National Puppy Day is March 23!

We’ve got a special media appearance planned, plus tips for helping your pup get the early socialization that’s so critically important.

Mark your calendars! On March 23 the SF SPCA is teaming up with six other Bay Area shelters to fill the ABC 7 TV studio with puppies during the morning broadcast. Tune in from 4am – 12pm and keep an eye on our social channels (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) for lots of puppy goodness!

Puppy Socialization Tips from the SF SPCA’s Behavior Specialty Services Team

One of the biggest myths regarding puppy health is that you can’t take puppies outside or let them on the ground until they’re fully vaccinated. A puppy’s primary socialization window is from 3 to 12 weeks of age, when most puppies will fearlessly explore the world around them. To ensure that puppies grow into confident and well-adjusted dogs, it’s important to expose them to the stimuli that normally occur in our environment, like new people, dogs, moving objects, and the sounds of city traffic. Sheltering puppies during their first three months of life increases the chances of abnormal development and behavioral problems.

While socialization is critically important, so is protecting your puppy from disease. Below are four tips for keeping your puppy safe while encouraging socialization. Remember, do not place your puppy on unprotected ground until your veterinarian advises you that they have received all the necessary vaccines.

1. Place your puppy in a sling or small blanket and carry him on walks around the neighborhood.


2. Take your puppy for a walk in a stroller.

3. Take your puppy to the park and lay a large blanket over the ground.

4. Sign up for a Puppy Social hosted by Prime Paw. These classes teach proper social skills by encouraging play, learning, and safety under the supervision of a trainer. Prime Paw classes are held at the SF SPCA’s Mission Campus. Socials are for puppies 9 weeks – 7 months. All SF SPCA puppy adopters can attend their first Puppy Social for free! Just send proof of adoption to Prime Paw.

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