When Can Puppies Go Outside For The First Time?
All puppies need to experience proper socialization. The best experiential time period for positive social interactions is from 9-14 weeks of age.
Before the 9 weeks, puppies are still attached to their mother, or vulnerable to diseases and sickness, so some owners choose not to take their puppies out. With all this information, you might be asking, when can a puppy go out?
Puppy vaccines aren’t considered complete until 16 weeks, but this shouldn’t stop you from taking your puppy outside. Puppies can be interacting with family and friends’ dogs that are fully vaccinated, puppies at training classes, and interactions with gatherings of people before the 16 weeks has passed, as long as they stay up to date on their vaccines.
Dogs can be taken outside as early as one week after vaccinations, and even newborns can be outside in mild weather with supervision. If you have adopted your puppy, you should be taking them out every one to two hours.
Recognize that your puppy might get overstimulated at first, and their hyper activity shouldn’t discourage you from trying to take them out again in the future. Puppies get tired easily, but when they are experiencing new places and people they have lots of curious energy.
If you are wanting your puppy to go to more public places, such as parks, beaches, or hikes, make sure that you wait until after they have received their last booster (usually between 14 and 16 weeks). This will ensure that your puppy doesn’t get sick from the germs and viruses in public spaces.
The biggest argument for not taking your puppy outside in their first few months is the danger of viruses such as Canine Parvovirus. In the UK, foxes are susceptible to this Canine Parvovirus and it can live for long amounts of time in their feces. This means that puppies might come into contact with the feces and get sick, if not watched properly.
While this is a chance, it is a very remote one. This is important to note: your puppy is up to date on vaccines, their immune system just might not be strong enough to help them recover alone from viruses.
Ultimately, to find out the answer to the question “when can puppies go outside?” each puppy owner should speak with their vet about the possible risks in their environment and what they think is best.
When Can I Take My Puppy For a Walk?
In addition to wondering “when can a puppy go out” one might also ask “when can puppies go for walks?”
Once you have helped your puppy get adjusted to the outside world, it’s good to get them introduced to a collar and leash for walks. Puppies should only be given a leash and collar when they are experiencing a positive experience, such as playing with toys or getting love from their owners.
This good behavior will become associated with the leash, and the leash will become a reward for walking, also known as positive reinforcement. Introduction to the leash and collar should start as early as a few weeks old, just so that the puppy will know that it’s going to be a normal part of their life.
After introducing the leash and collar to the puppy, you should take them on a lap around the house. If the puppy is starting to chew on the leash or fight against you, try to introduce some toys to the puppy so they know that they can chew on those but not the leash.
Puppies can also be walked outside. Start in the backyard when the puppy needs to go to the bathroom, walking them to where you want them to go. After the puppies have done this a few times, take them on a walk around the neighborhood or your front yard.
During walking, you should always be teaching your puppy to lead, not follow. To teach them this at first, start to walk and then turn around when they get ahead of you. Walk in the other direction until they are pulling ahead again, and then turn the other way. You’ll have to go back and forth several times, but eventually the puppy will catch on and not walk in front.
Puppies will possibly feel nervous on a leash at first, and might give up walking after a few minutes. Don’t be afraid to pick up your puppy and carry them home if they get tired.
Make sure that you bring plenty of water and treats on your walk, as this can be a good time for obedience training after 12 weeks. When you get home from a walk, it might be a good idea to give your puppy a meal or snack so that they associate walking with working for a meal.
It might also be good to keep your puppy on a short leash. This can allow for better control, allowing for puppies’ curiosity to flourish while still being able to pull them back to you or away from something they aren’t supposed to get into.
Be careful with how much you take your puppy on walks. Puppies do not need the same amount of exercise as older dogs, and it can be damaging if you’re taking your puppy out too much.
It is for this reason that it is important to take your puppy out and about, but don’t make it walk for miles.
When Can Puppies Go Outside – Conclusion
Overall, there is conflicting advice when asked “When can puppies go outside?” This is because one side is concerned about vaccinations and favors health, and the other side is worried about socialization and favors that.
However, walks to the area you’d like your puppy to go to the bathroom, walks around the neighborhood, and small interactions with fully vaccinated dogs are recommended by most, and are important to your puppies’ growth.
Make sure you are keeping in contact with a vet about your puppies’ activity and are aware of how much exercise and outdoor exploration your specific breed of dog needs.
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