Can My Puppy Meet Other Dogs Before Vaccinations? A Vet’s Perspective!

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Author: Jacob Kay

Every little pup needs vaccination to prevent the occurrence of diseases. If you’ve ever brought a new puppy home, you’ll obviously get excited to show them off to the world. You’d help them to make new friends and have fun.

While your doggy is too young, it is necessary for them to stay fit and away from certain communicable diseases. So, can you let your puppy meet other dogs before vaccinations?

And if yes, then how can you do it without putting them at risk?

In this article, we are going to discuss your pet’s vaccination and socialization and when you should introduce your puppy to other dogs. Certain tips are mentioned to make your furry pal’s introduction go smoothly.

Can My Puppy Meet Other Dogs Before Vaccinations

Vaccination and Socialization

The most important period to socialize your puppy is up to 14 weeks, when they are at their most receptive to new experiences, if this is delayed then it may cause behavioural problems.[1]

Most infectious diseases are harmful and even cause distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, leptospirosis and even death. Most of the puppies get vaccinated at around 8 weeks old. But, you should consider your vet’s opinion on what age is best for your puppy to get vaccinated?

Your pup might need a second dose of vaccination and later an annual booster shot to maintain their immunity. While protecting your pup’s health, many vets suggest that early socialization is as important as vaccination as it protects your pup’s overall health.[2]

Vaccination and Socialization in dogs

Communication with other dogs give positive experience and confidence to these furry pals. In contrast, an under-socialized pup who isn’t taken out until five or six months is going to be pessimistic about novel situations.

So, lack of socialization can lead to aggressive behaviour and temper issues in an adult dog.

When and Where To Introduce Your Puppy To Other Dogs

Before socializing with other dogs, you should make sure that the other dogs are fully vaccinated. Also, you should check their health history and exposure to unknown dogs. The risk arises when your pup plays with other dogs who are not vaccinated.

If you are bringing a new pooch to your house with older dogs, then you have to keep in mind that your doggys should be up-to-date on vaccinations. You should also check the temperature of your adult dog and their potential for aggression.

introduce your puppy to other dogs

It is better to avoid public places and arrange play dates at your home or the home of the other puppy owner. It is also possible for your pet to meet other types of pets who won’t carry the risk of disease transmission.

So, it is necessary to follow the vaccination schedule suggested by your vet and allow only those dogs who are vaccinated to play with your furry friend.

Tips to Make Introduction Go Smoothly

While interacting with other pups, you should make a positive and stress-free environment for both parties. Here are few tips for you:

  • Try to choose a neutral location where neither of the dogs get scared or territorial.
  • Before moving on, keep the leash on both the dogs and let them sniff each other.
  • If they keep the friendly behaviour, then praise and reward both dogs.
  • You should avoid tense situations like food, toys or treats that could trigger aggression among dogs.
  • Observe the interaction closely and see if you see any signs of fear, anxiety or aggression from either of them.
  • Always end the meeting of these two pooches on a good note, and increase the duration and frequency of future interactions.


Can my 8 week old puppy be around other dogs?

No, a puppy should be at least 10–12 weeks old before they are ready to socialize and go out in public places. This will allow them to take all of their vaccination and build up a strong immune system so that they stay resistant to any illness.

Can you walk an unvaccinated puppy?

No, puppies have a weak immune system, and you should not let an unvaccinated puppy walk outside. The risk of parvovirus and leptospirosis with unvaccinated puppy is high.

When can I take my puppy in public?

After their second round of vaccination, puppies can go out in public spaces after 2 weeks. At this time, the immune response of the vaccine kicks in, and they are comparatively at low risk as they are being vaccinated.

Can an unvaccinated puppy meet a vaccinated dog?

Well, puppies can meet a vaccinated dog anytime, but it is suggested to avoid the unvaccinated dog until 2 weeks after the second vaccination.

Can my puppy get parvo from my backyard?

Parvo can be found in every environment. It is usually transmitted when a susceptible dog comes in contact with this virus. It includes contact with faeces of an infected dog or from any object like bowls, clothes, glass, carpet and floors.

To summarize

Socializing your pet is very essential, but it is also important to keep them away from fatal viruses and illness. Your vet will provide you a certain vaccination schedule, and you have to carefully screen and select any vaccinated puppy to accompany your dog.

This way you can keep your pups safe and healthy. You can choose a neutral location and keep both dogs on leash and encourage them to maintain the healthy behaviour with each other by giving him treats.

Other ways are avoiding tensed situations, observe the meet up, and you can make the interaction smooth and friendly so that your dog can have the best time with his pal.

Connecting with other canine friends will build up your dog’s healthy social skill, and he will really enjoy spending time with his fur buddy.


  1. Puppy Behavior and Training – Socialization and Fear Prevention | VCA Animal Hospitals. (n.d.). Vca.
  2. McEvoy, V., Espinosa, U. B., Crump, A., & Arnott, G. (2022). Canine Socialisation: A Narrative Systematic Review. Animals, 12(21), 2895.
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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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