Ask Dr Fiona
When can my puppy go to the dog park?
Your puppy needs to have completed a course of puppy vaccinations before he can venture to the park. If your puppy hasn’t completed the course, he may not be protected against potentially life threatening diseases such as parvovirus and distemper. Importantly, your puppy doesn’t need to have direct contact with other dogs to be at risk either as some viruses such as parvovirus can live in the soil for up to 12 months.
Puppy vaccinations usually consist of a course of three vaccinations given every 4 weeks (at 6-8 weeks of age, 10-12 weeks of age and 14-16 weeks of age). It is usually recommended that you wait until your puppy’s immune system mounts an effective immune response to the vaccination before you take them to the park, so 7 -10 days after the final vaccination is ideal (most puppies this final vaccination will be around the 17-week age mark).
It is important to note that some veterinarians offer an early finish vaccination that can be done at 10 weeks of age. This means your puppy is protected and can start visiting the park 7-10 days after this is given. This is considered beneficial as it means your puppy can start socialising with other dogs from an earlier age which helps him become a well adjusted and better behaved pooch!
If you’d like to chat in person, you can get a vet within minutes on a live video call or start a text chat to discuss in more detail.
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