Welcoming a new puppy into your home is an exciting time. Your new bundle of joy relies on you for everything, including keeping them healthy and safe. One of the most common questions that veterinary practices get asked about the new family member is, “when can puppies go outside”? The answer depends on various factors, including the puppy’s age, whether it has been vaccinated and its general health and condition.
Most puppies are taken home between 8-12 weeks of age. A good breeder will have taken the puppies to be checked by a vet, microchipped and have their first round of vaccinations before they go to their new homes.
Microchipping Your Puppy
By law, it is the breeder’s responsibility to have a puppy microchipped by the age of eight weeks and be registered to them before they leave. If you adopt from an animal rescue, your puppy will be thoroughly vet checked, its vaccinations will have been given (unless there is a medical reason not to), and the charity will transfer microchip details into your name before leaving. The law states that no dog may be sold or rehomed without a microchip.
Owning a dog in the UK that isn’t microchipped can lead you to be fined £500. It is the responsibility of the breeder or rescue organisation to have the puppy microchipped and have their details registered to it.
When considering buying or adopting a puppy, you can ask to see proof of microchipping. This will be a microchip certificate, vet record or pet passport. Upon purchase or adoption, your details will be added to the microchip by the breeder/rescue or they will provide you with transfer details to do so yourself. It is a sign of an irresponsible breeder if your puppy has not been microchipped.
Microchipping a puppy and ensure that your details are registered and up to date is very important. It means that should your pet be lost or stolen, it can be identified and returned to you as quickly as possible. If your details such as address or telephone number are not up to date and your dog is found as a stray by the local authorities, they will have no way to contact you. If the local authority cannot reach an owner or no one comes forward within seven days to claim a dog, it can then legally be rehomed or passed to an animal charity for rehoming.
Once your puppy is home, it is safe for them to go outside in the garden as long as there have been no unvaccinated dogs there recently and the area is ‘puppy proofed’. However, you must avoid taking your puppy out into public areas until two weeks after their second set of vaccinations.
Puppy vaccinations cover four main diseases;
- Canine distemper
- Infectious canine hepatitis
Once your puppy has had its second set of vaccinations and two weeks have passed, you can begin to introduce your new puppy to the outside world, other dogs and new experiences. Always consider the age and breed of your new puppy when planning your exercise routine.
How Long To Walk A Puppy
The PDSA recommends using a 5-minute rule when planning exercise for puppies. The 5-minute rule is a general guideline that suggests a walk of 5 minutes per month of age (15 minutes for three months old, 20 minutes for four months old and so on) until they reach the ideal exercise time for their breed.
You can take a look at the PDSAs diagram depicting a rough guide to the amount of exercise a dog needs, organised by breed. When considering getting a puppy, it’s important to research the breed and how much exercise they will need to ensure that your lifestyle can accommodate their needs. For example, if you work full time or struggle with walking long distances, you may want to avoid breeds such as labradors and border collies. Many smaller breeds need shorter walks or require less time exercising, such as Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas.
As well as going for walks with your pup, they require socialisation and mental stimulation as regularly as possible. Ensuring that your dog has positive introductions to new environments during the early months of their lives can have a profound impact on their future. Animal charity, The Blue Cross, states that “experiences during the first year of a dog’s life can make all the difference to their future temperament and character.”
As well as their vaccinations, your new pup needs to be protected against other pesky little parasites that lurk outdoors.
When To Worm A Puppy
A responsible breeder or rescue will have already begun your puppy’s initial worming treatments. This is because a litter of puppies are susceptible to roundworm infections passed on through their mother’s milk and between littermates. Ideally, they should be wormed every two weeks up until they are 12. Puppy worming treatment is a relatively inexpensive and effective solution that you can purchase online with Vetscriptions.
Once your new addition begins its life of adventures in the outside world, they will need protection from flea and tick infestation, roundworm, tapeworm and a whole host of other parasites. Intestinal worms can cause severe sickness and diarrhoea if left untreated and, in some cases, be a real threat to your dog’s health. Vetscriptions sell a range of both prescription and non-prescription parasite treatments that are usually given monthly. These treatments are designed to prevent any parasites and allow your dog to explore its new world without the threat of infestation.
If you are concerned about the health of your new puppy or feel that they may have a flea, tick or worm infestation - please don’t hesitate to contact your vet as soon as possible. The sooner they are treated, the quicker they will recover and be able to get back to just being a fun-loving bundle of fluff.Vetscriptions is a leading fulfiller of veterinary prescriptions in the UK. We supply the same pet medication as your local vets, from the same suppliers, at prices that are at least 40% cheaper. We also offer new customers a 5% discount.