If you are a first-time dog owner with a with a newborn puppy, you may have wondered when you can take the newest member of your family outside for the first time. Because most puppies do not get their vaccines until they are about 6-8 weeks old, it is only normal to wonder if you can take your pooch outside without it being fully vaccinated.
In this article, you will find out everything you should know about when your puppy can go outside including, tips for healthy exposure to keep your dog safe outdoors and the dangers of unprotected exposure.
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Our Puppies and Vaccines
Usually, most puppies should have received their first round of vaccines by the sixth or eighth week of life. These vaccines are typically repeated every third or fourth week until the pups are around fourteen to sixteen weeks old.
As vaccines often have long intervals between them, pup owners may wonder if their animal is safe to go outside in the few weeks between their shots and before vaccine completion. While some pet experts and parents advise against taking your unvaccinated pup to places like the park or letting them walk on the sidewalks, most agree that canines will do just fine allowed to walk in the backyard.
Puppies do not require as much exercise as older dogs, and potty breaks will likely be why they stay relatively long outside. So, while your pup may be allowed to go outdoors, you want to restrict it to areas like your backyard.
Keeping Your Pup Safe Indoors and Outdoors Before Their Sixteenth Week
Unless extremely necessary, you want to limit your dog's contact with other dogs or animals before it is fully vaccinated. This is because, unless you own the dog/pet or are familiar with its owner, there is no way to tell if it is up to date on vaccines. It is, therefore, essential that you keep your dog safe by avoiding close contact with strange/potentially unvaccinated dogs using the following tips.
Keep your dog fenced in
You want to keep your dog in a fenced yard as much as it's possible. If you haven't already, and you plan on letting your dog go to the backyard, you should consider setting up a fence. With it, your dog is not only kept within it, neighborhood dogs are also kept out.
If you can, you may also try to let your neighbors know that you have an unvaccinated puppy, so they keep their dogs away.
Let your pup stay at home
Consider leaving your pup at home at all times until fully vaccinated. Your backyard is likely safer than public spaces such as parks. You do not want your yet-to-be-fully-immunized dog walking through parks and sidewalks used by several other dogs, as doing so may significantly increase its likelihood of catching something.
Keep your canine safe at the vets
While vet clinics like hospitals try as much as possible to keep the areas safe for both pets and their owners, a pup could pick up an infection left by a sick dog, and you do not want that. To prevent this hold your pup when inside and also try to keep it away from the floor, other people, and pets.
Why You Should Keep Your Pup Safe
Our puppies, like many other young animals, can be curious. So curious are they that they often risk contacting a potentially-deadly infection from other animals, places, and people.
While curiosity can be an excellent way for any animal to learn about its environment, it can be problematic if the pup is weaned and now more susceptible to infections without antibodies in the mother's milk.
While vaccines may help prevent infections, they take longer to complete, up to sixteen weeks. And as many puppies are brought home at their eighth week, it is impossible to keep them locked in until vaccine completion. So, you want to take the measures above seriously to keep your canine protected from diseases such as rabies, distemper, and parvovirus, amongst others.
When Can Puppies Go Outside for the First Time: Conclusion
Our canines, even young ones, enjoy the outdoors, and it only makes sense that you would love for them to go out with you as frequently as possible. However, their age and vaccine status can be a major hindrance. Thankfully, while going out to public places may not be possible right now for your pooch, it can still enjoy the outdoors in your backyard.
However, even while it plays in the backyard, you still want to keep a close watch on your puppy. Please pay attention to aggressive behaviors and signs of discomfort such as whining, hiding behind you, flinching, and tucking its tails between its legs when outside. These often indicate what your dog may be feeling at that moment. You want to prevent harm and unwanted behavior by acting quickly and removing your pooch from such areas/triggers, then reintroducing them gradually.
We can easily teach puppies at this stage, so you want to make the most of it by correcting these behaviors to ensure that your pup is kept safe from harm at all times.
About the Author
Kirsten created The Pet Handbook with the aim of sharing her knowledge about pets, pet food, healthy habits, and more. All of her advice is based on years of her own experience with her pets, and feedback that she has received from grateful readers about her tips. If you want to know more please read the About Me page.