Wellness Tips

Essential tips for socializing your pet for their overall wellbeing and health

As a pet owner, you want your furry friend to be happy and well-adjusted. While love and attention are essential, proper socialization is just as crucial for your pet’s overall well-being. Socializing your pet with people and other animals will help them gain experience in situations that they will frequently face in their adult lives. By doing so, your pet will react much more appropriately and confidently rather than getting fearful of the scenario. This will encourage them in accepting things around them, especially things like car rides, unknown people, noises, vacuum cleaners, and even other pets in the house. (Also read: Animal communication, healing therapies to help resolve behaviour issues in pets )

Talking to HT Lifestyle, Ambarish Sikarwar, Business Head, Zigly mentions five significant points which emphasize the need for the right kind of socialization for your pet.

1. Make your pets socialise early on:

Socialising your kittens and puppies from an early age of 3-4 months has shown that pets grow less fearful, and exhibit decreased aggression towards animals, new people, or circumstances. If not socialised at this age, pets ought to develop an increased sense of vulnerability to new experiences.

2. Be mindful of the ‘Sensitive period’ of your pet:

For young animals, the sensitive period is the time when they benefit the most from experiencing a different range of stimuli. At this stage, kittens and pups show a great desire to play, explore and display little fear when they come across any new animal, object, or people. This is a gradual process as they will take time to expose themselves to new scenarios. If suitable stimuli or opportunities are provided to them then their behaviour and brains will develop rapidly within at least 20 weeks.

3. Familiarize your paw-buddy with known and unknown people:

You must make your pet interact with unfamiliar and familiar people. This will aid them to learn to actively explore and ask for attention from their friends and family members rather than running away or trying to hide. People should also act in ways that are welcoming to puppies and kittens and don’t scare them away. Taking them out for grooming sessions or to their favourite stores to purchase their preferred treats and toys is a great practice to execute to nurture friendliness and adaptability in your beloved pet.

4. Make their exploration enjoyable:

To encourage your pet for playtime, you must provide them with toys of varied textures, and make it their daily habit to be exposed to a diverse range of objects, be it any kind of litter or unfamiliar surfaces as it will motivate pleasurable exploration for them.

5. Never punish a fearful pet:

Handling a puppy or a kitten is a delicate matter. Never punish a scared pet especially if they are anxious during their interactions. 3 to 4 months old pets are inquisitive in nature. It is important for you to be calm in situations where the pets are anxious and need you as their emotional support. Say sweet things to them, pat them, or give them head scratches, things that help them to calm down and gain confidence to handle a scary situation.

Lack of socialisation for your pet can result in a delay in their cerebral development and reduce their capability to learn and make new relationships. As a consequence, your pet will start avoiding people or animals, develop fearfulness very often, or even turn hostile and show aggression toward others. Such issues can create difficulties for the pet parents and in some cases, many pet parents have to send their pets to animal shelters or get them re-homed.

Offering your cat or dog (or young pets) a chance to socialise during their early developmental stage will surely pay off beautifully and they will become confident and will harbor a positive personality.

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