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Potty Training and Puppy Vaccines

puppy at the vet in madison, al

Can You Take Your Puppy Outside Before it is Fully Vaccinated?  This is a great question that was a comment on one of my YouTube videos.  The short answer is "Yes, But Follow These Rules To Stay Safe."

Is it safe for your puppy to go outside without all shots? From the article on linked below, "You brought your puppy home and want to show him to the world he wants to play, and you need to start potty training as soon as possible. However, he hasn't finished his puppy vaccinations yet. Is it safe for him to go outside?"

Within reason, it is completely safe for your puppy to go outside before it is vaccinated. While there is a very low chance of your puppy contracting an illness from playing in the yard or going on a walk, minimize any canine socialization until after his shots are complete.

How to Protect Your Puppy

To protect your new puppy against dangerous diseases, you need to take the following precautions for a puppy that is younger than 16 weeks old:

  • Get your puppy all his vaccines as recommended by the veterinarian.

  • Do not take your puppy to places other dogs tend to frequent, like a pet store or dog park.

  • Make sure to carry your puppy in and out of a vet office or hospital. Veterinary staff will take every precaution to protect puppies from infectious diseases. Still, a sick dog may contaminate a rest area, the floor, or furniture before the veterinary staff can disinfect it. So, be safe and make sure to carry your puppy.

  • Do not let your puppy interact with animal feces as he is walking; don’t let him interact with other dogs if you aren’t aware of their vaccination history.

  • Always ensure that the other dogs in your home are current on their vaccines.

  • Only let your puppy access a fenced yard. If your neighbor has a dog, let them know your pup has not been completely vaccinated yet.

An Alternative Option

If you are adamant about following the rules of your vet, and your vet says, "Absolutely no way that your dog's going in any grass until they've had all of their vaccines," here is one final option. It's called Fresh Patch. It's actual green grass patches that you can get in two feet, four feet, and so forth. You get these patches. They're shipped to you every two weeks. You put them on your back porch or your front porch. You have them go potty on the fresh patch to learn the texture of the soil, know the smell of the grass, and go on the grass. I strongly advise you not to use pee pads in the house.


Just to remind you, I am a dog trainer. I am not a vet. I am not trying to start a disagreement with your vet. My job is only to provide information I find online and provide feedback on what I have discovered from my own dogs and the dogs I have trained. The bottom line is if your vet says that you should not take your dog outside, you probably have to listen to your vet. I may disagree, but you will have to make the final decision. Try not to rely on this information and bring it back to your vet to start an argument and have them contact me, saying I'm doing wrong. So as a disclaimer, I release all liability for anything that can happen to your puppy in public, in the grass, while you're trying to potty train them.

Here is a link to the podcast episode on this topic

Links to supporting articles and Podcasts:


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