonderful and exciting experience. It is also a time where a little extra planning can help a new pet develop the calm and confident temperament that will help them enjoy life to the fullest. The basic tenets of socialization are outlined below. The AVMA will be developing tools to help veterinarians and their clients create simple and fun plans tailored to the developmental needs of puppies and kittens in their first weeks and months of life.

  • When adopting a puppy or kitten, ask for a pre- and post-adoption socialization plan.
  • Create a socialization plan specifically for your dog or cat to prepare him or her for life in your household. Plan exposures to the animals, individuals, environments, activities and objects that will be part of his or her new life.
  • Provide regular positive and diverse experiences to encourage your dog or cat to enjoy new experiences without becoming fearful or aggressive.
  • Provide praise, play and treats to reward engagement. Allow the dog or cat to withdraw if he or she is uncomfortable. Move at a pace appropriate for your pet’s personality.
  • Well-managed puppy or kitten socialization classes are a good way to socialize your new pet within the sensitive period.
  • Puppies or kittens that are not fully vaccinated should not be exposed to unvaccinated animals or places they may have been (such as outdoor parks).
  • Continue to reward your dog or cat for calm or playful responses to social interactions throughout his or her life.
  • For dogs or cats with special behavioral needs, develop a plan with your veterinarian and/or another animal behavior expert.


    Image by Snapwire via Pexels.


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For Tips 6-10, click here.

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5. Provide your pet with fresh water at all times, cleaning the bowl daily.

4. Feed a pet food that is appropriate for your pet’s age, nutritional requirements, activity level, and special health needs.

3. Choose a pet wisely based on your schedule, budget, and living environment. Consider the pet’s physical and behavioral needs.

2. Establish a preventative health care program with your veterinarian, including regular checkups, dental care, vaccinations, parasite control, and reproductive options.

1. Discuss the responsibility of pet ownership with your veterinarian before you obtain a pet or as soon as possible after bringing a pet home.

Bonus Tip 1: Ask your veterinarian to microchip your pet as a way of providing proof of ownership and permanent pet ID.

Bonus Tip 2: Enroll your pet with a pet insurance company, like Pet’s Best, as soon as possible, to keep premiums low and to avoid pre-existing conditions denials.

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Tips borrowed from Purina’s The Pet Owner’s Checklist.

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