When can I start taking my puppy out for walks?

As the owner of a new puppy, you may be unsure as to when you can walk your new puppy before they have been fully socialised and vaccinated by your vet. Here’s our guide to knowing when to get your puppy vaccinated so that they can be safely taken on walks.

Why puppy vaccinations are important

Mixing with other animals is an important part of their socialisation, but your puppy will need to have their vaccinations before they can go out and about safely. This is to make sure that they do not pick up various diseases before they are protected against them.

Your puppy will be vaccinated against a range of diseases that could otherwise prove fatal, including canine distemper, canine parvovirus, infectious canine hepatitis, kennel cough and leptospirosis.

walking my puppy - a happy puppy enjoying the outdoors

As with human vaccinations, your puppy will receive a harmless version of these diseases so that they develop immunity against them. This works to boost their immune system so that they can recognise and fight the diseases if they are encountered in the future. Booster vaccinations are recommended to be given regularly throughout your dog’s life to maintain maximum protection against these diseases.

To successfully control infectious diseases and their prevalence, vaccination programmes require high levels of uptake within the population. If vaccinations are routinely missed the likelihood of these diseases becoming more common will increase.

When should your puppy have the vaccinations?

If their mother has been vaccinated and kept up to date with her booster vaccinations, most puppies will have received some antibodies from their mother’s milk which will afford them a degree of protection in the early weeks of their life.

The first vaccination in the primary course is usually given when your puppy is eight weeks old and followed around two weeks later by a second vaccination to complete the course. Vaccination protocols will vary so specific advice should be sought from your own vet, but most vets would advise waiting 1-2 weeks after the second vaccination before walking your puppy out in public or socialising with animals that may not be vaccinated.

After the primary vaccination course is completed, the next time your pup needs to be vaccinated will be about a year later. The specific vaccination required may very year upon year due to manufacturer’s recommendations, practice policy or as new scientific studies emerge. For example, leptospirosis booster vaccinations are usually recommended every year.

Your puppy may be a bit tired on vaccination day as their immune system has been challenged. It’s not uncommon for the vaccination site to be itchy or slightly irritated. If you have any concerns after having your pet vaccinated or would like specific clarification on when your puppy is allowed to go on walks, please contact your vet.

Get four weeks’ free puppy insurance

MiPet Cover offers four weeks’ free WalkawayCover puppy insurance*. It’s always wise to have an insurance policy in place just in case the unexpected happens.

*Puppy must be between 8 weeks and 1 year old and is subject to a CVS health check. WalkawayCover is immediate for illness and accidents. Not all breeds of dog are eligible.

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