When Can Puppies Go Outside? (Before & After Vaccinations)

when can a puppy go outside for walks

With all that excess energy to burn off, it’s only natural that you want to let your puppy go outside for walks or get out into your garden and backyard. However, there are recommended guidelines you need to consider around what point your puppy is with their vaccinations and injections.

When can a puppy go outside for walks?

Your puppy will need two lots of vaccinations before you’ll be able to properly integrate them into the great outdoors. The first lot of vaccinations should be done around the 6-week mark, with the second injections happening at around 12 weeks of age.

When can a puppy go outside for walks? Puppies can go outside for walks 2 weeks after their final set of vaccinations. The second injection typically occurs at 12 weeks old, meaning your puppy can go outside when they are around 16 weeks of age.

Can puppies go out in the garden before injections? 

Generally, your puppy can go into your garden or backyard right away for toilet training, even if they haven’t had the first round of injections yet.

Can puppies go out in the garden before injections? Puppies can go in the garden before their vaccination injections. But make sure your garden or backyard is free of any other dogs whose vaccination history you don’t know. Un-vaccinated dogs pose a health risk to puppies who have yet to have their injections.

Having your young puppy go out in the garden before injections is good for their development. It means that they get some fresh air and get used to the outdoors, which will make their first walk a lot less intimidating for them once that time comes.

However, you need to take certain provisions to ensure that your puppy doesn’t end up getting ill. 

can 8 week old puppy go outside
Only let your puppy socialise with dogs you already know have been vaccinated and in the safety of your backyard or garden.

Once your puppy has had their initial lot of vaccinations, it is important to not skip the second set. This will help avoid them from catching any illnesses or diseases in the future.

Most dogs will need booster vaccinations once a year following these two initial vaccines, although your vet will tell you if another treatment plan is more appropriate.

Can my puppy go out in the garden before the second vaccination?

The second lot of vaccinations can be administered once the dog is at least twelve weeks (or three months) old. So, in most cases, this would be 4 weeks after you bring your puppy home for the first time.

Can puppies go in the garden before the second injection? Puppies can go in the garden before their second vaccination providing they don’t get exposed to other dogs who might not have been vaccinated. Never expose your puppy to unknown dogs before they have completed all vaccinations.

Once your puppy has received their second vaccinations, it is safe for them to go beyond the garden and to be taken on walks.

when can puppies go outside
Puppies can go out in the garden before their second vaccination, but with some caveats.

What age can puppies go to kennels?

If your puppy is likely to spend time at kennels in the near future, they will need an additional vaccination to protect them against kennel cough, which they can catch from other dogs.

What age can puppies go to kennels? Puppies can go to kennels once they reach 12 weeks old. By this time, they will have had all of their injections and will be fully vaccinated against a range of health problems including kennel cough.

It is possible to have your puppy vaccinated against kennel cough from 6 weeks old. However, kennel owners will still insist that the dog has had its full range of injections including the second set which typically occurs after 12 weeks.

Can I take my dog out before vaccinations?

You can take your dog out before vaccinations, but it needs to be in a controlled environment such as your own garden or backyard.

You should not take your puppy out to public places such as parks where you don’t know the vaccination history of the other dogs he might meet.

What are the injections for?

All dogs, specifically young and vulnerable pups, can be susceptible to a range of life-threatening and serious diseases if they don’t have these initial injections or keep up with their booster jabs.

The vaccinations protect your puppy from a range of dangerous diseases and viruses including canine distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and parvovirus.

What are the risks if I take my puppy outside too early?

If you take your puppy outside before they have had both injections, they will be exposed to some or all of the serious diseases cited above, giving them an increased chance of becoming infected and unwell, especially since their immune system is more vulnerable than older dogs who have missed a booster.

They could catch it from interacting with an unvaccinated dog, walking in an area inhabited by certain diseases or even directly licking dangerous things outside that could not only carry a serious disease, but also be poisonous in itself.

Also, if you expose your puppy to too much too quickly at a tender age when they’ve just been separated from their mother, they also risk becoming overstimulated and overwhelmed.

This could lead to them developing an anxious and skittish disposition during a very formative period in their lives. Behavior like this can be hard to undo and reverse.

Finally, if you take your puppy on walks too early, you risk over-exercising them, which can lead to injuries and joint problems like early-onset arthritis in the future.

how tall is a french bulldog puppy
Puppies can go outside in your garden at 12 weeks old providing they have had their injections.

If you want to get your pup used to the outside world without overwhelming them or exposing them to harmful diseases, you can carry them as opposed to walking them on a lead or letting them roam of their own accord – this has the dual effect of keeping them away from harm and making them feel more safe and secure.

The bottom line is this; to be completely on the safe side, puppies can go out in the garden before their injections as you have complete control over this situation. That’s the best thing to do – let them go out in your backyard only before their vaccinations are complete.

An 8-week-old puppy go out in my garden as can a 12-week-old. Just don’t expose them to dogs you don’t know.

Considering the fact that most owners are able to bring their puppy home from the breeder at approximately eight weeks, it is usually the breeder’s responsibility to deal with the first round of injections.

Don’t just take their word for it, however, ensure they provide you with all the veterinary paperwork during the handover. If they don’t provide this or you’re in any doubt that your puppy has had their first round of vaccinations, take them to the vets immediately so they can check and give the injections there and then if necessary. You should take your new puppy to the vets anyway, for a general health check.

Why vaccinations are important

Firstly, despite early interactions with other dogs being good for socialisation, it is crucial that these dogs are up to date with their vaccinations and aren’t infected with, or carriers of, any kinds of disease.

If any dogs your puppy is likely to be in contact any dog that isn’t up to date on their vaccinations, it is crucial that you keep the two apart and don’t have them in the garden or backyard at the same time.

Secondly, it is important you supervise your puppy during these outdoor sessions to ensure that they don’t end up running off, licking something poisonous or dangerous, chasing birds or squirrels or getting up to any other mischief that could put themselves or others in harm!

How much should they walk after injections?

Once your puppy has had their second lot of vaccinations, it is usually safe around the 14 to 16-week mark to take them out on their first walk. However, make sure you are attuned to how much exercise your pup can manage and be careful to not overexert them.

For a dog under 6 months, a ten minute walk a couple times a day is usually more than enough. A good rule of thumb to gradually increase their stamina and exercise as they grow bigger and older is to extend your walks by five minutes every month.

Also, keeping them on a short lead at the start is highly recommended so that you don’t risk them getting overexcited and darting off.

You can train them to gradually extend the lead and then come off it completely, but this depends on your dog’s temperament and behaviour. If you have difficulties controlling your dog off-the-lead, you should contact a professional dog-trainer.


When you bring home an adorable bundle of fluff full of boundless energy and excitement, it can be tempting to launch straight into a fun and active lifestyle, with long walks and play sessions in the great outdoors.

It’s important to remember that younger puppies’ immune systems aren’t as developed as full-grown dogs, and if they haven’t both rounds of vaccinations, they may be more susceptible to illness that could easily be avoided if first-time owners are armed with the right knowledge.

Finding the right balance between integrating your puppy into everyday life and protecting them against harmful diseases and other dangers can be especially difficult at first, but you will be able to find a way that works for both you and your pup as time goes by and you both get to know each other better.

Looking after a puppy’s health during the pre-injection period is vital, but equally being too overprotective can be harmful to them in the long run.

Go with your gut to find the right balance, but if you have any further doubts you can speak to your vet or a trainer to find the best way to navigate this process of introducing your puppy to the world. It is a daunting but ultimately very rewarding task!

Handy Hint: Please now read my guide to walking French Bulldogs. It includes notes on walking distances, regularity, and best practices to keep things safe.

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Marc Aaron

I am one of Claude the French Bulldog's human parents. I write about all the things we've learned about owning a Frenchie, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips I've picked up along the way. Read more about Marc Aaron.

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