When can puppies go outside for the first time?
This is one of the most important questions new dog owners have, as it determines so many different things.
Taking your puppy outside for the first time can be exciting yet scary, but it is an essential step, especially when you are puppy training.
You may have tried asking friends and family, but the conflicting advice can be quite overwhelming.
If you are wondering when it’s safe for your little friends to get some time outdoors, keep reading.
When Can Puppies Outside: 5 Things to Consider
Most dog parents are excited to take their puppies outside. You want to show them off and spend some time with them in the open.
Before you bring your new puppy outside, you need to ensure you have covered all the essential bases.
Here are some tips to help you decide if your puppy is ready for the outdoors.
1. Wait Until They Are Fully Vaccinated
Although you may be excited to take your puppies outside, it is best to wait until they are fully vaccinated.
Puppies are more susceptible to diseases and infections that may be lurking outside, which makes vaccines essential for their health.
Typically, your puppies will start receiving their vaccinations once they hit the 8-week mark.
The vaccines are in two sets, and the second injections will come two weeks after the first round.
So, should you take your puppies outside after the first vaccination?
Sure, some time in the yard may be excellent, but it wouldn’t be advisable to take them on walks and public places until you are sure their immune systems are well-equipped for infections.
2. Going to the Yard
Unless you want to be cleaning puppy messes for quite some time, you might want to get started with potty training as soon as your furry friend is home.
But you can’t toilet train your puppy if they can’t go outside. So, will you have to wait for around 12 weeks to toilet train them?
No, you don’t have to clean up after them for this long.
If you have a private backyard, you can let your puppies go outside to potty as soon as you bring them home.
You can even let them play in the sun for a while under your watchful eye.
If you have other unvaccinated dogs, keep them away from the pup until it’s had all its jabs.
3. Making New Friends is Vital
The most critical age for puppy socialization is between 8-12 weeks.
This period is also when they have their vaccinations and, if you haven’t had him from birth, it is the most likely time you will bring them home.
Puppy socialization will help your new best friend learn how to interact with other dogs and people.
If you choose to wait until vaccination is complete, you may not have enough time to teach the pup how to become fearless.
Socializing your pup includes introducing them to new sights and experiences. You can have a couple of friends come over and play before your puppy completes their vaccination.
If your friends also have dogs of their own, ask them to bring them around. But only if they are fully vaccinated.
Taking them on walks around the neighborhood also gives the puppies a different perspective.
Be sure to carry them around and not let the pup play with other unvaccinated dogs.
4. Keep Newborn Puppies Inside Until Their First Jab
Caring for newborn puppies may present a unique set of challenges, and you may question whether it is safe to let them outside before their first set of vaccinations.
Newborn puppies are likely to stick around their mother during the first few weeks.
They also get some antibodies from their mother, so it is safe to let them outside in your private yard if the mother is around.
If you have other unvaccinated dogs, however, you should restrict them from going outside.
You should also ensure they don’t come into contact with feces and urine from the other dogs until they are fully vaccinated.
Once your pups are 8-weeks old, you can take them for their first jab and gradually give them more freedom to the outside world until they are done with their vaccinations.
5. When Can Puppies Go For Walks?
If you want to take your puppy on a walk, you will have to wait until after their vaccinations.
This way, you will be free to let them on the ground instead of carrying them around.
Even then, you should remember that your puppy is developing rapidly during the first few months.
They may, therefore, not be so keen on walking. Avoid taking them on long walks until they are fully developed.
Overexercising your little friend could hinder their development.
A few minutes per day should be enough, depending on the breed and age of your puppy.
If you are unsure, you can ask your vet for the recommended exercise time for your dog when you go in for vaccinations.
Essential Tips for When Your Puppies Go Outside
One of the most significant dilemmas for dog-parents is socialization versus protection.
On the one hand, your 8-week old puppy needs socialization to develop some vital skills.
On the other, you need to protect them from diseases and other infections.
The only solution to this problem is compromising. You will have to take your puppy outside, but only under some restrictions.
- Avoid putting your puppy on the ground until their vaccination is complete.
- Puppy classes are great for socialization, but only if the other puppies are fully vaccinated.
- Don’t let your pup near other strange dogs, especially in public places like parks.
- Ask your friends to bring over their vaccinated dogs so your puppy can make some new friends.
Generally, your puppy should be ready to explore the outside world once they are 8-weeks old.
If you are unsure about what to do, the tips above should help you make a sound decision.