Puppy in a highly dog populated apartment complex

I live in an apartment complex with a ton of dogs, and there are no real "dog-free" areas where I can take my 10-week old puppy to do his business and play outside. How dangerous is it for him to walk around in the grass outside and do his business? I got him 2 weeks ago and everything has been going great, but I'm a bit paranoid about him catching parvo or other diseases. I just don't know of any totally dog-free areas to take him. 

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Comment by Melissa and Franklin! on November 10, 2013 at 12:41am

Parvo is highly contagious and if you don't know your neighbors then you wouldn't know if any of the dogs in the area are sick. Do you have a balcony or patio? When I had Franklin as a puppy in San Francisco we had a patio that I set up a potty area that we used. If you don't have a patio or balcony I would stick to concrete in low traffic areas that get a lot of sunlight. Parvo can live for over a year in grass/dirt but tends to die quicker in concrete and in sunlight so the risk will be lower. With one of my apartments there was a little area in front of my house that nobody ever walked by because it was under a set of stairs, I actually bleached the area and used it as a puppy area. I am a vet tech so I probably went a little overboard since I saw parvo almost daily at work and it was just awful so I did EVERYTHING I could think of to protect my puppy. 

Comment by Caitlin Randolph on November 9, 2013 at 5:36pm
Thanks for the post! I have the same questions
Comment by Beth on November 9, 2013 at 3:37pm

Some apartment complexes require proof of vaccination for dogs.  Does yours?  If so, you don't have much to worry about.   

MOST puppies are protected by either maternal antibodies or first or second round of vaccines, but some puppies have a lag time when maternal antibodies wear off and the vaccine has not yet taken (because the antibodies deactivate it).  Nothing in life is risk free, and puppies do sometimes get parvo, but it is not possible to protect against every possible thing that could go wrong so don't worry too much.  Chances are if someone in your complex had a puppy with parvo, people would be talking about it.

Comment by Marissa, Bandit, and Bacon on November 9, 2013 at 12:10pm

Anna- I have contacted the vet's office and they agreed that letting my pup settle in for a few days before bringing her in is best. I will call again and ask about the frequency of parvo cases in my area and see if they have any extra tips for my current housing situation.

Comment by Anna Morelli on November 9, 2013 at 10:40am

Marissa, you can go to the Vet's office BEFORE you get the puppy to ask you question about the area.  Many Vets have a "new puppy package" and  they can recommend when your first appointment should be and set it up.  Take along whatever information on the pup you already have. It will give you more peace of mind and a head start.

Comment by Marissa, Bandit, and Bacon on November 8, 2013 at 11:06pm

I'm listening in on this! While I wouldn't say there are a ton of dogs in my apartment complex, there are a fair number. I have found a spot I am going to use for my little Bandit's potty area that is pretty secluded so I'm hoping it isn't frequently used. Many dogs in my neighborhood appear well taken care of, but since it IS a college town, there are a LOT of people who don't really care for their dogs like they should. I'm taking my pup to the vet a few days after she comes home and I plan to ask whether or not I live in a high-parvo area. Talk about being a nervous mom!

Comment by Anna Morelli on November 8, 2013 at 9:45pm

There are pros and cons to everything. UNLESS you live in a high-Parvo area ( you can check with your Vet on that ) I would wait and take the puppy out after the round of shots given at 12 wks.  Whatever decision you take, stop the worrying.  There are few "perfect" decisions.  Make the reasonable choice and then just go with it. Best wishes.

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