We live in a delightful, older, suburban neighborhood and people are out every day walking their dogs as well as biking, jogging, and skateboarding. We moved in a few years ago. We know our immediate neighbors and there’s a nice comradery with everyone that goes by. A week ago, we brought home our first puppy, a 7-week-old Giant Schnauzer we’ve named Bleu. Right now, he’s a 9-pound bundle of sweetness that everyone wants to cuddle and introduce their dog to. I get it, believe me. He does have the cutest face in the world so we have to forgive him any puppy blunder when he looks at us with those beautiful eyes.
However, my point today is that, to anyone who might read this, please don’t think someone is being rude if they don’t let you bring your dog to meet their pup or that they are overprotective because every time you see them, they’re carrying the puppy. Here are 3 reasons for that, though there may be more.
- A puppy gets 3 sets of vaccinations. The last one doesn’t happen until they are 12 weeks old. It also takes some time for their little immunization systems to develop so any pup is NOT protected until it is 14 weeks old. Until this time, they’re very vulnerable as they have lost the protection they had from nursing. They really cannot be around other random dogs. This is not to say other dogs are sick, however, dogs can carry bacteria on their paws that they are immune to but a new puppy could pick up. There may be other dogs that already reside in the house, so extra care in cleaning/sanitizing paws may be advisable.
- Dogs leave bacteria behind as they travel. Therefore, sidewalks where other dogs walk regularly, pet rest areas, and the vet’s office are among places where a puppy younger than 14 weeks cannot walk around. Ergo, he’s carried a LOT!
- Though our little fellow is bigger right now than many toy breeds, we have to limit him going up and down stairs. Large and giant breeds grow rapidly and are prone to develop hip dysplasia as they grow. One way to lessen the chance of this is to not let them go up and down steps until they are about 3 months old when the joints are stronger. By this time, he’ll probably be too big for me to carry him anyway!
Okay, that’s my spiel for today. Bleu is sleeping at my feet right now so I could actually get this written. Maybe he’ll stay asleep long enough for me to do some laundry!
The adventure continues…
Written By: Pam Feicht