Prevention against infections or behavioural prevention

Basic care - Prevention against infections or behavioural prevention

Should we choose between:

  • Prevention against infections and advise not to let the puppy go outside before it gets all its vaccines?
  • Behavioural prevention and let the dog go every where outside before the age of 3 months?

This choice does not exist. No pet owner sterilizes his clothes and shoes before entering his home. Therefore, he brings viruses in the isolated dog's environment.

It is recommended to:

  • Vaccinate the dog according to the protocole determined by the veterinarian.
  • Adapt the vaccination protocol if the veterinarian considers that there is an increase risk if the dog goes outside as young as 6 to 7 weeks of age.
  • It is not recommended to stop the puppy from going outside before the age of 3 months.

By Dr Joël Dehasse, veterinary behaviourist.

Why must we let the puppy go outside quickly?

Between the age of 6 to 12 weeks, your puppy must learn like any one- to four-year-old child. It is important to stimulate its brain. It must come in contact with all those stimulating things around which it will live in the future. Objects and living things that it will not have come in contact with during this critical period of socialization will be seen as dangerous by the animal. For example, many dogs hate cars because their first experience with it is during the long trip from the breeding place to their new home. Since they were ill that first time, car trips have become an unpleasant aspect of their lives. That is why there should be many first experiences at an early age: cats, cars, bikes, trains, men, children, water, stores...

Is there a risk of viral diseases?

Yes! But not letting the puppy go out will not change anything. We are not disinfected from head to toe when we come in after an outing, and viruses enter your home easily. Not letting your dog go outside will keep it from learning, and it will be exposed to viruses anyway!

By Dr Gérald Muller, veterinary behaviourist.