Getting Your Pet to Socialize

Getting Your Pet to Socialize

Key Moments for Your Pet's Social Development
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From timing tips to best practices, discover effective methods for fostering a sociable furry friend.
3 minute read
By Team Dr.Tail
A dog, well-socialized and playful, spent time with a friendly cat.
A dog, well-socialized and playful, spent time with a friendly cat.
Contrary to popular belief, cats are social animals. Dogs? That just goes without saying.
The point we’re trying to get across is that socialization is of utmost importance for your pet’s well-being, whether it's a cat or a dog.
But it’s not easy to get your pet to drop its guard. You’ll need to make an active effort to have your furry friend open up.

Timing is everything

There’s a so-called sensitive period for both canine and feline breeds. It refers to a period in which your pet starts getting used to its surroundings and develops a desire to mingle.
Sensitive period is relatively short-lived for cats. It goes from three to nine weeks of age whereas, for dogs, it lasts until 14 weeks out.
No need to sweat if you’ve missed that window. You can still teach your beloved pet to become social. Might just take a bit more time and effort.

Best Practices


  • Foster an environment that allows your kitty to engage with surrounding factors.
  • Give your kitty a gentle stroke for about 40 minutes every day. Done right, it’ll help her feel relaxed and calm.
  • Respect her space. Don’t force an interaction. It’ll only drive her to shell up.
  • Give your kitty a treat when she approaches you first. But don’t show disappointment even if she doesn’t when you want her to.
The barometer to gauge how well your cat is socialized is to see if she willingly approaches you first and doesn’t turn her head around when you go down for a pat.


  • Physical touch is king. Pat, hug, and touch pup often and have him interact with other hoomans and fellow doggos. Show him that such interactions are harmless.
  • Expose your puppy to different sounds around their environment
  • Use tug toys to bond with your pup.
    • Be aware. Dogs often confuse tug toys with hands. Your puppy might mistake your hand for a tug toy and bite. When that happens, respond with a firm "No!" and end the playtime. Discipline is also part of socialization.
  • Teach your pup that sharing is caring. Possessive behavior is just as toxic within the canine community.
The general rule of thumb here is to take things slow. Instead of letting dogs mingle right away, gradually introduce other pets or people into their lives. This is crucial to keep their aggressive nature in check. Don’t forget to reward them when they behave right.

Consult a Vet

All said and done, the best way to draw up a socialization plan is to pick the brain of an expert.
Consult a certified vet for free to get the ball rolling.