When Can my Puppy Start Going Outside?

puppy outside in Wayne, NJ
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When Can my Puppy Start Going Outside?

New puppy owners will need to get their puppy some important vaccines, and puppies are not fully protected against these life-threatening diseases until they have received three rounds of vaccines, which usually occurs when the puppy is around 16 weeks old.

Since puppies are not fully vaccinated until they are about 16 weeks old, it is best to not take them out to places where a lot of dogs congregate until then. This includes places like dog parks, pet stores, and busy walking trails.

Here we will explain everything that new puppy owners need to know about taking their puppy out safely. This will include some helpful safety tips as well as some general guidelines. All right, let’s jump right in.

What Age is Safe for Puppies to Go Outside?

Generally speaking, it is best to wait until a puppy is at least 16 weeks old before taking them out to most places. This is because this is the age that most puppies are fully vaccinated with their core vaccines. This is important because these core vaccines protect puppies against some very serious and life-threatening illnesses.

How Many Shots do Puppies Need Before Going Outside?

Puppies typically need around three rounds of shots before they are fully vaccinated and can go outside without major risk to their health. These shots should include protection for the following illnesses.

Some vets may offer a vaccine that protects your puppy from more than one of these illnesses at once. For example, it is not uncommon for puppies to receive one shot that protects them from Parvovirus, Distemper, Adenovirus, and Parainfluenza at the same time. However, your puppy will still need three rounds of this shot before they are fully vaccinated.

The above list is a list of the core vaccines for puppies in the United States. Depending on your location and living situation, your vet may recommend other vaccinations in addition to this list. At North Jersey Animal Hospital, we typically vaccinate for rabies anywhere between 16-24 weeks. It’s always best to consult your veterinarian before taking your puppy outside in a new area for the first time.

Can You Take Your Puppy Outside to Pee Before Vaccinations?

Yes, you can take your puppy to use the bathroom outside before they are fully vaccinated. However, it is best to keep them in areas that you know are not frequented by many strange dogs. Your backyard is a great option.

Additionally, it is a good idea to keep your puppy away from animal feces and areas where many dogs hang out. This unfortunately means that dog parks and popular hiking trails should be avoided until your puppy is fully vaccinated.

Can my Puppy Get Sick from My Backyard?

It is unlikely that your puppy is going to get sick from being in your backyard. This is especially true if your backyard is completely private and fenced-in. Since most diseases are passed through contact with infected dogs and their urine and feces, you generally have nothing to worry about if this is not present in your backyard.

You could even allow your dog to interact with your fully vaccinated dogs and those of trusted friends or family in your backyard. This will provide them with some much-needed socialization in a safe way.

puppy outside in Wayne, NJ

What Age Can You Take Your Puppy for a Walk?

Generally, it is a good idea to wait to take your puppy for a walk until they at minimum 16 weeks old. This is because you will not need to worry about them coming into contact with infected dogs, objects, urine, and feces. However, it is a good idea to get your puppy used to walking on a leash before taking them for a walk outside. You can do this by practicing in your home or backyard.

How Long After the 3rd Vaccination Can a Puppy go Outside?

Once your puppy has received their third set of booster shots, it is generally safe to take them out to most places. However, you can also wait a few extra weeks if you want to be extra confident that your dog is fully immune to the diseases that they have been vaccinated for.

Can You Take an Unvaccinated Puppy Outside if You Carry Them?

Yes, you can carry your unvaccinated puppies to help prevent them from getting sick. This is a great thing to do when taking your puppy to their vet appointments before they are fully vaccinated. Carrying your puppy will help prevent them from coming into contact with infected dogs and objects.

Can You Leave a Young Puppy Alone Outside?

It is generally not a good idea to leave a young puppy alone outside. This is not because young puppies can get sick in a backyard, but for other factors that could potentially put them at risk.

Young puppies are still very small and vulnerable. This means that they could easily become dehydrated or overheated in hot weather. Cold and wet weather can also be very dangerous for young puppies over extended periods of time as they could easily develop hypothermia.

Additionally, there may be the possibility that your puppy becomes injured by an object or another animal when left unattended outside for a long time. There is the possibility that a puppy escapes a backyard without their owner’s knowledge as well. As you can probably imagine, this is also a very serious potential risk.


Having a new puppy join the family is always an exciting time for new pet parents. Taking your puppy outside is something to be cautious and aware of before they receive their full rounds of vaccinations, but there are still ways you can allow your puppy to enjoy some fresh air!

If you’re looking for a veterinarian to take your new puppy to near Wayne, New Jersey, North Jersey Animal Hospital is here to help. Our veterinarians are experts in puppy and dog care and can provide all the vaccines your new pup may need. Give us a call today at (973) 595-8600, or Request an Appointment Online today!

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