As you and your dog get older, finding excuses to get out and socialize may become harder and harder. While you can make plans to spend time with your friends and family at your own pace, your furry friend doesn’t have the same autonomy and may get lonely. Keep your canine companion’s tail wagging with joy whenever he sees people or other dogs with these simple ways to socialize your dog.
Regular Walks and Park Visits
Outside time is always beneficial for your mental and physical well-being. When you go for a walk outside, bring your dog with you! Dogs love to see new places and experience new smells. Your dog may even make a new furry friend if you see anyone else walking. Know your limits with your dog, especially when it comes to distance or leash-tugging. An older dog will have less energy to tug but may also have less endurance than you for a longer walk.
Once your dog has met a few friends while strolling, you two might be ready to take on a dog park. At the dog park, make sure to follow all guidelines. You may need to keep your dog on a leash. It’s always best to be cautious around other dogs before becoming too comfortable. An aggressive dog with a careless owner can be severely dangerous to your pup’s health.
Invite Guests Over
Making sure that a dog does not become territorial can be difficult, but if you have guests over enough, this will eventually normalize strangers being in the house. Make sure that guests know to give your dog attention if possible. Once guests leave, give your dog treats and praise. This will let your dog know that he has done something good and condition him to love having visitors. You may even want to allow your guests to give your pup treats as well—especially children. Just don’t go overboard with treats!
If your dog is uncomfortable with guests and displays this by growling, barking, or other signs of hostility, don’t force people to interact with him. Though your dog loves you and would never bite or attack you, his instinct to guard you or his home may cause him to lash out at guests. Leave him be if he is being territorial.
Board Your Dog During Trips
You may hire a pet sitter during trips or leave him with other family members, but have you considered leaving your dog at a dog hotel? Boarding your dog at a local dog hotel is one of the best ways to socialize your dog while you take a much-needed vacation. Do your dog boarding research before leaving him in the care of a boarding facility. You want him to be left with loving professionals and not locked in a cage for the whole duration of your trip.