The question many puppy parents and owners ask more frequently than not: “When can puppies go outside?”. The answer to it really depends, and you might want to consider several aspects before letting “the dogs out”, so to speak.
Let’s have a look at the most common reasons puppies need to stay indoors for a while longer, and/or when you can actually let your beloved puppies go outside for the first time
When Can Puppies Go Outside - The Top Considerations
How Old Is Your Puppy?
Most puppies will not be kept indoors past 8 weeks after birth. It is also advised to have your puppies get used to their environment as soon as you notice they want to start exploring.
The age at when puppies can go outside will thus depend on your circumstance (do you have your own, private yard?) and whenever the puppies show signs that they are ready for it.
A puppy’s natural instinct is to investigate and explore all new things and expand his or her territory. That is why the puppies of wild - or street dogs tend to leave the safety of their den in-and-around the age of 6 to 9 weeks.
You will also notice most of these ‘mixed puppies’, rarely get sick or die. It thus seems pure-bred puppies of certain breeds can be more susceptible to getting infections or diseases.
Is It Safe To Let My Puppies Explore My Yard?
Yes, it is safe most of the time, but mostly in the following situations:
1) Your puppies have received their vaccinations.
2) No other dogs (stray or visitors) have been inside your yard.
3) All other dogs and pets on your property have received their vaccinations.
4) If the puppies have been in contact with the other dogs in the family already since their birth.
When Is It Not Safe To Let My Puppies Go Outside?
1) If any of your other dogs have not yet been vaccinated, and/or is currently sick.
2) If there is fetal matter from other dogs (not your own) in your yard.
Will Your Puppy Stay In Your Yard or Will He / She Meet Other Dogs?
Puppies can go outside at any time to potty or play as long as they will not be in contact with other strange dogs until fully vaccinated, and if there are they will be playing in your own yard.
A highly infectious disease called, Canine parvovirus, is the one most common disease that affect puppies that go outside between the age of 6 to 12 weeks. It is advisable to keep puppies indoors or in your own yard, away from other dogs between this age.
Parvovirus is transmitted two ways:
1) Direct contact with another infected dog.
2) Puppies getting in contact with fetal matter (poop) of other dogs. (Especially strange dogs they are not used to.)
Learn More About Canine Parvovirus:
Solution: Have puppies vaccinated (see next point below), and ensure the environment they will play and potty in, is safe.
Vaccination Not Done Yet
Most vets will recommend to ensure your puppies are vaccinated before you let them go outside for the first time.
A puppy’s immune system is not so strong yet, thus are they more susceptible to various infections compared to their adult counterparts. They have furthermore not yet built up the anti-bodies and resistance system needed to defend against diseases.
Solution: Before considering when your puppies can go outside, have the following list of vaccinations done at the recommended stages:
6 Weeks: 1st Temporary Vaccine (For:. Distemper, Measles, Para-influenza)
10 Weeks: Booster Vaccine (For: Distemper, adenovirus such as hepatitis, para-influenza and parvovirus)
12 - 24 Weeks: Vaccine (For: Rabies)
14 – 16 Weeks: Vaccine (For: DHPP)
1 Year: Adult Dog Vaccination Program
Want to Take Your Puppy For a Walk?
Although most puppies love socializing, especially meeting other dogs, is it advisable not to have your puppies go outside and get in contact with other dogs until about 2-3 weeks after their vaccinations, especially the 2nd vaccine for parvovirus.
Also, rather avoid walks with puppies in unknown or foreign areas until they are old enough and past the dangerous 6-12 week period.
Now you know what essential aspects to consider before letting your puppies go outside for the first time. Find more information on Nolongerwild.com to protect your puppies from a situation where your puppy contracted a disease or infection from being outside too soon or exposed to other dogs.
We would love to hear about your experiences. Share your story with us in the comments below.