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Puppies, socialisation, toileting and vaccinations

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littlelab's picture
Joined: 07.01.2006

I am writing through concern at reading very many posts AND coupled with currently raising two puppies of 10 weeks myself right now, so experiencing exactly the advice that puppy owners are getting at their vets as regards whether a puppy can go outside whilst it is having its two innoculations.

I am not a vet. I do not pretend to wish to override vet advice. But I am most concerned about the amount of panic mongering vets and vet nurses seem to be causing lately and the harm they could be doing with the advice they are giving.

I took one of my two young puppies for its first jab last week. Nwe vet nurse at the desk. There were two other little pups waiting for a vaccination in the waiting room. I walked over to one and held my pup out to sniff and she grabbed her pup and looked panic striken. 'Whats the matter?' I puzzled, it will be lovely for these to socially interact whilst we wait.... ' SHE said I mustn't and my pup must stay away from other dogs' said the woman pointing at the nurse. The nurse nodded and said 'yes, come away, we don't want these pups picking things up from one another whilst not vaccinated do we...?' I nearly screamed in fustration at such incrediably stupid shortsighted advice from a professional!

The simple facts are your puppy will need two innoculations before it is *fully* vaccinated. Thats across the board. Until those innoculations are both given AND then a few days have passed to allow it into the pups system, the puppy will be able to catch THE SPECIFIC DISEASES THAT THE INNOCULATIONS PROTECT FROM.

However we have to put it in perspective. Many of the problems being innoculated for are very rare, and extremely uncommon in your average healthy pet dog EVEN if their boosters are not kept up to date. Your puppy is ONLY at risk from coming into direct contact with a dog, or a dogs poo, that actually HAS one of these very few, very unusual diseases.

So to keep a puppy confined to your garden for possibly even up to a month during some of the most influential weeks of its life, can be extremely damaging to the dogs social and behavioural welfare.

If you think of all the creatures that come into your garden univited, cats, birds, hedgehogs, rats, mice, badgers, foxes, to name just a few, hand on heart, I am so unsure why we consider *the big wide world* a dangerous and hazardous place for unvaccinated puppies, where as the majority of pet dogs walking out and about are vaccinated AND boostered! Not a single WILD animal is! yet we are happy for them to play, chew, eat things etc in our gardens.

Now logically of COURSE, it is dogs that harbour these diseases that a puppy is protected against in its vaccinations, so therefore meeting one WITH a disease could be a disaster. but the chances are SO slim, yet, a puppy kept at home, not socialised, not taken out and about in those 2 - 4 weeks between 8 and 14 or so weeks of age, is almost CERTAINLY going to become 'infected' with a possibe longterm fear of the unknown and to one kept at home, almost EVERYTHING is unknown!

So please, don't argue with your vet of course, they have to protect themselves incase the worst DD happen, but realise staying home is the wrong thing to do for your puppys MENTAL health, and use sensible caution. Get the pup up and down your road. First in your arms, then on a lead. Just pick it up if an unknown dog comes. If you KNOW the dog and its owner and know it is boostered then it can meet your puppy absolutely safely. Let it meet people, let it SEE cars/buses/dustcarts. Let it meet dogs owned by responsible owners (and lets face it a dog with a dreadful disease is unlikely to be happily walking down your road).

Get it in gravel. Get it on grass. Get it on pebbles, sand, find it little puddles to splosh in. get it out in the rain. In the sun,. In the wind. SEEK OUT people in wheelchairs, old people, people of colour, small children, pushchairs, playgrounds with shrieking kids in...... all those things puppies at 14 weeks old may be too young to take in their stride. They may NOT, they may be fine, but usually only if they are naturally bold genetically. If there is a hint of nervousness genetically from the parents, the puppy could well not ever quite accept some of these things if not exposed in those very early weeks.

And anytime you think something might be hazardous, like an unknown dog, a pile of dog poo etc etc then just scoop up pup and walk past then put it down again!

But PLEASE don't keep them home, whilst they have and complete their puppy vaccinations.




Jack, Maia, Molly, Lillith and Angel the cat