13 weeks old golden labrador puppy outside

When Can I Take My Puppy For A Walk?

You have got a puppy after waiting that long, and now you are waiting for the moment when this guy grows up and become your best pal and go out with you. You wonder when can I take my puppy for a walk?

I have been in your situation, and I know how excited you are. That’s why I am here to help. So grab your puppy and put him on your lab, and let’s start this now!

14 days after your puppy has had his vaccinations, he can go outside for a walk. While early walking, before vaccinations, is dangerous, late walking after he reaches 6 months old is really dangerous as well.

You can always look at the alternatives to walking your puppy, such as carrying him around in a backpack.

When I Took My Puppy For A Walk too Early

If you are following our articles, you have probably read that story a couple of times. However, check it out if you are new here (It’s 100% true story):

I have always dreamt of getting a dog and having this amazing experience where we can go down and play together in the fields. So, when I got my puppy, I was excited about this experience. Despite people telling me that I should calm down and wait before letting her out, I never heard to them.

I kept going out with her and playing almost 9 hours a day on the grass. Three days later and she became very lazy and didn’t want to move.

We ran some tests, and she tested positive for Parvovirus. However, luckily, it didn’t end tragically. She is very well now, and she enjoys every moment of her life now (especially that she rarely settles in the home without playing)

I just wanted to share this undeniable truth that puppies are in danger if they got out too early, and they are in danger if they got out too late. So, let’s start by addressing the perfect time for letting puppies go for walks.

When Can A Puppy Go Out For Walks?

The precise answer is 10-14 days after vaccination. All the vets have agreed that you must wait until your puppy is fully vaccinated against all the viruses. After 2 weeks (to make sure that he is well and he doesn’t show any side effects), you can start walking him.

Be aware that some diseases or health issues may cause the delay of getting him outside (the same situation that happened with my dog).

Does This Mean That I Can Go With Him To Any Place?

Well, theoretically, yes. However, I don’t recommend walking your puppy in overcrowded places until your puppy is at least 3-3.5 months old. When your puppy hits that age, you will be confident that he has a healthy immune system.

This immune system can help him defend many infections that are within other dogs’ urine.

Another reason is that many older dogs don’t tolerate puppies. So you want to make sure that your puppy is safe and he won’t have any fight with a bigger dog. I always recommend start walking in safe places and in quiet streets then move slowly to more crowded ones.

What About Dog Parks?

We have covered this thoroughly in our article, “When can a puppy go to a dog park,” which you can check here.

Puppy Classes?

Puppy classes are great for your dog to have early socialization and early training. There is no harm to get to puppy classes. However, it’s always useful to check the following:

Puppy Classes
  • Check if the place is cleaned regularly using detergents that remove any bacteria. If you found out that they don’t clean it regularly, then perhaps you must choose another place because it will be full of infections and diseases (Which your puppy’s weak immune system won’t tolerate)
  • Check if the dogs there are friendly
  • Check how the dogs interact with each other. Is there a dominant dog that is trying to bark at the others?
  • Check the quality of the trainers there

This way, you will guarantee the health of your puppy.

Socialization

During the time that your puppy is staying with you home, you have to make use of it. Early socialization for your puppy is a must, and you can never ignore such an important thing.

Early socialization includes both humans and other animals. While it’s not advised for your puppy to see other strange dogs that might harm him, it’s ok if you know a friend who has a dog. If you are sure that this dog is healthy, then you can let him come over to your house and introduce your puppy to him.

Skipping early socialization can cause a lot of problems in the future, such as fearfulness of dogs or other animals, which we must avoid. However, keep it safe and never risk too much.

Here’s a great video of Zak Goerge that explains how to socialize your puppy correctly:

Socializing your new puppy!

Potty Training & Yard Training

Now you must be wondering how can we wait all this time to train your puppy to start peeing outside. Of course, you don’t want to clean your house every hour for 14 days in a row, and we discussed here that using Peeing Pads isn’t the greatest idea.

So what can we do about this?

While we are waiting for our baby puppy to grow up, we can’t just keep walking him and running with him for hours daily. Over-exercising isn’t going to help your puppy, and it can cause fatal damage to his bones, which has the same effect of underexercising your puppy.

Yard training

If you have an outside yard, then the answer is easy. Clean it thoroughly, and you will be ready to go.

You can first let the puppy release himself there until he is prepared to go to the streets, and when doing so, he will have the concept already!

You will just follow the techniques here, and I guarantee that your puppy will learn potty training in less than 2 weeks 😉 and you will keep him safe from eating his poop.

And don’t worry if he stepped in anything or made himself dirty. You can always give him a relaxing bath following our guide.

You can also use your yard and start early leash training. Plan it as a real-life scenario and start teaching him the basics like sit, down, and stay.

Also, make him familiar with the concept of walking on a leash, so he will make it very easy for you when you go to the outside world. (You can find the best dog leashes here.)

He will be calm, walking beside you instead of chasing bikers.

Another great thing that you can teach him in your safe garden is to stop eating anything from the ground, which will keep him safe.

Be aware that a puppy can get things stuck in his throat if he ate anything significant during walking. So, it’s best to check our article to be prepared for such situations!

Disclaimer: We have written a complete guide to help train any dog here, check it out! By the way, if you’re interested in books, we have written a guide for the best dog books as well!

Risks Of Early Taking Your Puppy Outside

Now you must be wondering, why did I write all of this!?

Well, let me tell you that Vets say that the most common disease among puppies is Parvovirus. If we had a quick look at the main reasons for Parvo, we would see that early taking your pup outside, before vaccinations, is one of the main reasons for this virus. 

But why should we wait 14 days after vaccination

Vaccinations have side effects, and some dogs may show an unexpected reaction to these vaccinations. That’s why you have to make sure that your dog is well before proceeding to the outside.

Also, if your dog got Parvovirus, then vaccination before treatment can help the virus strengthen.

After Vaccinations – How Long Should I Walk My Puppy?

Well, there is no formative answer to this. However, you can always begin with a minimal period and start increasing the timespan day after day. This way, you will make sure that your puppy’s muscles are strengthing without hurting him.

Over Exercising

While we are waiting for our baby puppy to grow up, we can’t just keep walking him and running with him for hours daily. Over-exercising isn’t going to help your puppy, and it can cause fatal damage to his bones, which has the same effect of underexercising your puppy.

Conclusion

Walking your puppy is very exciting, and we all wait for this moment to walk our friends. However, this excitement should never blind us from the fact that early walking might be dangerous.

As you care for your puppy, you have to make sure that he is comfortable with everything related to your walks as well. You have to know when the weather is too cold for your puppy and avoid walking in this weather.

And if you’re still reading before getting the puppy, then I strongly recommend reading this article, which explains in detail how you can deal with your puppy!

Stay tuned for more articles to come!

Author: Soheir Maher

Hi, I am Soheir. I have always been passionate about dogs. My first dog was Leo who was a wonderful Golden Retriever after that I got Kira another Golden Retriever who is wonderful too.My passion for dogs made me read a lot about them. Training them personally made me become an expert in everything related to them, that's why my writing is always a mix of experience and science. My writing about dogs isn't for the sake of earning a living but instead, for the sake of benefiting people around the world.

Leave a Comment