During this time of global uncertainty, there are parts of our lives that have been put to the back burner. If you have (or will soon have) a new puppy at home, it is imperative to keep up their socialization during these times of isolation. A puppy's critical (or social) period ranges from around 3 weeks to 3 months of age. This is the time when puppies can readily accept new things or people and still feel safe.
With the following advice I hope that you can start your puppy off on the right foot. Please share this blog with as many puppy owners as you know!
First and foremost, click HERE and download the puppy socialization checklist from Dr. Sophia Yin's website. Near the end of the blog you can click on the link to download the puppy socialization checklist. It gives a good outline of all the different things puppies need to socialize to, and one can tweak these during isolation.
Using a gentle leader can help you keep your puppy's head where you need it to be, looking up at you while sitting.
However, socialization is not just getting your puppy used to meeting other dogs or strange people, it is EVERYTHING in this dog's world. This is easy to do from home without anyone around (you might have lots of free time right now anyway!). Again, refer to Dr. Sophia Yin's checklist.
With everything going on in the world, making sure your puppy is well socialized can seem small. However, this time will pass and when it does, you will feel good knowing that you provided your newest family member with skills that will carry it through its entire life.
Let food be thy medicine! Hippocrates, the father of western medicine, was believed to have given this quote. In our modern world, food can be a source of either health or disease for our pets. The Canadian government considers two categories of natural health products: functional foods (eg. yogurt with added probiotics) and extracts from foods (eg. glucosamine).
A nutraceutical may be a naturally nutrient-rich or medicinally active food, such as green tea leaves or it may be a specific component of a food, such as polysulfated glycosaminoglycans in green-lipped mussel powder. Vitamins and minerals are also under this category.
All-natural health products (NHPs) sold in Canada are subject to the Natural Health Products Regulations which came into force on January 1, 2004. The Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD) governing body in Canada has also included the oversight of non-prescription and disinfectant drugs in addition to natural health products (NHPs). There will be an NN number (animal products have an NPN number) on the bottle or package of natural health product to ensure quality control of the product, so look for it when purchasing products for your pets. This ensures a governing body has overseen quality control, clinical trials and that the product or food truly has the ingredients they are claiming in it. With all the various products available, we want to ensure your pet is safe and proper quality control is key. Ask your veterinarian what products are safe and effective for your pet!
Dr. Juanita Ashton, BSc, DVM, ACDBC-IAABC is a certified Canine Behavioural Consultant, and one of the owners of the Elmsdale Animal Hospital