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Why socialisation is so important for your dog

We all know that some things are vital for a dog’s health – things like the right diet, regular health checks and plenty of exercise. What not all dog owners know is that socialisation is just as essential as all of those other things. A dog that is poorly socialised risks their own health, pose a risk to others and can even put their medical care in danger. Here are some important reasons why socialisation should be a part of your dog’s routine:

Fear

A poorly socialised dog will be fearful of new and unusual circumstances. These situations spark neurological responses in the dog that result in hormones being released by various glands around the body. Adrenalin surging through the body increases heart rate and blood pressure in a ‘fight or flight’ response. Corticosteroids also increase the heart rate, leading to an increased state of awareness and alertness. They also decrease blood flow to organs and suppress the immune system. All of these lead to incredibly stressful conditions in the dog, resulting in chronic stress and negatively affecting their health.

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Difficult Vet Visits

A dog needs to be thoroughly examined when he or she visits the vet to get a full evaluation of an injury or illness. Even if a poorly socialised dog wears a muzzle, this means a vet cannot properly examine teeth and gum problems or get samples for an overall health check.

A stressed-out animal is also difficult to evaluate in terms of heart rate and lungs. A high level of fear can also lead to potentially life-threatening heart arrhythmias where sedation or anaesthesia might be needed for more thorough examinations. Any such risks cannot be identified in difficult dogs prior to treatment.

Unable to go on holiday

The other extremely negative impact of having a poorly socialised dog is the inability to leave them at a boarding kennel or day care facility while you work or go on holiday. Dog sitters in your home can also cause issues if they are not well-known to the family. For a helpful Dog Boarding Surrey, visit https://nestledownboardingkennels.co.uk/

Not Enough Exercise

With a difficult and poorly socialised dog, owners often feel they can’t take their pet out for adequate exercise. Big, strong dogs are a particular problem if an owner feels unable to control them. A bad altercation with another dog could result in expensive vet bills or worse, a criminal conviction. Therefore, many owners restrict their dog’s exercise which leads to an increased risk of associated health conditions and obesity.

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Early Socialisation

You can see how important socialisation is for the long-term health of your dog and this should start early on for puppies between 3-12 weeks of age. A puppy needs to be exposed to different people, other puppies and car rides, different dogs and plenty of different social situations.

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