Most avid dog keepers are unenlightened about whether or not (and how) their puppies should start experiencing the outside world. While some experts warn against taking them outside before full vaccination — at 16 weeks — others argue for the importance of early socialization (which may see them go outside).
These two arguments may leave the dog owner in a dilemma, and that’s where we come in. In this article, we shed light on the best hacks that ensure your pup gets fully socialized without exposing it to diseases and other environmental dangers.
So When Can Puppies Go In The Backyard?
Well, even unvaccinated puppies are free to go to the backyard, given the premises are safe, and you’re doing all you can to keep it from the riskier spots.
The Dangers Of Going Outside
Most keepers acquire pups for their new homes immediately after weaning (at eight weeks). However, the youthful canine friends are usually unvaccinated at this age, which means they’re highly susceptible to an ample mix of diseases.
What’s worse, such diseases can quickly spread via various media from their hosts. For example, when the puppies get in contact with an infected adult dog, parasites, and wastes, they can easily acquire an infection.
Likewise, physical injuries, scary figures, and unfavorable temperatures are also a menace in the outdoors at this early age.
Socialization is overly essential during your dog’s early development stages. You don’t want to own a dog that’s only friendly and close to family members.
Luckily enough, dogs between eight and ten weeks old are at the right stage to socialize. It’s at this age that they start to get cautious, so you’ll be hitting the nail on the head if introduce them to a few new stuff.
The main reason for your young furry friend getting to the outdoors is socialization. And as a loving owner, you need to wrap your head around a few important things to keep in mind while helping it get used to a handful of new things while keeping it safe.
There are two main approaches to socialization; conducting it indoors or outdoors. The good news is that both can be achieved safely. Below is a rundown on the best socialization practices for an ardent dog-keeper.
While it sounds like the harshest approach, you can change it into the safest using the few good practices explained below. After all, not everyone has the recommended number of friends (12 per week) needed to keep their puppies fully socialized indoors.
Exploring The Backyard
Your backyard is a great place to take your newly adopted young dog for a brief excursion away from the mild temperatures, or for potty breaks, provided it’s safe.
By safety, we imply that no strange dogs should have access to the premises, neither should it be around a forest — or shrubby environment — where parasites are likely to breed. For even more safety, you’ll also want to ensure that the neighborhood is free from dogs.
While in the backyard, you should avoid fences, shades, and places with long grass. Such spots are favorable breeding grounds for parasites. Go for sunny and isolated spots. If you have one, use a leash to control the pup’s movement while introducing it to leash training early enough.
Carrying It In Your Arms Or On A Stroller
Since the outdoor grounds are unsafe for your unvaccinated canine friend, you’re better off carrying it instead. In your arms, the two of you get to bond deeper while experiencing the new environment without harm.
A few people with difficulties in carrying their dogs may use a dog stroller. The stroller should be sanitized and sizable enough for your puppy.
At The Veterinary Office
Veterinary offices are often kept as safe as possible. All dogs that visit the premises are often checked for full vaccination and other potential hazards. There are little to no chances of your young hairy friend contracting a disease after walking on the vet office floor. However, you must consult your bet for better safety.
Playgroups keep your puppy active and flexible. If you wish that yours joins a playgroup, ensure that the group members are fully vaccinated and that the area is away from potential health hazards. You also want to see to it that the dogs are under close watch.
If you choose to keep your dog socialized indoors until it’s 16 weeks old, there are precautions to take, too.
The dog needs to get used to strangers as well so that it doesn’t behave strangely upon seeing a different person from immediate family members. So it’s a great idea to invite friends and other relatives to your home and let them have a good time with the dog so that it learns to be around other people.
If possible, ensure that the visitors aren’t too fiery to your puppy. Also, look for people with as many different features as you can.
Invite hairy pals, tall relatives, people with various skin colors, the lame, and even more. While you can’t get the full variety of people with different features, try and invite as many people as you can.
With Healthy Dogs
It’s also advisable to set up meetings with friends that can come in the company of their healthy dogs at your home during indoor socialization for your pup. In such a case, the owner needs to be well versed with puppy socialization, and his/her dog must be fully vaccinated, trained, and controlled.
Another requirement is that the door must have not visited the park recently, because it may have too many parasites. Lastly, the visiting furry friend shouldn’t be too big relative to your pup’s size.
Always Have The Puppy With You During Your Activities
We’ve seen a lot of dogs that find it hard to cope up with strange sounds, visions, and other stuff. The best way to avoid this with yours is to keeping it around you as you nail down your daily house chores.
For example, let the dog be around while you use the steam cleaner/vacuum, watch the television, sweep, play musical instruments, and do other tasks.
Also, keep it close when taking an evening’s doorstep rest so that it can also see people and vehicles pass by your homestead.
Remember To Stick To These Extra Guidelines
Keep An Eye On Your Puppy
This is especially important at the playgroups. It’s generally not safe to bring your puppy into a group of other dogs, even if they’re safe, and leave it there to survive on its own.
Experts recommend that you keep an eye on it so that you can observe its behavior in different situations. That’s the only way to know how to help it socialize effectively.
Before introducing your dog to larger groups of other dogs, people, or vehicles, it’s often safe to first expose them to a smaller scale of the same. For example, invite a friend with a single dog for the first experience of socialization before tossing the pup into a pool of other healthy dogs.
Always Watch The Puppy’s Reactions
Some puppies are too slow to welcoming the strange feeling of socialization. It’s important to observe yours for such signs. What you need to understand is that if your puppy is the cowering type, you must not oblige it into the situation. Withdraw and comfort it before trying next time until it gets better.
The Bottom Line
Overall, it’s safe to bring your puppy to the backyard as soon as it arrives in its new home. You only have to comply with a few safety guidelines while keeping an eye on the juvenile hairy friend. What’s more, you can even take the canine friend away from home, provided that you keep the safety precautions described in this article. Meanwhile, have a good time with your new family member.