When Can I Take My Puppy Outside Safely?


When people first get a new puppy and aren’t used to caring for dogs, one of their first ideas might be to take their new puppy outside for a walk. This is a terrible idea and can have very troublesome results for your puppy.

But it’s important that we ask ourselves “when can I take my puppy outside?” and know the pros and cons involved.

For instance, since your unvaccinated puppy’s immune system is not fully developed, he is vulnerable to many different diseases that puppies could contract such as kennel cough, canine parvovirus or canine distemper.

Similar to human children, until your pup is fully vaccinated, it’s critical to not expose your puppy to other dogs, or else you could come home to a horribly sick dog. This is something that all pet owners want to avoid.

Larger, older dogs can sometimes be aggressive. If your puppy comes into contact with one of these dogs during a walk, you might not be able to react fast enough to save your puppy from harm. This is one of the dangers of taking naive, young puppies out into the vast, scary world outside his home.

Even if some dog breeds aren’t inherently aggressive, a large dog could end up accidentally hurting young puppies by accident. Depending on the difference in size, this could easily give your pup grievous injuries. Nobody wants this to happen.

These are all reasons to be overly cautious and to consider when you next think about taking your pup to the outside world.

However, you might hear that puppies should go outside to socialize as soon as you bring your puppy home. This information isn’t necessarily wrong.

When your puppy is old enough, taking him outside will do wonderful things for his health, so it begs the question of when can I take my pet outside?

When Can Puppies Go Outside for the First Time?

When Can a Puppy Go Outside for the First Time?

To put it simply, you can take your puppy outside when its vaccines have been completed. To be more specific, puppies can go out when they are around 14 to 16 weeks of age or a little over three months old. This is assuming that all vaccines have been completed without complication.

Normally your pet must have had his initial puppy vaccinations at about 8 weeks old.

However, if there have been complications and you need to wait for your puppy to finish its vaccines, then you will need to wait a bit more before you can bring your pet outside.

This is to ensure that your pup doesn’t contract any diseases and stays safe. Before the vaccines are completed, your puppy’s immune system isn’t fully developed yet.

This means that if your puppy is exposed to an unvaccinated dog or animal with a disease before the vaccination for it, and it could potentially end the puppy’s life.

This is something that no dog owner ever wants to have happened to their new puppy so we must take seriously their health care.

Before your pet has its vaccines completed, you should play with your puppy. This will make sure that your pup gets adequate socialization during the time when it cannot go out and ensure his safety.

Why Should Puppies Go Outside?

Just as humans need social interaction in their lives, dogs and puppies need social interactions as well.

Actually it is considered that between 3 and 16 weeks of age it’s a critical socialization period for puppies. In this period, it’s defined how puppies will interact and react to things in their environment.

If your dog doesn’t socialize enough during the early years, especially in the critical period, not only will it become depressed, it can also begin to become aggressive towards people and other dogs or pets.

After all, your dog will not have had the social experience to learn that other dogs, puppies and strange people are usually okay.

This is also another reason why you will want to take your puppy outside. Taking dogs out for a long walk regularly has been shown to reduce aggression in dogs.

Nobody needs to be stuck inside with an overly aggressive dog, and by taking your dog out regularly, you won’t have to worry about this happening.

Of course, going out for a walk on a regular basis is just going to be good for your dog’s life. It provides the exercise that all dogs need to be healthy, and going out can reduce stress in dogs as well. These are just a few of the reasons to take your dog out.

However, you are still going to want to air on the side of caution when you are dealing with a young pup and make sure and make sure to take care of his health and that he’s always safe.

There are many dangers to taking your puppy out before he is old enough and has all his vaccines, so it begs the question of when can I take my puppy for a walk in public areas?

What Should You Do Before Your Puppy Can Go Outside?

Socializing your puppy at home is important. Soon after you bring your newborn puppy home, just playing with your dog during his first weeks of age can give your pup the adequate socialization that he or she needs before going to the outside world.

Whether this is running around your home, playing with a new set of dog toys, or playing with friends and family and other fully vaccinated dogs.

Playing with your pup is not only a way to bond with your new four-legged friend, but it is also a way to give your pet the socialization it needs.

If you want to give your puppy a taste of what the outdoors really is, you may consider opening a window or two around the house. This will allow your puppy to, quite literally, get a taste of the outdoors and introducing him to the world.

There will be new sounds and scents that your canine friend has never heard before.

Doing this can also prepare your puppy for those sounds so that when you do take your puppy out, it’s not overwhelmed by all the new noises.

What If I Need to Take My Puppy Outside?

What If I Need to Take My Puppy Outside?

When Can Puppies Go Outside to Potty?

In many potty training instructions, people will suggest taking your dog outside to do his business. This applies to puppies under 16 weeks of age not fully vaccinated as well. This creates a bit of a problem to any puppy parent because it is just as important to potty train your puppy to do his business outside, as it is to protect him from the danger of going out too young.

Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do, or rather, a few things that you will need to pay attention to be able to take care of your puppy’s health and safety.

Firstly, you will need to keep your pet away from any and every area that has another dog’s droppings and other eliminations, such as dog parks. This is one of the best ways of protecting puppies from contracting any sort of illness that comes from another dog’s waste.

When your puppy doesn’t have a fully formed immune system yet, it is imperative that you do all you can to take all necessary precautions to protect him and keep him safe from any risk.

Similarly, you will want to make sure not to expose your puppy to other dogs that are not vaccinated. This prevents any transferring of disease, as well as prevents your puppy from getting into fights with dogs several times its size, as it can happen in dog parks. In addition to this, it minimizes the risk that your puppy gets accidentally injured by an adult dog.

Socializing Puppies Before They Are Fully Vaccinated

If you are going to be setting up a playdate type of socialization with another dog, after confirming with the owner that the other dog is not aggressive, you will want to make sure that the other dog is vaccinated.

Doing this will help make sure that there is minimal chance of your puppy developing any sort of illness from the other dog while your dog has not fully developed its immune system.

If socializing your puppy is your biggest concern, consider looking for a puppy training class with other puppies that are around the same weeks of age and are at the same round of vaccinations as your new canine friend. This also allows him to have contact with new people.

This will provide the experiences and socialization that puppies need to grow up into a happy, healthy dog. Depending on the class, it can also give your pet new training skills, which is important for people that cannot always offer the time to train a puppy.

It’s also important that your puppy interacts with new people regularly. Inviting friends and family over to your home to meet your new puppy helps prevent him from becoming suspicious or aggressive toward strangers.

Should You Carry Your Puppy Outside Before Vaccinations?

If you are ever unsure about how safe and clean the area beneath your puppy’s paws is, you should carry your puppy.

As you might be able to imagine, carrying your puppy is going to prevent your puppy from sniffing, licking, and chewing anything on the ground and avoid exposure to any fatal viruses and keep it safe from any disease outside.

It can also prevent your puppy from getting into bad contact with other dogs, making it one of the best ways to take your puppy out before his final round of vaccinations and take care of his health and keep your pup safe from any risk.

As with human children, a puppy is going to become very heavy, very quickly during the next three months. This will definitely depend on what dog breed you are looking at, but it is something that you should always have in the back of your mind.

If you are going to be on a trip where you really cannot put your puppy down, or if you just want to go for a walk around the block and show your pup what the outdoor world is but are concerned about taking care of your puppy’s health, you can consider getting a shoulder bag for your puppy to sit in.

A shoulder bag will allow your puppy to have new experiences in a much safer environment than just being on the ground. It will also give comfort to your puppy and he will feel safe, as his owner will be right there.

Knowing this can sometimes put a stressed or overwhelmed puppy at ease. Although, you should never take a stressed puppy too far from home for several reasons.

If you are looking for something that is a little bit more stylish than a shoulder bag, there are some specialized backpacks that are made to carry small puppies.

In fact, there are a variety of these doggy backpacks that will usually carry puppies up to 20 pounds. This is another perfect option for taking a very young puppy out of the house for the first few times and keep it safe from any risk.

When Can Puppies Go Outside to the Yard or Garden?

Puppy outside in backyard

Assuming that you have a backyard, you might think that this is going to be the best place to take your pet outside before 14 or 16 weeks of age and properly vaccinated.

There’s a significantly smaller chance that unvaccinated dogs will find their way into your yard, especially if it is fenced in.

This makes it a safe place to show puppies the outside world and play in a new environment, right?

Not necessarily. Wild animals can still infect puppies with some disease.

However, there’s a very good chance that you will be supervising what your puppy does outside, so you can take precautions to prevent your pup from getting too close to strange animals and keep him safe and happy.

Generally, you will want to talk to your veterinarian specifically about this. Sill, unless there are complications, your yard is both a safe place where you can teach your puppy about the outdoors and do some basic training in.

Final Thoughts

If you are ever unsure about taking your puppy outside, don’t.

For your puppy safety, until he has his last set of vaccinations up to date at 16 weeks of age, you should go out with your puppy as little as possible and take all possible precautions because of the potential diseases it could catch and keep it safe.

On the off chance you must take your pup out before his final round of vaccinations, limit it to being in a shoulder bag, or in your backyard under strict supervision. These are the safest places for vulnerable and young puppies to be.