When we buy or adopt a puppy, we’re always in a hurry to take him out for a walk, show him the neighborhood and enjoy his company while we play and train him a bit. But going out with a puppy who hasn’t been vaccinated is a major unnecessary risk that you should never take.
Puppies are very susceptible to illnesses because their immune systems aren’t completely developed yet. That’s why you should follow these simple tips before taking him out on the street.
When can I take my puppy out to walk in the street or countryside?
We must be very clear that a puppy without shots should never go outside because he can catch serious diseases. Because he’s very young and his immune system isn’t developed, he could even die.
You should see a veterinarian and deworm your puppy. It’s very important to have a vet do it, because the dose for deworming puppies is much lower than for adult dogs.
Once your dog is completely dewormed on the inside, the vet will start to give him a series of vaccinations with a few weeks in between to prevent complications. You should wait until he’s had all of his shots and your veterinarian tells you that you can take him out to walk.
Generally speaking, this will happen when your puppy is three or four months old. In the meantime, you should avoid taking him outside or coming into contact with other unvaccinated animals. It’s not something you should take lightly; many puppies die each year because of their owner’s impatience, who take them out on the street unvaccinated.
What shots does a puppy need?
As we said, the first thing is to remove parasites internally and externally from the dog using the products provided by the vet. There are no home remedies or medications we recommend for this; you MUST go to a veterinarian, no ifs ands or buts.
In general unless otherwise indicated by the vet, these are the guidelines that should normally be followed in an unvaccinated puppy:
- One and a half month old puppy: Multivalent vaccines, parvovirus and distemper
- Two month old puppy: Multivalent vaccine
- Three month old puppy: Multivalent booster shot
Your dog will need many other vaccinations throughout his life, but when he has received these three and your vet says it’s okay, you can take him out to walk or play outside. You can find more information about vaccinations here: Vaccine schedule for puppies and adult dogs.
What happens if I take my puppy outside without his shots?
On the street, in parks or even in the countryside, there are many animals that could be sick. If your unvaccinated puppy comes in direct contact with one of these animals or with their urine or feces, it’s very likely he’ll get sick.
Cats, mice and even other dogs can leave urine or feces with microbes capable of infecting and killing your puppy. It’s much more common than most people think and causes the death of many puppies every year.
It’s something completely irresponsible that should be avoided; your puppy’s life is at stake. If you aren’t sure what or what not to do, we recommend you learn more here: Advice before getting a dog.
Some diseases can cause your dog to need medication for the rest of his life; others can severely affect his health and most of them will kill him. An unvaccinated puppy is a sitting duck for canine diseases.
If you have a private yard with grass and want to go out with your dog, you must make sure that no other animal has been there previously, including cats and mice. Otherwise, just wait until your puppy has all his shots.
How should I walk my dog after he’s vaccinated?
We must keep in mind that puppies are just that: puppies. If we compare them to humans, we could say they are three or four year old children, who just want to play, eat and sleep. For this reason, you shouldn’t be hasty with their training or walks; just let them enjoy life and explore the world.
The first few days, simply go to the park for a bit so he can meet other doggies and socialize a little. You should let him do his own thing so he learns to play and respect other dogs; constantly being on top of him or correcting him is a big mistake. There will be plenty of time for training later on, although you can start implementing some simple training tips for puppies.
You don’t have to take a long walk or force your puppy to walk. You should follow his pace until he’s quite a bit older. All you should worry about is his socialization; it’s very important for him to learn to be and play with other dogs and people.
On the other hand, and without any rush, you can teach your puppy to pee and poop outside with treats and praise. You’ll have many months to teach him and it’s a slow process, so don’t lose hope and you’ll see that he’ll learn in time.
As he grows up, he’ll start wanting longer walks. Remember that it’s very important to follow a routine with a schedule so he learns when it’s time to go out for a walk or to play.
What else should I know about unvaccinated puppies?
Honestly, there isn’t much else to explain. They should be inside the house until they are vaccinated and they should be fed with a special puppy food (or dog food alternatives for puppies). You should play with him and give him lots of love; this will create a strong family bond. It’s also important to teach them to play without biting you, as we explain here: Your puppy’s first teeth.