Socializing your puppy at an early age is one of the best things you can do to set them up for a lifetime
of love and cuddles. Learning to be comfortable around both humans and other dogs is a crucial part of
a puppy’s development, and starting young is key. Expose them to as many new experiences and
locations as possible in their early days and you will be rewarded with a dog who is confident, calm, and
able to cope with new experiences. Finding a lifelong buddy for your dog can begin with one puppy
Things to Consider When Scheduling A Puppy Playdate
Before planning your first puppy playdate, it’s wise to think through a few details to keep both your
puppy and your new canine friend safe.
Vaccinations. Veterinarians suggest a series of vaccinations for your dog in the first few months of life. If
your puppy hasn’t had their main vaccinations yet, plan your first playdate after those shots have been
administered. It’s courteous of other pet owners and their dogs – getting a parasite or disease from
another dog can is not something you want to impose on a new friend!
Pest Prevention. Depending on where you live, it may be essential to plan for fleas or ticks. If you plan to
let your pups play outside, it’s best to prepare for pests and protect your puppy. Keep your pup up to
date on their heartworm treatment as well to keep them safe from the mosquito-transmitted worms. Of
course, consult with your family veterinarian if you are unsure about when to set up socialization
opportunities for your pup. They can give advice specific to your situation and may even have
suggestions for great places to visit!
Top Tips for Success
- Choose your puppy’s buddies wisely! Be sure to consider your pup’s size, breed, temperament,
likes, and dislikes before setting up a playdate with another pup.
- Stay focused. Interactions between dogs can change quickly, so it’s important to watch what the
pups are doing throughout their entire interaction – especially on a first playdate! By watching
your pup in a new situation, you’ll also learn more about your pup and will have a great
opportunity to observe their body language.
- Choose a neutral location. Dogs can be territorial of their space, so choosing a neutral location
like a dog park or other fenced area is strongly recommended. If you want an indoor play date,
speak with some friends who don’t have pets and see if they would be amenable to hosting you.
- If you are meeting outdoors, choose a quiet, fenced location to ensure that your pup has the best
opportunity to get to know their new friend and avoid being overwhelmed.
- Avoid toys. Don’t bring your puppy’s favorite toy into a shared space! Dogs often love their favorite
toy, so it’s wise to leave their toys in the car or at home to avoid a stressful situation for your dog.
Don’t be afraid to intervene or even choose to head home if your pup or the other dog seems stressed or
defensive. It is better to reschedule for another time when both pups might be in a more social frame of
mind than to risk any negative interactions!
Best of all, enjoy watching your new little pup play, wrestle, and snuggle their new buddies!
Schedule A Puppy Playdate!
Playdates are an incredible, fun experience for both you and your puppy. So what are you waiting for?
Your pup’s new best friend is out there, and by being prepared you can plan an enjoyable and deeply
beneficial experience for both you and your dog.