I saw a tiny puppy at the park last night, and I polled my clients via my Facebook page: “When is it safe to take a puppy to the park?” I am going to refer to my good friend,VeterinaryPartner.com. I will give you a link below. The major thing I worry about at parks & other public places is parvo virus. If/When I have my next puppy he/she will not be setting foot off my property until 4mo of age (or until I have had a blood test drawn to see how high their titer is for parvo virus). I think it is ok to go to socialization class & places where I can prove without a doubt that the animals around us who will be sniffing noses & pooping on the floor have had their parvo vaccine. I would want my puppy's immune system to be developed a bit more before challenging it. It may sound extreme, but I have seen puppies die of parvo virus. It is also very expensive to treat (IV fluids, prescription medications to try to halt vomiting & bloody diarrhea, sometimes plasma transfusions...). Last year I heard from a family who had two puppies die of the virus. The dogs were in their yard, but they escaped. Within one week they were both sick. I don't want to be a party pooper, but a puppy’s immune system may not be fully developed by the time they get their first vaccination. A lot depends on their age & what the mom passed along in her milk. It can be hit or miss. Happy Spring!
Dr. Strobbe lives with her Son, Ethan, in Ames Iowa.