When Can Your Puppy Go Outside?


Puppy Outside Vaccination Community Pet Clinic


  • When can a puppy go outside in the garden?
  • When Can a Puppy Go Outside for Walks?
  • When can puppies go outside for walks?
  • How to get your puppy ready to go outside before they’re vaccinated
Bringing home your puppy can sometimes feel a little bit overwhelming with the list of things you need to prepare for. They need to start their toilet training, get used to other dogs and start learning how to be a well rounded adult. You get them home, excited to start teaching them and showing them the ropes but there’s one problem, that eight week old bundle of fluff is likely not able to go outside yet! Many of the things you need to teach your puppy involve them going outside, be it to go to the toilet, meet other dogs or just get used to the sights and sounds of the world.
We have everything you need to know about your puppy taking their first steps outside and how to get them ready for it.

When can a puppy go outside in the garden?

When you first bring your puppy home, they might not be able to go out for walks right away and there can be conflicting information about when they can. Having a garden can be a really handy tool to starting their training and socialising a little earlier so you can get ahead of the game.

Do they have to be vaccinated to go in the garden?

The garden is a little bit of a grey area when it comes to if your puppy should be vaccinated before they use it. The vaccinations your puppy receives are to prevent a number of highly infectious diseases that can be fatal. Some other species like the fox can also carry a number of these diseases so the risk to your pup is never entirely zero. If you live in a rural area with a garden that wildlife regularly visits, it is safer to wait until your pooch is fully vaccinated and protected against disease before they go outside.
If your garden is well secured, private and doesn’t play host to a constant stream of wildlife visitors then you can get ahead with getting them used to the outside world. If your garden is well fenced then your puppy isn’t likely to come into contact with anything dangerous while exploring it. You can get a head start on toilet training by guiding them outside as soon as possible.

Can they meet other dogs in the garden?

Many puppy owners are eager to get started on developing their new addition’s social skills but they need time for their vaccinations to take effect before you can start exploring the wider world with them. If you have friends or family with their own canine companions, you can get your puppy making friends before they’re ready to go out, provided you do it safely. Any adult dog that comes into your home or garden needs to be fully vaccinated. An unvaccinated dog may have built up enough immunity that even if they come across something infectious, they can fight it off.
image of golden retriever puppy
Unfortunately, if a puppy comes across the same disease, there’s a chance they might not be so lucky. So, only dogs who are fully vaccinated and up to date on their boosters should be invited over to make friends with your new addition. They can have playtime in the house or the garden if it’s safe to do so, which means when it comes time to go out for walks, your pooch will have a leg up on making friends in the park.

When Can a Puppy Go Outside for Walks?

Your new addition can start to explore the world after they’re fully vaccinated and only then will they have the protection for their immunity in full effect. The general rule of thumb is to walk them for five minutes for every month of their life. If you’re taking, your puppy out at ten weeks, a ten-minute walk is ample.
At twelve weeks they can progress to fifteen and so on. This gradual progression means they’re able to build up their muscles, so they don’t strain themselves by doing too much, too soon.
In the few weeks before you’re able to go for walks, you can start helping your puppy get used to the equipment they will need for getting out and about. You will need to decide if you want to walk your new addition on a collar or harness and then find the best ones for you and your puppy.
You can go through to process of getting them used to wearing a collar or harness and even walking around the garden, so that when they do finally get out and about, these aren’t new things to them.

When can puppies go outside for walks?

When your puppy comes home, you will not be able to immediately go out for walks but that doesn’t mean you can’t get started on their socialising and giving them the skills they need for life as they grow.

Can they go outside before they’re vaccinated?

Puppies need a course of two different vaccinations and can’t go out on walks before these are done. There is also a period after the second vaccination before your pup develops their defences so they can’t go out immediately after being vaccinated and be completely safe. Some vets will recommend a week, some will say two and it usually depends on the brand of vaccine they use as each comes with a recommended timeframe to really take effect.
Being unvaccinated means your new arrival can’t go for walks like their adult counterparts but it doesn’t mean they can't go outside with you to start getting used to it. If you have a second dog or even if you don’t they can come along for a wander around the park as long as you’re carrying them. Puppies are only at risk when they are coming into contact with things that might cause harm. Dogs and things potentially unwell dogs may have touched are all a serious risk before they are vaccinated. However, being carried in your arms so they can see the birds, hear the traffic and watch other dogs play is a great way to start getting them used to the world.
image of pet parent and puppy
Once they’re able to go on the floor, you can really get stuck in with their socialisation but you’re at an advantage because they’re already seen a lot.

How to get your puppy ready to go outside before they’re vaccinated

Just because your puppy can’t go on regular dog walks with you yet it doesn’t mean you have to put a hold on training them the basics entirely. There is still plenty to learn in and around the house that will help to prepare your puppy for their first walks. It can be easy to overlook the basics but puppies need to learn a few things before they even step foot on their first walk. Many eight week old puppies come home without having ever worn a collar. Some breeders may use them but for others, it can be a brand new experience. From never wearing a collar to being walked on one is a big step. First, they need time to adjust and then they need to learn how to walk without strangling themselves.
The initial training to walk on lead can be done at home without even going into the garden. All you need are a handful of treats to reward your puppy for stepping with you at your side. If they’re a foodie, you can even make it a dinner time routine that they get part of their food from your hand for doing some loose lead walking with you. You can also start training them to recall. Training doesn’t always have to be hard work, recall can be a fun game you play at home. You can play a game of puppy ping pong which is exactly as it sounds. One person calls the puppy to them and rewards them, then the next person does the same, you can even move around the house and hide to gradually make it more difficult. The more fun they have playing these games and the more exciting it is for them, the more likely they are to continue coming when called out and about when they are allowed to go on walks.
From puppy basics to teaching tools, you can find everything you need to get your pooch ready for their walkies in store and online.