If you were lucky enough to add a puppy to your family this holiday season, congratulations! Puppyhood is a special time as a pet parent! It will soon be the New Year, time to go back to work and back to school, and now you have a new furry friend to care for…what do you do?

Puppyhood is a very important time for your dog to grow, and while being a puppy parent may feel overwhelming…don’t worry!

Socialization. Socialization is extremely important when it comes to your young puppy. Puppies may seem happy-go-lucky and invincible, but that behavior will not necessarily translate to adulthood unless you reinforce those behaviors by socializing your dog. Letting dogs learn to interact in new situations while they are young is important because it creates the building blocks to a successful adult dog.

There are many lifelong benefits to presenting your dog with new scenarios while they are young. Introducing them to other people, other dogs, new situations and different environments while encouraging positive interaction is especially critical during what is called the “Puppy Socialization Window.”

Puppies eight to sixteen weeks old are in this window, which essentially means that puppies are a sponge; they will soak up everything they are exposed to. Failing to socialize your dog during this time period could lead to behavior problems during their adult life. Begin socializing your dog as much as you can during this young age!

Puppy Daycare. According to The American Veterinary Medical Association, puppies should begin socialization before they are fully vaccinated. Puppies will also learn the foundations of obedience, manners and routines.

Sometimes pet parents haven’t realized the challenges of a puppy; accidents in the house, chewing your precious belongings, teething with those razor sharp teeth and more!

While owning a new puppy means more responsibilities, it also brings more joy and happiness to your household! Like children, puppies grow so fast and it’s important to savor every moment!

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