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Cats and Dogs

Does your Dog or Cat Need a Friend?

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog

In today’s world, our pets have risen in status from best friend to family member. We like to keep them close, ensure they’re cared for, and let them know they’re important. From their health to their leisure time, we humans always want to make sure our pets are living their best life. So that begs the question- how is your pet’s social life? Does your pet need a friend?

A well-socialized pet can mean the difference between effortless outings or painful struggles anytime you need to take your pet out of your home. Pets with good social skills tend to have fewer fears, fewer behavioral issues, respond better to training, and an overall better disposition. Early, and regular, socialization is key to helping your pet develop into a healthy four-legged member of society.

In addition to helping your pet develop social skills, spending supervised time with other pets can be a really great way to inject some fun into your pet’s day. Some pets enjoy the company of other pets, and you can tell by watching them interact! It’s a great way to help your pet burn excess energy and shake up their exercise routine.

There are many ways of giving your pet’s social life a boost. If you think your pet might need a friend, we’ve got some great ideas for you:

Check out your local parks.

Whether you have a dog park or just a public park, this is a great opportunity to take your pet out into the world to meet other people and pets. With plenty of room to run and stretch their legs, this outing never disappoints. Just make sure to keep your pet on a leash if the area is not fenced, and proceed with caution if your unsure about how your pet will react to the other park patrons.

Schedule a play date.

Does your friend have a pet who you think would make an excellent companion for your pet? Schedule a play date! To avoid territory issues, it’s best to choose a neutral location, especially for their first meeting. Allow the pets to set the pace for their play date; let them slowly get to know each other and become comfortable playing together.

Go for a walk.

Although it might not seem overly social to you, simply getting out of the house and experiencing life in a public setting can be an adventure in socialization for your pet. Not only will they see people and other pets, there is also a whole world of new scents to sniff and situations to experience.

Expand your pack.

Of course, taking in another animal is always an option. If you’ve ever wondered whether you should expand your pack, consider the following:

  • Does your pet generally get along with other pets? Have your previous outings and play dates generally been positive experiences?
  • Is your pet territorial? Has your pet ever been possessive of you or your home when other pets or visitors have entered?
  • Has your pet ever had another companion? Has your pet recently lost their companion? If so, bringing another pet into your home could help with their grief.
  • Do you have the resources to properly care for another pet? As you know, bringing home another pet will increase vet care, food, grooming, etc.

We love our pets and want them to lead happy, healthy lives, and a thriving social life is part of that equation. We would love to hear from you- tell us, does your pet have friends? Join the conversation on our Facebook page!

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