Adding a puppy or kitten to one’s family is a great joy and excitement! But no puppy or kitten arrives perfect. The first few months in the home can set your puppy or kitten up for a lifetime of family harmony and success. Puppies and kittens need routine, socialization, and clear
communication and rewards for the behaviors we desire of our pets.

SAVC recognizes the importance of early socialization (6 weeks-14 weeks of age). Socialization begins with the breeder and continues with you. What your puppy/kitten experiences in those early months will shape his/her temperament and how he/she will interact with its environment as an adult.

Our “Puppy Kindergarten” serves as an excellent start to socializing your puppy.

The SAVC staff mediates the class to ensure all puppies and participants are safe and happy as well as discuss general topics such as grooming, house training, and general manners. This isn’t an obedience class but an opportunity to guide you as you introduce your puppy to the world. SAVC recognizes that early and appropriately socialized puppies grow up to be confident and friendly dogs, less likely to suffer from fear and aggression. Behavioral concerns, not infectious disease, are a much more likely cause of death or re-homing in dogs under three years of age. In a 2015 survey by the ASPCA 46% of shelter pets were surrendered for pet-related reasons-including aggression, destruction, and health problems.

Think of Puppy Kindergarten as an initial vaccination against future behavior problems.

We value the relationship with our patients and want them to know us and the clinic not as a place to fear and loath but to even look forward to their visits. Puppy Kindergarten includes a field trip to the clinic to experience all aspects of the clinic from the scale to the Xray table in a  positive, fun way which sets your pet up for a lifetime of positive vet visits.

Socialization introduces your pet to all the smells, sights, and sounds that your pet needs to be acclimated to in a positive manner. By starting young, we can avoid fear and stress with car rides or fear of children for example.

Fear, stress, and anxiety in our pets not only affects our relationship with our pets but has effects on their body systems and ability to learn and function. With effective and targeted socialization we can reduce that fear and stress.

“Puppy Kindergarten” is complimentary to our clients and patients aged 8-16 weeks (accommodations may be made depending on the puppy and class start dates). All participants  are required to have started their vaccine series and be dewormed and continue their vaccine series as directed. The Bordetella, or Kennel Cough, vaccination is also required for participation.