When is it Safe to Expose a Puppy to Other Dogs?

dogs1Human parents of new pups worry about exposing their cute little fuzzy kids to adult dogs too soon. But waiting too long can be a problem, too, if the puppy is going to be part of a household with other dogs.

Some veterinarians will tell owners of young puppies to wait until they’ve had all their vaccines before they meet other dogs. This can take up to four months! Remember, months are years for dogs. You would wait until your kid had all his or her shots to let him play with other toddlers, right?

Make Sure Other Dogs Around Your Puppy are Vaccinated

In order to have a normal, outgoing dog, let him play with the other dogs. Just make sure they have been vaccinated.

Puppies need socialization, particularly once they’ve been weaned, which usually starts at three weeks and is over by eight. At this stage, they may not have had all their vaccines yet, but they do need socialization.

If there are other dogs in the household, make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations. This way, they can become safe playmates and guides for the youngster.

If your puppy is an “only dog child,” let him meet other vaccinated dogs who you know get along with other animals. They can meet in your home or the other dog’s home. Be aware that dogs can get territorial and you may need to rescue your little one. Your pup may instinctively roll on his back to let the other dog know he means no disrespect.

Keep Your Puppy on a Leash Around Other Dogs

You can put a collar on a puppy when he’s about a month old to get him comfortable with it. Once he’s at ease, attach a leash and walk him around inside where he’s less likely to encounter a distraction.

Keep your puppy on a leash when he meets other dogs, even indoors. The leash is his safety device. Always keep him on a leash when he’s outdoors, particularly while he’s still being trained and not finished with his vaccines.