October 2011 Pet Health News                                                                                   Can't Read This? Go Here
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Hello There,

Does your pet socialize enough? In this issue we will discuss how it is essential to make sure that you socialize your pet when they are young.

If you have any comments, questions or concerns, feel free to email us at: newsletters@crittercures.com

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Social Pups

Dog being social with another dog

Naturally, dogs are sociable creatures. Socializing does not just consist of interacting with other dogs but with people, as well as their environment. At a young age, dogs enjoy getting out and meeting people, playing with other dogs, and discovering the world around them. The more they are exposed to when they are young, the more comfortable they will be around everyday sights, sounds, people, and other animals. Once your dog passes this age they become more aware of the world, making them more frightened of what is around them. Between the ages of 3 to 12 weeks, your dog should be exploring the world and being exposed to people as well as other animals. After about 18 weeks of age, your pet will start to lose this ability to be open about certain things around them and become more suspicious.

Causing your dog to socialize with people, animals, and to the environment will benefit not just them but you as well. Having socialized your dog, this will help your dog be better at preventing aggressive behavior. If they are used to being around everyday things then they will be calmer and relaxed resulting in a very happy dog. It will also prevent anxiety in dogs since they will be more relaxed. Your dog will especially be fine if they need to be left at a kennel with other dogs as well as other people. Furthermore, socializing can cause your dog to be more obedient to you if it is done. Overall, they will experience less behavioral problems when they get older.

When they are young, it is good to get them used to places and people they may be around when they are older such as the groomers. It is good to take them for car rides, get them to go to dog parks, and have them interact with people of different appearances so they do not get scared of someone who may look different just because they have a beard. After such events of socializing, it is good to reward your dog so they understand that they did not go through a bad experience but rather a rewarding one.

Other techniques you can use to help your dog socialize is to alternate them on and off the leash. Furthermore, when they are on the leash you should not tug the leash too much. By tugging the leash, you are giving your dog a negative vibe of when they are trying to say hello to another dog making them less social. They will think there is something to fear when you pull their leash towards you. It's never too late to help your dog to get out into the world but it may become more difficult with age so get them out when they are young!

Your Cuddle Buddy

pets in your bed

More than 50% of cats and dogs sleep in their owner's bed. Of course, most owners do not mind cuddling up to the warmth of their pets. It is not an unnatural thing for your pet to want to sleep in the bed, but is it best for your sleeping habits. Here are a few things to think about when deciding if it's OK for your pet to be sleeping next to you.

Allergies and Asthma – Your sleeping time may be the only time you get to breathe a little so if your pet is in your bed, it may not benefit you. Having a pet in the bed will only enhance the symptoms of asthma and allergies you may have. Although this may be a problem, many owners will still not kick their pet out of the bed. If this is the case, it is best to start taking prevention matters. Taking allergy shots to reduce your severity of allergies as well as preventing asthma attacks.

Sleep Patterns – Sleeping with your dog may either keep you up at night or put you to sleep depending on how you like to sleep. Just over half of owners say that their pet disturbs their sleep regularly. If your pet is disturbing your sleep resulting in lack of sleep and fatigue during the day then it is best to find a way to keep your pet out of the bed. Consequently, many owners say sleeping with their pet actually helps them sleep at night. Some owners enjoy the comfort of having the pet around which makes them calm and feel secure at night which prevents insomnia.

Your Pet – Your bed is not just a place to sleep for your pet, it has more purposes than that to your pet. On the negative side, your pet may feel like an equal which can lead to difficulty in obedience. Sleeping in the bed can also increase the risk of separation anxiety in pets. However, having your pet in the bed can strengthen a relationship between owner and pet which creates a deeper bond. It can also reduce anxiety in pets or lower nervousness in pets by increasing their confidence.

If you do not enjoy having your pet in the bed, find a way to make the bed an uncomfortable place for them. Avoiding affection towards your pet in the bed can show them that they are not welcome there. Your pet needs to sleep just as much as we do so ensure you are both comfortable!