Bringing home a puppy for the first time is exciting, and it is natural to want to show him or her off at the dog park. HOWEVER, young puppies are susceptible to picking up some potentially life-threatening diseases. One of these is called parvovirus, which still kills puppies in Sydney every year.
From a purely disease prevention perspective, it would be ideal to keep puppies isolated from other dogs completely until they are fully vaccinated (at 16 weeks or older). However, this is not ideal from a training & socialisation perspective. The following recommendations are based on what we believe is a reasonable compromise between these two competing interests.
- Prior to first vaccination – should be kept at home
- After first C3 vaccination (at 6-8 weeks old) – may attend puppy preschool with similar aged puppies, but otherwise should be kept at home
- From 1 week after the first C5 vaccination (at 12-14 weeks old) – puppies can start going for walks on sealed surfaces but should not go onto public grassed areas especially dog parks. They may also start socialising with adult dogs that are fully vaccinated (and up to date).
- From 1 week after the final puppy C5 vaccination (at 16-18 weeks old) – puppies are now un-restricted in where they may visit and can socialise with any other friendly dogs.