Why you shouldn't walk until your puppy is fully vaccinated

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jeshykai's picture
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I've been reading around the forum and notice that some people walk their puppies before they are fully vaccinated.  I'm not trying to argue against it or start a fight, I just want to make sure people are making informed decisions.  As a vet technician, I always stressed the importance of waiting until all vaccines have been administered for walking.  My puppy is now 16 weeks old, just had his last shots, and in a WEEK when the immunities are settled in, we will finally walk him on the streets and take him to the park.  waiting for this has been crazy with such an active dog and I'm not saying I wouldn't rather walk him right away but I also don't want to do anything unnecessary risks.

Parvo is one of the main concerns you have when you walk your dog: http://www.workingdogs.com/parvofaq.htm - this is good information for reading on it.  Basically, parvo is transmitted through stool and if your puppy is walking through a park where infected stool was left/into the ground, he/she could get it.  It's a very serious disease and not only expensive to treat but also not always treatable.

Not as scary as parvo, is distemper.  You can read up on it here: http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2102&aid=419 - it is more serious in puppies under 6 months of age.

There are more of course but these are some main ones.

Now the argument on vaccines is huge in humans I'm sure its the same in pets.  Usually rabies is the only mandated vaccine.  Its just important to consider the other possible viruses that are out in your area.  You can always assume most dogs around you are vaccinated and so exposure is low, but it takes one negligent owner to cause you issues.

Anyway.  Just some food for thought.

Control_Freak's picture
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+1

Brad and I took a lot of crap from people when Athena was very young.  We were very very protective of her...didn't take her to the pet store, did not walk her, refused to start her puppy classes, did not take her to the beach/park, carried her in and out of the vets office all until she was fully vaccinated.  Friends of ours did the complete opposite and told us to loosen up, others told us she wasn't made of glass when I wouldn't take her to the baseball diamond or let her 7 yr old walk around holding her.  

Maybe we were/are a little over protective BUT the bottom line is we are responsible for taking care of her and protecting her.  

Would parents take the chance of putting their children at risk of getting a fatal disease???

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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Good for you Control_Freak.. I'm sure those folks who gave you crap were NOT on this forum

WE ROCK!!

jeshykai's picture
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I just wanted to make sure people were informed.  I don't know if some vet offices stress it or not but whenever I see a young puppy on a leash in public I cringe.  There was a kid on campus yesterday who had a pitbull puppy (big surprise) walking around campus.  The puppy couldn't be more than 9 weeks old and the owner was almost dragging her to get her to walk fast enough.  I was thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close to having a conversation with the owner regarding animal safety but then kept walking.

If people make the informed decision to do this it's of course their choice!  

KaySheaWill's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-28

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Can you please tell me how to keep my pup sane for 10 weeks? Do I just plan to walk circles in my back yard? Other ideas thank you! :)

jeshykai's picture
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Well, just because you can't walk the streets and high traffic areas, doesn't mean you can't take your dog out of the yard and do things with them!  If you have friends and family that have vaccinated dogs and enclosed backyards you can take the puppy over to their houses for interaction with them and their dogs. 

We took Steve to each of our parent's house for dog-dog interaction when he was a little older and let him play with their dogs to wear him out.  We've let people bring their puppies and dogs over to our house for play as well.  This was more than sufficient for him and he'd be worn out from 2 hours of play for most of the day after.  I still don't think a walk would do the same as a play session.

When he was still young, playing in our backyard was more than enough stimulation for him.  It only became a challenge to give him enough activities to wear him out in the last week because fetch, chase, tug and jump in the backyard for an hour doesn't wear him out.  Not to mention training, training, training.

Honestly, it wasn't that hard to keep him isolated during this period.  You find more than enough things to do with your dog other than walking, I promise!

KaySheaWill's picture
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Thankfully we do have a set of friends he can socialize with, but we'd be restricted to their small backyard. Still, that gives me more hope! :)

Control_Freak's picture
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Another good trick is the handy dandy laser pointer.  Athena goes crazy as soon as we even open the drawer...5 min with it and she is panting and ready for bed.  Trust me this has been a huge lifesaver!!!!!

Lori's picture
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Laser pointers are the best thing EVER!...haha