Socializing your pet is a lot more than just an excuse to show off your cute new furry friend. If you make sure that your pet has a variety of positive experiences in the world around them, it will help give them the tools they need to adjust to whatever comes their way. Well-socialized pets grow into confident, happy adults that can easily adapt to different routines, environments, and social situations. Inadequate socialization, however, can lead to the following problems.
#1: Your pet may not receive enough exercise
If your dog turns into a terror when they’re on a leash, barking and lunging at passing people and pets, you may stick to your backyard for exercise. Oftentimes, dogs who display such behaviors while out walking aren’t aggressive—they’re actually anxious and trying to warn off approaching strangers. By socializing your puppy to be accepting of new people and pets, both of you can have much more pleasant walks.
#2: Your pet can experience constant stress
A poorly socialized pet is often fearful of the world around them and can develop anxiety. For example, a puppy who was never positively exposed to loud sounds when young can become so fearful during thunderstorms and fireworks that they injure themselves. Exposing your pet to a multitude of sounds, sights, and experiences when they’re young can help desensitize them to potentially frightening things. Use plenty of treats, praise, and other pets when exposing your pet to new things to reward them for being brave.
#3: Your pet may not receive regular veterinary care
Pets who panic during their veterinary visits typically don’t receive as much veterinary care as those who tolerate or enjoy their appointments. If a cat becomes hard to handle as soon as they see the carrier come out, their owner may be tempted to skip their feline friend’s annual exam, especially if their pet appears healthy. We understand visiting the veterinarian can be scary for pets, so we do everything we can to ensure it’s a pleasant experience. If your pet becomes fearful, stressed, or anxious during their visit, ask us about anti-anxiety options to help soothe them.