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    1. #1
      Puppy
      taysel's Avatar
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      Vaccine Concerns

      We will be getting our 8 week old puppy this Sunday! I am pretty nervous about doing everything right, and one of my biggest fears is over the puppy getting sick before his vaccines are up to speed. I've read some horror stories about puppies dying because the owner let them go outside, and other stories where people took their fresh puppy on all sorts of walks in areas with other potentially unvaccinated dogs.

      How serious is the risk of infection? I've read that we shouldn't let him walk on the floor of the vet's office, but if it was such a serious concern, wouldn't the vet have stressed that to me on the phone when I made the appointment?

      I'm also a little concerned because our neighbor's dog wanders into our yard every so often. It's a totally friendly dog with county tags (indicating it's had it's rabies shots), but I haven't been able to get in touch with the owner to ask her whether it's vaccinated (although believe me I am trying!).

      I appreciate any and all guidance! Thank you!

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    3. #2
      Senior Dog
      Tanya's Avatar
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      remember the vet is where people bring their SICK dogs. so yes that would be pretty high up on places i wouldn't let my puppy walk. they should disinfect the exam room before you. But i would not walk the puppy in a vet office.

      it's best to avoid places where lots of dogs congregate like pet stores and dog parks because you have no idea which dogs are carrying something. they can carry something without "appearing" sick. You do want to socialize with friendly with puppy dogs with all their vaccinations. a good puppy class is terrfic (ideally not in a pet store). you can go for car rides and in stores that are not pet stores to socialise as well. people, places, sights and sounds, not just other dogs Make the experiences POSITIVE, don't flood or overwhelm or push the puppy too far too soon.

      again my bigger concern with neighbour dog is how friendly they are with puppies. just because he is friendly with you doesn't mean he will be at all appropriate with your puppy.

      Also talk to the breeder (who should have discussed some of this with you really). A good breeder is knowlegeale and experienced in raisin puppies (and if local will know what to watch out for). remember a lab isn't a lab because it's pure bred - but beause it was bred carefully by the breeder to have good temperment and best odds of being healthy.

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    5. #3
      Best Friend Retriever
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      IMHO; don't over-worry this.
      I would avoid contact with other dogs, plenty of time for that later.
      Talk to your neighbor, good chance to get to know them better, ask what vet they use (although you're not looking), etc., Don't make out as if you're interrogating, talk dogs. Your little guy will run over there soon enough and it's good to be friends.
      You will likely carry him in the vet office, so no problem.
      Enjoy your baby and best of luck.

    6. #4
      Senior Dog
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      It tough. We have a 13 week old puppy. We have taken him places but we try to make sure they're safe. We have also let him on the ground. The only adult dog he's played with is our boy. There will be risks, but there are so many wonderful things your puppy can experience while he's still small enough for you to carry. These days will go by fast and you won't even remember worrying.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    7. #5
      Senior Dog
      Tanya's Avatar
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      a few other thoughts - ask the vet about vaccine schedule (and talk to the breeder about it if they are at all reputable). ask about separating them and avoiding giving too many in one day (especially rabies should be given seperately).

      I personally would NOT avoid other dogs for the next few weeks as this is prime socialization period. but you want to ensure the dogs you set up meetings with are friendly with puppies (and not too crazy friendly) and up to date on vaccinations. be careful as many people say their dog is "friendly" but they are not always friendly (no dog is perfect) but you want dogs that are well balanced with puppies.

    8. #6
      Senior Dog
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      Hi and welcome! Now that you're here- you have to stay to let us meet your new pup also. We love, love, love to see photos!

      I carried my puppy in the vet's office, which they seemed to think wasn't necessary but as Tanya said, people do bring sick dogs to the vet, not just dogs for wellness checks. Where we lived when we got Chase, the vet recommended a puppy class that she knew should be safe for a pup not fully vaccinated. When we moved where we live now I didn't find the same recommendation, but you can ask the vet or breeder for a recommendation. The vet said it would be OK to take the dog out in the neighborhood after his/her second set of shots. One of the breeders said not to take the dog out of the yard until all shots were given, including rabies, and she said the rabies shouldn't be given until the pup was 6 months old. That would have made it awfully difficult to provide any sort of socialization or outside training. You sometimes have to weigh what you're told between the various experts. I adhered more closely to the vet's recommendations although I did space things out a bit more than he thought necessary. Specifically I didn't want the first rabies given at the same time as any other vaccine.

      Where we live, it's highly unlikely that there are unvaccinated dogs and there are no dogs running loose so my puppies played in the back yard and walked in our neighborhood before being fully vaccinated. They met dogs in the neighborhood and family or friend's dogs. Not finding a puppy class other than in a pet store, they started obedience classes at about 4 months of age, after their shots. Remember, that's only 2 months from now anyway. Some stores like Lowe's, Home Depot, Bass Pro, places like that, will allow dogs or puppies in the store, not all, you'd want to check in advance. You could take the puppy there to meet new people, put a towel from home in the bottom of a shopping cart and put the puppy in the cart to ride around. Take some treats with you, tiny ones are fine, that you can give their new "friends" to give them when they meet.

      If we traveled when the pups were young and we had to let them out for a potty break during the trip, we tried to let them out someplace other than around a fast food place, rest stop, or gas station where lots of other travelers probably let their dogs out. I figured it was less likely that people were walking their dogs by banks, grocery stores, schools or any place other than those previously mentioned. It's not entirely convenient but you can often find some establishment with a bit of grass that would likely be a bit safer than the fast food joint or highway rest stop. And remember, it's only for a couple of months, then it won't be an issue.

    9. #7
      Senior Dog
      Jeff's Avatar
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      Fears about disease is not without warrant. However, you MUST Socialize your lab at this time. This is extremely important. He needs to get out and see things, go for car rides, meet people with beards, with hats. He needs to see children and other dogs. You absolutely must get them out to explore the world, else you stand the chance of raising a fearful dog. Which is no fun at all. Just use common sense. Sure carry the pup into see the vet. by the time you go in for the last round of vaccinations, your not going to be able to, if they grow like other labs your going to have 40-50 lbs lab by the time your last vaccination.

      Your lab needs to get out and go and explore the world and his yard. Birds fly over and poop in the yard, mice, squirrels, other things all travel through your yard. All of them carrying different diseases and things. Its there, they will be exposed to it. Not much you can do about it so don't worry. Your pup needs to go outside and explore the yard every single day. I actually started leash walking right away. 1 trip around the house every single day for first 2 weeks. 3rd week we started going to neighbors yards. 4th week we added another yard away. This is a very important time for training and socialization, do not let fear block this.

      Again use common sense. Dog parks are no place for a puppy. Pet stores, as long as you can carry them get them out and socialize. It not like your walking in and germs are flying through the air. Most dog diseases are transferred through fecal contact, close quarter confinement, etc. Meet people, stop by the fire station meet some nice firemen. Places with concrete are relatively safe, places like parking lots or tennis courts. I also too my pup to baseball fields. Not a lot of dogs go there. Take him to a high school football game, just walk along the edge. Get him used to noises and crowds however this may be overwhelming so just keep and eye on your pup. We went to a gun range, it was an indoor range he was not allowed on the actual range, so he could hear loud bangs and noises, most of all the people coming off the range or on the range wanted to pet him. This made all those loud bangs and noises a great experience. Again no fear of bangs or noises when he was older. Find friends or family with healthy vaccinated dogs let them play. My vet actually has a great thing. twice a month on a Saturday he has puppy play time. 2 certified trainers and only healthy pups that go to the vet practice get to go into a sterilized play area and just have fun. They bring in children and other healthy and patient dogs. They just have a fun time. Best thing, he slept for like 4 hours after. 4 hours on a Saturday afternoon with a puppy in the house all to myself, priceless.

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    11. #8
      Best Friend Retriever
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      1. Let your pup be a pup.
      2. Use common sense.
      3. see #1.
      4. Socialize when you and he are comfortable doing it, it's important but doesn't have to start the day he comes home.
      5. see #1.
      6. Dog parks aren't good for any age dog.

    12. #9
      Puppy
      taysel's Avatar
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      Thank you all for your advice!

      I finally got in touch with the neighbor who said her dogs were very dog friendly and up to date on their shots and she wants to have a play date soon for the socialization!

      I appreciate everyone's insight. I am taking off of work the first week we have the puppy to help get him acclimated and look forward to working with him and socializing around town!

    13. #10
      Chief Pooper Scooper
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      Also remember that a puppy vaccinated correctly for his current age IS vaccinated. Yes, they will get MORE shots as they age but they are not without protections. Puppies receive maternal antibodies to the common diseases. When we vaccinate them at 8 weeks, 12 and 16....we are making sure they have their own antibodies to these diseases since the maternal ones are now gone.

      Be smart and careful, but don't wrap the dog in an airtight container and keep it from socialization. Exposure to the environment also helps to keep it healthy too.
      Jen & Tickle!
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