Does my Dog Need Fur-rends?

Updated On: Monday, August 16, 2021 14:07:24 PM America/Los_Angeles

Canines are social animals, but do they necessarily need other dog friends? You may be wondering if your pup needs a dog fur-rend at home or if you need to incorporate more play dates into their routine. But just because dogs are friendly creatures, doesn’t mean all pups want to be around other doggos 24/7. 

Photo by Matt Nelson

Dogs who have grown up as the only canine family member and have had limited exposure to other dogs may prefer to continue being the only child. A simple way to see whether or not your fur baby would benefit from the friendship of fellow dogs is to arrange a couple of play dates. 

If the first play date doesn’t go well, fret not. All dogs are unique, and so it’s important to have them interact with a variety of personalities. They may dislike being around an overly energetic dog, but could enjoy the company of a mellow pup who prefers to lounge around on some fresh grass in the backyard. 

Part of a successful doggie play date is helping dogs develop positive associations with them. Here are a couple of suggestions:      

  • Lead by example: As many dog parents know, your dog will become excited if you show excitement. Demonstrate that it’s officially play time with encouraging words and a quick sprint or ball toss to indicate that the paw-ty is on! 
  • Provide appropriate entertainment: Make sure there are plenty of fun toys that encourage cooperative playing. Your dog’s fave plush toy might be tricky as some dogs can get possessive. Instead, a rope toy can be shared for an all out game of tug of war. If toys aren’t their thing, gather some leaves into piles that they can dive into! 
  • Offer refreshments: Wrap up an enthusiastic play sesh and reward friendly interactions with some well-earned refreshments. A vitamin beverage or a wholesome, natural snack is a great way to replenish water and essential electrolytes lost during any activity. 

You may find that your dog is simply the more solitary type. If so, excursions with your pup can be a great way to provide exciting experiences without the stress of other dogs. When this isn’t possible, a pet sitter is beneficial for helping your dog to experience a variety of social situations. You’ll also want to be sure that they have all their essentials taken care of. Having a pee pad like DoggieLawn can help provide your pup access to real grass when you’re not able to take them out.

In the end, it’s less about who or what your dog befriends and more about the quality of the interactions that have with others. Regardless of your fur baby’s preference, it’s important that you provide lots of love and care for a content pup!