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When is it safe to take a puppy to the park?

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When is it safe to take a puppy to the park?
  • My puppy is 9 1/2 weeks old. So far he's gotten 2 Deworming shots, last one on 12/1/07. He also got his first DHLPP shot about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I'm going to be getting his second DHLPP shot this coming Tuesday. Would it be safe to take him to a park if I keep a close eye on him? He's up to date on his shots as of now, just curious if it'd be a better idea to leave him at home. I want to take him out when he's young so he learns to stay with me. Thanks!

  •  So you mean a dog park? If so, I wouldn't take a puppy that old to a dog park. He is likely going through a fear stage and any negative experiences will effect him through life. Puppies can very easily get over whelmed and scared at a dog park.

    As far as a regular park goes - I took neiko to the regular park with me at 8 weeks. Many people will say that's too young, and it is probably true, but I have not had a problem with taking my dogs to the park at that age to walk around and sniff things. It is also a really good time to start to train for attention and off leash control. Take good treats, call the puppies name really fun-like and if he looks at you give him a treat. Keep doing this over and over and it'll reinforce that being with you and checking in with you is a great thing. 

  • Thanks for the quick reply. It's not necessarily a dog park. It's a huge community park. We like to go play Soccer there on the fields, I'm going to keep him close so no other dogs can approach him without me holding him. So you think it's safe?

  • If it were me, I would probably carry my puppy around at the park if I were to take him. The danger isn't so much other dogs, like, eating him or something, it's just a fear of dog-carried sicknesses that your pup might catch if his immunity isn't yet built up. He's still quite young.

    Then again, you're definitely on the right path in that your pup should be exposed to as wide a variety of things as possible while he's still young to "socialize" him and get him used to thinking of those things as positive experiences instead of things to fear.

    If it were me, I would wait another 2 weeks or so probably, but that's just me being a scaredy-cat. Wink 

  • I carried my puppy everywhere until she had all her shots sets. The ground has lots of germs from pee/poop. Mine has giardia that she wouldnt have gotten anywhere but the regular neighborhood park. Nevermind parvo and other thing that could be out there. I definitely wouldn't have let her down at 9 weeks. But inevitably, everyone has a different opinion and you have to do what youre comfortable with.
  • trapspeed
    It's a huge community park. We like to go play Soccer there on the fields, I'm going to keep him close so no other dogs can approach him without me holding him. So you think it's safe?

    It is safe as long as the pup's feet do not touch the ground.  Parvo can live in the soil for 1-2 years!

    All it takes is one animal with parvo to contaminate a very large area.  The Parvo can be spread on the feet of people, dogs, cats, mice, rats, cockroaches, etc.

    Are coyotes ever seen in that park?  They can carry parvo, too.

  • trapspeed
    My puppy is 9 1/2 weeks old.  ...  He also got his first DHLPP shot about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I'm going to be getting his second DHLPP shot this coming Tuesday.

    First, the vaccines at 7 weeks may have been useless because they were nullified by the antibodies obtained from the mother.

    ETA:  Changed the above sentence to correct my math.  9 - 2 = 7, not 6.  Stick out tongue 

    Second, vaccines take time to be effective - somewhere between 10 days and 3 weeks depending on what vet you listen to. 

    Third, I would vaccinate at 10, 14, and 18 weeks.  Most pups will generate immunity after the 14-week vaccines, so at 17 weeks most pups would be OK to walk in your community park.  In the meantime, healthy dogs in yards known not to have had parvo for 2 years are a good way to do canine socialization.  You should also get your pup into puppy classes now.

    More dogs lose their lives due to a lack of socialization than do so due to a lack of vaccines.

    Fourth, what is the "L" in your DHLPP?  Lepto or Lyme?

    The risk of side effects (common!) from the Lepto vaccine outweighs benefits in Texas (my state) and most other US locations.  Two vaccinations twice per year would be required for protection and a vaccine with the current serovars would be required for protection.  The vaccine is very dangerous for small dogs and for pups under 12 weeks.

    85% of Lyme cases (transmitted by ticks) are in 9 New England area states, Minnesota,  and Wisconsin.  There is a possible side effect of polyarthritis from the vaccine.  Do you live in a high risk area?

    Fifth, if your pup was given a Lepto vaccine at 6 weeks, that vet should be encouraged to read this document.

    2006 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines For the General Veterinary Practice
    http://www.kentuckydachshundrescue.com/vaccinating_your_pet.htm

    This is my current view on how to do vaccinations:
    http://community.dog.com/forums/p/6423/85548.aspx#85548

  • Please note my math correction in my last post.