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Letting your puppy outside for the first time

Letting your puppy go outdoors can be a giant leap. It’s exciting and a bit scary as they leave the safety of the home you’ve created for them. This guide will help talk you through when your puppy can go outside and how to help them make the most of their first steps in the great outdoors.



When can my puppy go outside?

If your garden is safe and secure from other dogs or animals, you may be able to allow your puppy out into the garden as soon as you take your bundle of joy home. If you know that foxes or other animals are frequently in your garden, it may be best to wait until after their vaccinations.

Your precious puppy should not mix with other dogs until at least two weeks after they’ve had their second lot of vaccinations. The same goes for your puppy’s first walk.

When can you take a puppy for a walk?

Your puppy’s first walk is a big milestone for any pet owner. A puppy’s first walk can happen two weeks after their second set of vaccinations. So, the answer to what age can puppies go outside is usually around 8 to 12 weeks old.

How long after second vaccination can puppies go out?

You usually need to wait two weeks after a puppy’s second set of vaccinations before it’s safe for them to be out and about. Every pup is different though, so your vet will be able to give you their recommendation.

It’s important not to let your puppy outside in a public place too early, as they need time for their immune system to kick in after their vaccinations.

When can puppies go in the garden?

If you have a clean, secure, and enclosed garden, your vet may say that your pup can go out to play in the garden straight away. It’s important to limit contact with other dogs or animals like foxes – so if your garden gets unwanted visitors, it may be best to wait. Seek your vet’s advice or wait until after their vaccinations have kicked in.

Make sure to puppy -proof your garden before allowing them outside. You must also keep a close eye on your playful pup and watch they don’t get too excited and get into mischief.

How can my puppy get exercise if they can’t go on walks?

You may be dreaming of taking your puppy out for their first outing, but don’t worry, there are still plenty of ways to have fun with your new pup from the safety of your home.

Puppies have so much enthusiasm for life, you’ll have your work cut out trying to burn off some of that energy. You’ll need to provide them with plenty of mental stimulation by playing games with them and playing with their toys.

Play games

Try playing a gentle game of tug and war with your new best friend. Or create a ‘treat burrito’, by sprinkling some treats on a towel, before rolling it up. Your puppy will love chewing and pawing at the towel to release their treats and it will tire them out mentally figuring out how to unravel it.

Puppy class

You could take your puppy to a puppy class – just be sure to check whether your pup meets their vaccination rules. Once you’ve got the go-ahead from your vet and puppy class leader, you’re good to go.

Socialise with friends and family 

Just because you can’t take your pup on walks, you can still socialise them by inviting family and friends over to meet him or her. In fact, you’ll probably be overwhelmed with puppy meet and greet requests.

We all know that playful pups can get themselves into plenty of mischief. Get ahead and find pet insurance for your puppy to help cover them for the unexpected. Have a look at Sainsbury’s Bank dog insurance to find a policy that works for your new best friend. Pet insurance provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc.

Frequently asked questions 

How can you introduce a puppy to the outside world?

To take your pup into the big wide world for the first time you should find a secluded spot where your pup will feel safe. Be sure to try and avoid areas with any dog poo from other dogs to minimise the risk of your pup catching a disease.

Can I take my puppy on a walk if I carry them?

You may decide to take your pup out and about in your arms, a carrier or a secure pram – this is fine, but don’t be tempted to pop them down as they can still pick up diseases.

Can my puppy go to the toilet outside before vaccinations?

Usually this is okay if you have a clean and secure garden but it’s always best to check with your vet. However, it’s a little bit harder if you live in a flat and only have access to a public park as you’ll need to be careful in case they come across poo from any unvaccinated dogs. Instead, you can use puppy pads to house-train your pup.


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