Wyatt will be 4 months old on Sunday, January 8th. The breeder gave him his first set of shots at 8 weeks (he nursed a bit longer until 7 weeks, so she wanted to wait until the mother's milk antibodies were out of his system). I signed up for a puppy package with my vet, and they still insisted on administering three booster shots despite having received one already. So technically, he's received three sets of shots already. The breeder suggested that it is fine to take him out to after his second set of shots have kicked in. I've erred on the side of caution and kept him inside for the most part.
To socialize him I've invited tons of people over and when I have gone out with him, I've carried him. He's taken trips to my office to play with my boss's puppy and my mother's house to play with her dog. He has also been exposed to the vacuum, hairdryer, nail dremmel, bathtub, brush, tv, radio, phone, train behind our apartment complex, and garbage trucks. He received his second shot (technically third), at the vet's on December 26th, and will be getting his final shot on the 14th--which will include his rabies shot. The vet advised me to keep him inside, however, socializing him is extremely important to me. I suspect the vet is being overly cautious, and that Wyatt is pretty well protected at this point. Today, I took him to a local park and let him watch young children play and pet him. He saw geese, new faces, other dogs, and we worked on leash training a bit. He had such a blast, as did I. I would love to go again tomorrow, but I'm still conflicted about doing so before he's had all series of shots.
I would like some second opinions from fellow members on how you balanced socialization with the risks of outdoor diseases such as Parvo and Distemper. I'm also concerned that my vet may be over-vaccinating my pup. Thoughts?
Take him out, take him out, take him out! You are right to be concerned about over vaccination and will find people and Vets have differing opinions. Nothing is completely risk free, so find your comfort level and then don't worry about it or you'll go nuts! I vaccinate my adult dogs once every 3 years. Circumstances can dictate what you need to do. For instance, I will be going with my dogs for extended periods to an area where lime disease is prevalent, so will now add a yearly lime disease vaccine which I did not need before. Find out what is needed in your particular environment.
If you do decided to take him out, just make sure to take him to a really high end neighborhood. Maybe take him over to the Pocket where you are more separated from the general population and people have money and take excellent care of their pets. I can't stress how prevalent parvo is in Sacramento. Having worked only 2 months in a Sacramento ER I saw probably 4 times the parvo cases I saw at 3 years in a vet in the bay area. Its EVERYWHERE and even dogs with 2 vaccines and unvaccinated adults were showing up in the clinic with parvo. We lost 2 lab puppies that the owners had bought and had 2 vaccines. Just do your homework before taking him out, maybe call some local vets around Sac and Elk Grove and ask how many parvo cases they see to help you determine where to take him. I personally would not risk it, while when I lived in the bay area I had Franklin out after 2 vaccines without a second thought. And titers after he receives his 1 year boosters are an excellent idea to prevent over vaccinating.
Thanks Melissa. It is helpful to hear all this from someone familiar with the Sacramento area. I definitely won't be taking him outside for walks in our area (Akali Flats/Downtown) until he's completed his shot series, because so many tenants in our apartment complex have dogs, and unfortunately many of them do not pick up after their pets--so the immediate area is very high risk. Yesterday we went to McKinley park in East Sacramento and I only let him walk on the pavement (and not very long at that), then we sat on a bench and watched the little kids run around at the park. I mainly just wanted him to see the new sights, geese, other dogs (at a distance), and different people.
There's a sacramento corgi group on here, the members are very friendly, maybe send a message to them and see if anybody would be willing to have a play session. I would, but Franklin can be a bit impatient with puppies so I don't know if a meet up with him would be helpful or detrimental! lol. But they were very helpful when I was having socialization problems with Franklin a few months ago.
Thanks Melissa! I'm actually a member of the Sacramento corgi group already, so I'll poke around and see if anyone would be up for a puppy playdate. Great idea!