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How to Socialize Your Dog and Create a More Enjoyable Pet

Just like us, our dogs crave social interaction. But with busy schedules and hectic lives, it can be easy to forget that Fido wants friends, too. And according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), a socialized pet is a happy pet and a more enjoyable companion.


Exposing your dog (especially puppies) to new sights, sounds, animals, people and experiences can allow your four-legged friend to become a safer, more relaxed pet, the organization said. But socializing your dog is a long process and can take several weeks of exposure.


One way some pet owners are helping their pets to become more adaptive animals is by taking them to a local dog park. Dog parks allow dogs the chance to get to know new smells and have fun with their dog buddies in a controlled environment.


The ASPCA said there are many benefits to dog parks:

  • The excitement of interacting with new friends can tire out even the most active dog.
  • The dog will get opportunities to practice social skills, and begin to read body language in other animals and people.
  • Exposing your dog to these experiences can help keep them from becoming aggressive or fearful around other dogs.
  • It will give you a chance to interact with other dog owners.

    While dog parks are a great way to socialize your pet, there are some stipulations. If your dog has any of the following issues, the dog park might not be the best place for socializing:

  • If your dog is unvaccinated. This could not only put your dog at risk, but other dogs as well.
  • If your dog is easily stressed and overwhelmed by new situations, a busy dog park might not be for them.
  • If your dog is overly aggressive. This could create a dangerous situation for other dogs and their owners.

But if your pet is healthy and good-natured, then a dog park could be a great place to give them social interaction and challenge them physically and mentally.


Here are a few dog parks in Central Texas you might want to try:

H.O.T. Dog Park

4900 Steinbeck Bend Rd.

Waco, TX 76708


Central Texas Bark Park

In Lions Park

4320 Lions Park Road

Temple, TX 76502


Purser Family Park

100 West Mountain Lion Road

Harker Heights, TX 76548


And if you’re looking for more opportunities to socialize your dog and meet other dog lovers, then come and participate in Hewitt’s Dog Days of Summer Canine Event. Your furry friend will get the chance to experience new sights, sounds and smells and you’ll get the chance to show off your canine companion.

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Categories:  Pets
Keywords:  Pets

About the Author

Jessa McClure

Jessa McClure

Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects. 

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