Is there any greater feeling than taking your new puppy for a walk around the block or visiting the dog park? Naturally, we do this for their mental and physical well-being, but if we are honest, we also do it because people like to see puppies. But, just how long would you have to wait after the second vaccination to introduce your precious puppy to the world?
After the second round of vaccinations, puppies are not fully protected and shouldn’t interact with other dogs or explore new places. Some experts suggest that puppies can go out the week after their first shot; however, this can have dire consequences if they encounter unvaccinated dogs.
Even when we feel the itch to show people just how clever and cute our puppies are, we always want to put their health first and ensure they are fully protected before they go out. So, here’s all you need to know about puppy vaccinations and when they can leave your house or yard.
Recommended Vaccinations Your Puppy Needs Before They Go Out
The range of vaccinations your puppy may need will depend on where you stay. It is not a good idea to take your puppy out before they have all the necessary shots and follow-up boosters. The veterinarians in your area will be the best source to consult to find out if your puppy should get additional preventative care.
Some animal behavioral experts believe early socialization is more important than preventing a potentially fatal disease your puppy might not even get; this advice should be followed with extreme caution only.
A vet won’t make specific recommendations for no good reason; they gain nothing by asking you to keep your puppy at home until they have all their shots. But, they have first-hand experience in the tragic consequences of puppies that passed away due to negligence and ignorance.
Below, we’ll look at each recommended core vaccination, what it guards against and when it should be OK for your puppy to leave the house, go on walks or interact with other dogs.
Your Puppy’s First Set Of Vaccinations
Typically, a puppy is ready to go to its new home between six and eight weeks old (about 2 months); the puppy should have had their first vaccination against distemper and parvovirus by this age.
Distemper is highly contagious, often fatal, and can spread through contact with infected animals. Your puppy is at risk even just being close to another dog or wild animal with distemper, as a simple sneeze or cough is enough to spread the virus.
Parvovirus is just as severe as distemper, another wild spreader that can kill a dog within 72 hours without emergency veterinary care. Parvo is not airborne but can survive for months on surfaces that are not disinfected.
Simply taking your puppy for a walk can be potentially fatal if they come into contact with infected animals, surfaces, or terrains. It would be best to keep your puppy inside your home or secured garden at this stage.
Your Puppy’s Second Set Of Vaccinations
Between 10 and 12 weeks old (about 3 months), puppies get another round of injections against distemper and parvovirus. Added to those are vaccinations for adenovirus and parainfluenza. These shots are collectively referred to as DHPP vaccinations.
Both viruses can spread through direct contact with infected animals; they are not as deadly distemper or parvovirus but can be fatal to puppies. Even if your puppy has received preventative treatment against these threats, it is still not safe for them to interact with other animals or unfamiliar surroundings.
Many pet owners take their puppies out a week or so after the second round of vaccinations. However, they do not let their paws touch the ground – so the puppy is in a crate, carrier, or someone’s arms.
In theory, it should be OK to expose your puppy to the world in this way, but you’ll have to think it through carefully. If your puppy becomes excited with all the new things around them, it can become challenging to keep a hold of them.
Your Puppy’s Third Set Of Vaccinations
There is light at the end of the tunnel! Your puppy is now 4 months old (between 16 and 18 weeks) and ready to receive its last round of vaccinations. It is time to get excited because you’ll soon be able to take your puppy wherever your heart desires.
With the third round, your puppy receives DHPP shots and vaccination against rabies. Rabies is another dangerous viral disease that is fatal and can spread to people and animals. The virus is transmitted through the scratch or bite of an infected animal.
So, now that your puppy is fully vaccinated against all the horrible diseases, you should allow the final jabs to settle for at least a week (two would be best) before you let your puppy freely explore the world around them. You can also sign up for puppy classes at this stage – how much fun is that going to be!
After completing the third set, remember that puppies will need another round of DHPP and rabies booster shots between 12 and 16 months. After this final round, the boosters are typically given annually, but some vets might suggest only every second year; check with your vet to determine when your dog should go in for the boosters.
Other Preventative Care Apart From The Core Shots
Your vet might recommend a few selective vaccinations if there is a risk in the area you stay in; if they don’t mention anything, you can always ask them about it just to be sure.
- Bordetella (given with every round)
- Influenza (second and third round)
- Leptospirosis (second and third round)
- Lyme disease (second and third round)
- Coronavirus (with the DHPP and rabies boosters at 12 months)
It would be best if your puppy doesn’t go out at all after their first vaccination. With their second set of shots, wait at least a week before you take your puppy out. However, they should not interact with other dogs, and they’ll be safer when you carry them, but this is not something a vet would recommend. Your puppy will only be safe once they have their third round of vaccinations.