When my family adopted a new puppy, we couldn’t be more excited to take her out on a nature trip. After all, she is a labrador and they tend to love open spaces.
That’s why I figured a weekend trip to a local campground would be a good idea. But I wasn’t sure if I could take my puppy out before getting her vaccinated.
That’s when I did the research. And if you’ve been wondering if you could take your unvaccinated puppy out camping, you’ve come to the right place.
To save you the trouble of researching yourself, here’s the full scoop on whether you can take your unvaccinated puppy to a campground.
Can I Take My Unvaccinated Puppy Camping?
Generally, your dog should have all its shots before you go bringing it out. However, different campgrounds have different rules on which vaccines it needs.
Most campgrounds require proof that your dog has all its shots before they allow it on the grounds. This usually means the standard vaccines for Parvovirus, Leptospirosis, Rabies, Distemper, and Adenovirus. That being said, some parks require your puppy to have more vaccines while some have less.
So you should make sure to check that out before getting unnecessary shots for your dog.
What Are Common Campsite Rules On Dog Vaccines?
Normally, campgrounds will require you to have proof of vaccination for your puppy. This is usually the case with most parks, but some will have more requirements than others. The reason vaccines are required for most dogs when camping is to keep you, your pet, and everyone else around you safe.
When unvaccinated dogs are out in the wild, they are at more risk of contracting diseases that can be harmful to them. This is especially true for common diseases that unvaccinated puppies tend to contract such as the Parvovirus which can be fatal to them.
If you have already taken your unvaccinated dog outside and you suspect they have contracted some disease, visit a vet immediately. But before you go to the vet, make sure you have dog insurance.
Campground management usually intends for everyone to have the best time possible, and that includes keeping everyone safe. But even if most parks ask you to bring proof of vaccination, a lot of times you won’t be asked for it, but it’s still best to keep the records handy, as stated in this forum.
A lot of pet owners will tell you not to bring your pet outside until they’re vaccinated, and that’s very good advice. Leaving your pet exposed out in the open can be very dangerous, especially for puppies. And not only that, if your dog contracts a disease, it’s also at a very high risk of spreading it to other dogs.
So to ensure that your dog and other dogs around it remain safe and healthy, don’t take your dog out of the house for adventures until you have it vaccinated. This commonly takes around 12 weeks, as that is when your pet usually gets its last round of vaccines.
How Dangerous Is It To Bring An Unvaccinated Pet Outside?
It can be very dangerous to bring out an unvaccinated pet. It’s recommended to wait until your dog has gone through all three of their vaccine rounds before heading out. This is because puppies are at a very high-risk when it comes to contracting certain diseases.
And two of the most dangerous are Parvovirus and Distemper, which can be fatal for young dogs. These diseases are contracted through contact with other infected dogs, and they remain at risk of contraction until they are fully vaccinated.
While it isn’t recommended to take your dog out until then, there are some things you can do to keep your dog safe if you have to bring it out. For one, make sure not to bring it to areas with a lot of other dogs. While socialization is important, it can be risky for young puppies.
But since you need to introduce your young dog to other animals early, consider bringing it out to the backyard to meet another dog (maybe a friend’s pet) that you know is vaccinated so it stays safe.
By around the 20-week mark, your dog should have all its vaccines and would be ready to meet even more dogs, and that’s the only time it’s recommended to bring it out on trips like camping, or even just to the dog park.
What Are Some Of The Common Dog Vaccines?
The basic diseases your dog has to get vaccinated for are the Parvovirus, Leptospirosis, Distemper, Rabies, and Adenovirus. It’s also recommended for your dog to get vaccinated for Bordatella and Parainfluenza.
Below, we’ve listed a short guide to the common dog vaccines to familiarize you with how you can keep your dog safe.
Your dog will have to get this vaccine regularly, as it keeps your pet safe against some common diseases that can be very serious for puppies. These diseases are Parvovirus, Distemper, Adenovirus, and Parainfluenza.
The diseases listed above are very infectious and can be fatal to dogs, so getting this vaccine as soon as the dog is ready is very important.
Rabies is a viral disease that can be fatal to mammals. The symptoms include headache, nausea, hallucinations, fear of water, paralysis, and excessive drooling. Humans contract it when bitten by a rabid animal, or an animal infected with rabies.
Dogs can get rabies and it can be very dangerous if they do. Most states require dogs to get their rabies vaccination regularly to avoid catching or spreading the disease.
The Bordatella vaccine is another common one that is recommended for puppies. This disease is very infectious and spreads very fast, it causes coughing and vomiting, it is also the root cause of kennel cough.
The vaccines are available as an injection and nasal sprays, and oftentimes proof of this vaccine is needed to enter certain campgrounds and join group training classes.
Other Optional Vaccines
Other vaccines that your dog can get include Lyme disease, influenza, leptospirosis, and coronavirus. It is highly recommended that your dog gets all of them, but you have more freedom in choosing when it can get these vaccines.
For more information on what vaccines your dog needs, you can check out this article.
When Should I Vaccinate My Dog?
Normally, dog vaccinations should start when your dog is between 6 to 8 weeks old. After that, it will get a couple of rounds of vaccines every few weeks. Normally at 10 weeks, then at 16 weeks.
There are also other vaccines that your dog needs to get after a couple of months, while other vaccines need to be readministered every 1-2 years.
Your vet will know best when your dog is ready for their shots, so make sure to ask them, as sometimes, it can be different for other dogs.
Q: Can I take my puppy outside before vaccinations?
Yes, you can. But you have to be careful, as they are at risk of contracting contagious diseases, so make sure to take the proper precautions.
Q: Where can I take my unvaccinated puppy?
The best places to take an unvaccinated puppy are areas without other dogs, that way they can’t catch anything.
If they do meet other dogs (which is very important) just make sure to check that the other animal is vaccinated as well.
Q: When is it safe to take a puppy out?
It’s safest to take a puppy out when it is fully vaccinated, which is usually around 16 weeks old. However, you can take a puppy out before that, as long as you make sure it stays away from other dogs and doesn’t go out of your sight.
Q: What disease can kill an unvaccinated puppy?
A lot of diseases can be fatal for puppies, but Parvovirus and Distemper are diseases you should watch out for, as they are highly infectious and are very dangerous to puppies.
So there you have it. You don’t exactly need to vaccinate your puppy before taking it camping, but you never know when a campground will ask for proof of vaccination. So it’s best to stay safe and wait until your dog gets all its shots.
But if you do decide to take an unvaccinated dog camping and have checked campground rules to make sure it’s okay, just remember to be extra careful and keep a close eye on your dog.
Once you do decide to go camping with your dog (preferably when it’s fully vaccinated), I assure you it will be fun for the whole family!