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. Abby lives with her Son, Ethan, Ray the cat, and Jazz the elderly Chihuahua in Central Iowa.