Socialization

Walking Your Dog: Benefits Everyone

Taking your dog for a walk can have many benefits, for both you and your four-legged family members. Taking our dogs for a walk not only keeps them in tip-top shape, it also keeps the two-legged person healthy as well. Below are the top 5 reasons to take your dog for a walk:

 

1. Walking your dog can strengthen the bond between you both. Daily walks build a fun and trusting relationship. It gives you and your dog time to work on behavioral development, making them the perfect dog all around.

A nice walk around the Brohm Lake loop in Squamish.

A nice walk around the Brohm Lake loop in Squamish.

 

2. Walking your dog can encourage socialization. Along the way, you will run into many other dogs and owners out there. Exposing your dog to other dogs and humans will help in the future to adapt faster in new or intimidating situations.

Small dogs exploring.

Exploring the trails in the Smoke Bluffs area in Squamish.

Jessie and Axl

Little dog chasing big dog – very entertaining!

 

3. Walking your dog can promote weight control and digestive health. It is not healthy for your dog to be overweight. It is hard on their joints, as well as their internal organs. Daily walks stimulate your dog’s digestive system to stay in proper working order.

Eli apple

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”

 

4. Walking your dog can help diminish destructive behavior and unwanted hyperactivity. Your dog enjoys having a task to complete or participate in. Going for a walk will not only tire them out, but will also give them a sense of accomplishment.

Burning as much energy as possible.

Burning as much energy as possible.

In the forest

These little dogs feel so accomplished after every walk.

 

5. Walking your dog can boost your health. Spending time outside can boost your overall well-being. Having your dog as a fun exercise partner can help lower your blood pressure, help you shed a few pounds, help strengthen your muscles and put a big smile on your face!

A little kiss to say thank you for the fun walk!

A little kiss to say thank you for the fun walk!

Enjoying the sand at Nexen beach, downtown Squamish.

Enjoying the sand at Nexen beach, downtown Squamish.

Socialization 101

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“Mischa” preparing to do her homework.

Puppy socialization is a very important part of a puppy’s first steps in life. Proper socialization can help eliminate behavior problems in the future and help develop a better bond between the puppy and your family. Socialization is the learning process that puppies go through to become accustomed to various things in their surroundings such as: people, other animals, different environments, etc. Be careful not to introduce your puppy to other dogs until they have been properly vaccinated. Your veterinarian will let you know when your puppy is ready to be around other dogs.

By exposing puppies to different situations in a positive or neutral way (before they can develop a fear of these things!), owners can reduce the possibility of future behavioral problems. The critical time to socialize a puppy is during the first 3-4 months of its life. If we are able to create less future behavioral problems with puppies, then we will hopefully see fewer dogs surrendered at the local shelters.

Attending a puppy training class led by a professional trainer is a great way for you and your puppy to learn together. The goal of socialization is to expose your puppy to as many different things as possible without overwhelming them. We want the puppy’s experiences to create positive memories for them.

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“Mischa” and her sister “Maquita” playing a friendly game of tug of war.

 

  • Familiarize your puppy with touch. Whenever possible, you should touch your puppy’s ears, mouth, paws and body. This will make it easier  (for you and the veterinary team) to clean ears, brush teeth, trim nails and examine them in the future.
  • Introduce your puppy to people of all different ages, sexes, heights and races. Once your puppy seems comfortable, allow other people to touch your puppy’s ears, mouth, paws and body. This will make your puppy more comfortable in the future when being handled by others at the daycare, groomers or veterinary hospital.
  • Once your puppy is properly vaccinated, they can then be socialized around other animals. Be sure to introduce them to many different dogs in various public areas. You don’t want to do this too soon and expose your puppy to an infectious disease when their immune system is still developing.

 

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“Mischa” when she was a little girl! Now she has grown up to be a 70lb teenager.

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