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Socializing a Puppy During Quarantine

Socializing a Puppy During Quarantine

Proper socialization of a puppy during the first few months of their life is key for healthy social development as pups age into dogs. But with the country in quarantine, how can one socialize a puppy at home? Dr. Heather Kovac provides some helpful tips on what new puppy owners can do to properly socialize their puppies at home during quarantine in our latest video! If you have questions are need assistance with your pet's care, please contact us here.

Featured Quote:

I definitely want to recommend that you do a lot of handling with them at home. Get them used to their home environment first, so that they feel comfortable with the people in their social circle. So getting all the kids involved, mom and dad, anyone else living in the home just needs to spend a lot of time with the puppy, making everything positive, touching them all over is really, really important.

Video Transcript:

Hey, it's Dr. Kovac from the Drake Center and just wanted to talk to you a little bit today about how to socialize your new puppy in this quarantine time. So we all know we're not letting people go to parks. So obviously, all the dog parks are closed right now. Training facilities are closed. So, a little bit limited on what we can do to socialize these new puppies that a lot of people are getting. So, I definitely want to recommend that you do a lot of handling with them at home. Get them used to their home environment first, so that they feel comfortable with the people in their social circle. So getting all the kids involved, mom and dad, anyone else living in the home just needs to spend a lot of time with the puppy, making everything positive, touching them all over is really, really important. So playing with their ears, putting your little finger in their ear, lifting up their lips, touching their teeth, opening and closing their mouth, lifting up and down their tail gently, looking at their feet, holding onto their claws.

And doing a pretend exam at home is really helpful, because then when they come to the Drake Center, they're not going to be afraid of us doing those things if it's something that they're just routinely getting at home. So lots of handling is really important in the first few months of getting your puppy. People always ask me, "Can I take my dog for a walk, even though he's not fully vaccinated yet?" Absolutely. You do want to take your puppy on a walk in your neighborhood, keeping them on a leash, fairly short leash, sidewalks are fine. They can sniff around on the edges of the sidewalks, but you don't want to take them to a dog park situation, or even a common area where you don't know who pooped where, who cleaned it up, did somebody have diarrhea here? The main thing we want to prevent in these dogs is parvovirus, which is a fecal oral transmitted disease. That means a dog steps in poop, comes home, licks their foot, or even eats the poop, and then they can get sick. So we want to avoid those kind of common areas.

Other things are, if you have friends that have dogs or puppies, have them come over to your house for a play date. Of course, the people aren't allowed to come over right now, but the dogs can come over and have just a safe visit either in your home or in your yard where they can interact. It's really important that these puppies get to play with their peers, so they figure out, how do I interact with another dog? What happens when they jump on me? How do I play bite them, and not hurt them? It's really important that they have that time just for fun, and to play. So don't feel like, I can't take them anywhere. You definitely can. Have neighbor dogs come over that are well cared for, and healthy, and fully vaccinated, totally safe to do that right now. So hopefully you guys can get those puppies out there, and have fun with them, and stay healthy too.

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