Can anybody offer some advice regarding when it's ok to take our puppy outdoors? Mikko is 9.5 weeks old, and very energetic so he needs a lot of exercise! We play with him in the house a lot, but the space is limited and we like to take him outside in the yard to run around as well. My concerns are that we have an unfenced yard (townhome, with front yard only), and although we watch Mikko very carefully, I don't know what other neighborhood dogs are doing their "business" in our yard... so I'm concerned about him contracting some disease from an unvaccinated dog pooping on our lawn! We keep our lawn picked up and I've never seen any foreign dog poo on the premises. So... is it really realistic to keep Mikko totally indoors until he has all of his shots? Are we taking a big risk by having him play in our yard? Also, we have been taking him for short walks, just down to the end of the block, to get him accustomed to the leash, and for the exercise of course. We do not allow him to go on any grass, as I'm worried about him coming in contact with other dog's "business". Do you all think this would be ok since we keep him on the concrete, or is this still too risky? I don't want to jeopardize his health, but want to be sure he gets enough exercise as well... Thanks for any help you can offer!

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in terms of contracting other dogs diseases, i'd speak with your vet first b4 you take him out on the grass since you're not sure what's in there. by the time yogi was 10 wks he had 2 sets of shots and i think one for parvo was one of them. we have an unfenced back yard but the vet still said it was fine. we don't have other dogs come over on our yard, but we do have lots of deer come out at nite. so fleas, and ticks were a big concern. at 8wks puppies can go on frontline so i think u should definately look into that if u haven't. actually im more concerned with yogi getting fleas and ticks than wondering off to eat or sniff some other dog's poo. why, becuz i watch him like a hawk when outside. but i do worry when i see him start going towards deer poo..etc. most times when he's indoors i hose down area where i see stuff on the yard or pick it up. still i'd speak with ur vet. parvo is definately something u want him to be vaccinated against if ure tking him outside..and sidewalks aren't all safe. in my opinion they can be even worse! keep an eye out for puddles of water that they tend to love to drink from..giardia usually settles in standing water.
I would say taking him in your yard is fine. Kirby had his second set of shots just before 10 weeks and was then given the ok by the vet to be outside and around other dogs (after waiting a weekish from admission of the vaccines). Once he has his second set of shots you should not longer have to worry too much, considering your puppies age this should not be too long. Personally, I would not yet feel comfortable walking down the street with such a small puppy. Especially if their are other dogs in the neighborhood. I usually keep a leash on Kirby even when we are in our backyard just in case any other animals (dogs or otherwise) happened to get into the yard. Came in handy last night when we cam upon a bunny he would have loved to chase down!
I think you would do fine to have him in the yard. I also think you would do fine to take him on short walks that are not in areas that has high dog traffic. At this age limiting exposure to areas with high dog traffic is what you need to be cognizant of. Dogs that have distemper or parvo are not likely to be going on a leisurely walk with their owners. I would avoid dog parks, pet stores and training facilities at this young age.


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