Ask Dr Claire

Border collie that’s 8 weeks old he had his first vaccination at 6 weeks. How long before I can take him to public places?

Until a puppy is fully vaccinated (according to the manufacturers directions for the specific brand of vaccination given by the Veterinarian) they can contract preventable conditions including the still common Parvovirus. Infection is not only from sick dogs directly, but also from the environment where the sick dog has been. In the example of Parvovirus it can live in the environment for up to 12 months.

In general, 10-14 days post the final puppy vaccine is safe to have him in public places in terms of contracting the conditions the vaccine prevents. Some vaccines state 7 days, so it really depends on what vaccines your vet is using.

Some puppy vaccine courses end at 16 weeks, some at 12 weeks.

So if a puppy was exposed to a disease that the vaccine protects from before they have completed their vaccine course AND their bodies have had time to react to the vaccination, they are at risk of contacting the condition.

Puppies need to be socialised at this age, but should only be socialised in safe environments with healthy, vaccinated dogs (a healthy confined space, or reputable puppy schools etc), not at dog parks or in public areas which are regularly frequented by other dogs with unknown health.

It’s also worth checking with your local veterinarian the local conditions you need to be particularly weary of.

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Chat soon,

Dr Claire