Guidelines For New Puppy Parents


New puppies need to be protected from infection. Vaccinations are an important part of building a puppy’s immunity but they don’t take effect straight away. Meanwhile puppies need to be socialized and that means meeting people and getting out into the community! You’ll find guidelines below for when and how to take your puppy out in public and tips to help you keep them safe from infection until they are fully vaccinated.

Protecting your puppy from infection is an area where you are quite likely to get conflicting advice. It’s one of those situations where experts, including veterinarians, don’t always agree. That’s because advice to foufoupuppies parents has changed in the last few years. So I’ll be giving you the information you need to decide what’s best for your puppy.

When Do Puppies Get Shots?

The first round of puppy shots is given at between 6-8 weeks of age. At this age, the puppy will still have some maternal antibodies.

Those antibodies from their Mom, give your puppy some protection against immunity and wear off gradually once the puppy is weaned at about six weeks. Unfortunately they can also interfere with the vaccine so current trend is to wait till 8 weeks rather than give shots any earlier.

How Many Shots Do Puppies Need?

12 week puppy shots follow four weeks after the first set of puppy shots. And the final shots are given after another four weeks. So that your puppy is usually fully protected by about 16-17 weeks old with three sets of shots altogether.

What Vaccines Do Puppies Need?

Each set of shots will include protection against diseases that commonly attack puppies and older dogs.

The vaccines included will depend on your location so you need to be guided by your vet, but most puppies will receive protection against killer diseases like parvovirus, distemper, leptospirosis and rabies.

Your Puppy And Their Veterinarian

That first appointment with their new veterinarian is an important one for puppies, first shots and a thorough check up are included. And both you and your puppy get a chance to start building a relationship with the person who will be responsible for their medical care.

Not all vets agree on when you should take your puppy out in public, so I’ll explain where the difference of opinions is coming from.

How Modern Advice Is Changing

Standard advice used to be that puppies can go outside in public places when they are fully protected by their jabs, at about 16 weeks old. But we now know that this may not be the best advice for your puppy. And it could even cause them harm.

That’s because puppies need socializing, and socialization only works well during the first few weeks of a puppy’s life. It’s what’s called the critical period for socialization, or window for socialization.

What’s The Big Deal With Socialization?

Socialization is the process of introducing a puppy to lots of new experiences to reduce the chances of them being afraid as they grow up. Think of it as taking the ‘wolf’ out of your dog! It’s what makes dogs confident and friendly, instead of wild and fearful.