When Can a Puppy Go Outside In The Garden: All You Need To Know

Puppy in the garden

It can be a confusing time when you first get a puppy, with so many things to learn it becomes quite overwhelming. Knowing when to let a puppy outside in the garden is one of the most common questions asked by new owners.

Providing your garden is inaccessible to other dogs you can use a small area to toilet train your puppy. Limiting the amount of time your puppy spends in your garden whilst being supervised is important when they are not vaccinated. According to the Royal Veterinary College London, puppies should not be taken out around other dogs until they are fully vaccinated which is at 12 weeks old.

Advice on keeping your puppy inside as much as possible before they are vaccinated is quite clear. However much of this advice revolves around taking them out in public. The general consensus is that you can take a puppy in the garden before full vaccinations, but under strict supervision for a limited time only. We explore the reasons for keeping your puppy inside during this time and what you can do to make the experience more straightforward.


Is My Puppy Allowed In The Garden

One thing we all want to do with our new puppy is to let them out in the garden to explore and have some fun. Even toilet training them as early as possible is something I’m sure we all strive to do. After contacting several vets regarding taking your puppy in your garden the general consensus was that you can. However, this has limitations, including:

  • Only use a small area of your garden for toilet training.
  • Only allow your puppy in your garden if you know that no unvaccinated dogs have been in your garden.
  • Ensure wildlife like foxes have not left and poop lying around.
  • Limit the amount of time they are out in the garden, this is why you should only let them out for the toilet.
  • Supervise them closely the whole time to ensure they don’t eat or touch anything they shouldn’t (such as bees)

Each vet advised on letting a puppy in the garden, providing the limitations above were met fully. As for taking them out in public, this should not be done until they are fully vaccinated.

Reasons Why Puppies Are Not Allowed In The Garden

Puppies are delicate creatures whose immune system has not built up enough to deal with possible infectious diseases that are present in our world. According to the Royal Veterinary College London, these vaccinations not only protect your puppy but also prevent your puppy from passing them onto other dogs. Most dogs are vaccinated these days and the probability has become fairly low. However, in countries where there are lots of stray dogs, you may find your puppy is more at risk.

As puppies are very young the chances of them being injured or effected by something in your garden are much more likely. Their physicality and their overall curiosity can lead to unfortunate events, something that all owners want to avoid.

What Are Puppy Vaccinations

Puppy vaccinations are injections that your puppy has at 8 weeks and 12 weeks old. these vaccinations are done to protect your puppy against some of the various diseases listed below. Information was provided by the RSPCA and their vaccination information sheet.

  • Canine distemper – This is caught through multiple bodily fluids, including saliva, and can be caught by animals other than dogs. It lasts in an environment for a short time only.
  • Canine parvovirus – This is caught through contact with infected dog poop and can last up to nine months depending on the environment.
  • Leptospirosis – This is caught through infected urine or infected water such as rivers or lakes. It is carried by multiple animals with rats being common sources.
  • Canine Adenovirus – this virus can survive for many months including within a dog. It is passed on through various bodily fluids including saliva, urine, and blood.
  • Kennel Cough – This is caught through airborne particles spread by other dogs and from touching infected items. It is highly contagious and spread very quickly with a kennel being the main example.

What Age Can My Puppy Go In The Garden

Although most new owners collect their puppies from the breeder at around 7 weeks old, we would advise talking to your veterinarian if you intend to let them in the garden before this age. Of course, all the same, limitations would be in place before 7 weeks as with after 7 weeks. Owners need to understand that until your puppy is fully vaccinated they are not protected against these diseases and although the possibility of them catching one in a small area of your garden is low it is still not impossible. Try not to rush the initial 12 weeks of your puppy’s life as it’s not worth the risk. Toilet training is good to do after 8 weeks, although waiting to toilet train your puppy at 12 weeks is not going to influence the process that much. This said you should probably be introducing the concept of toilet training as early as possible. This is why a small area in your garden can be helpful as you can place them out there every hour to help them understand the difference between the outside and inside. This as well as carrying them around the garden should get them to disassociate the inside and outside quicker than if you didn’t do this.

Toilet Training a Puppy Before Vaccinations

Toilet training is probably one of the most important things on a new owner’s mind. The integrity of their home depends on it and get this part wrapped up quickly is so important. As mentioned above rushing this part of the process is not something you should do, time and patience are the keys to good training.

Again, advice online is quite contradictory when regarding the appropriate age to toilet train a puppy. Many resources suggest training should begin as soon as you get your puppy and others suggest starting a structured routine between the ages of 12 weeks and 16 weeks. Although both suggestions are reasonable, the differences lie in the structure of the training. When your puppy is younger than 12 weeks, which is when they receive their final vaccinations, their bladders are not strong enough to hold urine and they will most likely go when they feel a need. So if your toilet training your puppy before their final vaccinations (12 weeks) you shouldn’t expect them to hold it for very long and training them will require you to be more forgiving and flexible. If training them before vaccinations you will not be able to let them roam around the whole of the garden it will be a small space that they may associate as being part of the house. If you decided to wait until your puppy is fully vaccinated you can allow them the full garden, created a better disassociation between indoors and outdoors. This along with the fact your puppy will be able to hold their bladder longer will make the process easier and less frustrating.

Can I Carry My Puppy Outside Before Vaccinations?

You can carry a puppy outside before vaccinations, ensuring that they do not come into contact with and other dogs or lay one paw on the ground. Socializing a young puppy is very important in the early stages of their life. Introducing them to new sounds and smells within common environments can help with their development more than any sort of indoor training.

According to Pet WebMD puppies are the most accepting of new experiences between 3 and 12 weeks old after this age it becomes harder and harder to introduce new things into your puppies life, especially if they are previously wary of them. Although this is correct, it can be quite difficult to introduce new things to a puppy this early due to them not yet being vaccinated. Carrying your puppy can help to solve this problem and allow you to introduce new things that your puppy might be wary of, to begin with. Think about areas you may go to or things your puppy might experience as they get older. Introducing them to these sorts of things will help when they become old enough to immerse themselves fully. Taking your puppy on a car ride is a good way to normalize this experience and so as they get old they won’t be as scared of getting the car. remember that you probably brought your puppy home in a car so your puppy is probably associating this activity with quite a scary experience of leaving home.

If you are going to carry your puppy outside before vaccinations make sure they are comfortable and you are not going to want to put them down at any point due to tired arms. Most people use a backpack to carry their pup around this allows them to take longer experience the world and if you make the backpack comfortable for your pup they will enjoy the experience. One other thing I should probably mention is not to spend too long out with your new puppy as they may need to go to the toilet and seen as putting them down is not something you should do, you may end up with wet arms or a soggy backpack.

Puppy being carried

Can a Puppy Be Around a Vaccinated Dog?

If you have already got a dog then you are probably aware of the importance of vaccinations. However, socializing your puppy with other dogs can be a concern if you do not know the vaccination status of the other dog. Technically speaking it is perfectly fine for your puppy to be around a vaccinated dog. Although this shouldn’t be done in a public area. If you have your own dogs that have been vaccinated then socializing your puppy with them is very important and something you should do as soon as possible. This will enable your new puppy to be accepted into the pack.

If you have other dogs you may also be thinking that there is not much point I preventing your puppy from going out in the garden. This is usually because your dogs can bring into the house diseases that your puppy is not yet vaccinated against. Although this is a possibility, it is still best to keep them in a separate area just to limit the chance of them catching anything. If you are really concerned about what your dog might bring in, washing their paws is something that you can do each time they come in and out.

Its probably worth mentioning that if you have an unvaccinated puppy and you introduce them to a cat, they are unlikely to catch anything directly from the cat. Although because cats can bring in unwanted diseases, concentrated within outside matter like mud, you should endeavor to keep your puppy away from your cat as much as possible. An introduction is advisable to bond the future relationship between your new dog and your most likely annoyed cat.

Puppy Proofing Your Garden

So you’re ready to take your puppy out in the garden for the first time. this can sometimes be a daunting moment especially for owners completely new to the process. Ensuring that your puppy is fully vaccinated, they will be ready to explore the entire garden. This is the moment in which you need to puppy proof your garden, involving a few important aspects we have highlighted some of the things you should know below.

  • Be aware of bees and wasps as your puppy will want to eat them.
  • Make sure your puppy isn’t able to gain access to any of your flower beds, as you may find them with holes and destroyed flowers.
  • Make sure your puppy doesn’t consume any flowers as some can be poisonous, especially to young pups.
  • Block off all escape routes, if there’s a gap and you don’t think your pup can fit through it, block it anyway.
  • You should constantly watch them during their first experience in the garden.
  • Provide some water and shade if you plan on staying outside for long and it’s hot.
  • Ensure that there is no access to deep water that they could drown in, ponds, or deep fountains.

What Weather Can a Puppy Go Out In

So you no understand what age a puppy can be taken out at and allowed to explore the extent of the garden. After vaccinations, your pup can play in the garden as much as they want whilst being supervised. However, letting them play out in particular weather conditions should be taken with much consideration. Although dogs are fairly strong animals and some dogs such as husky’s can tolerate extremely cold temperatures, puppies are still weak physically. One of the first questions to ask yourself would be “is the weather too much for a fully grown dog” if so then you should be letting your puppy outside for any amount of time.

Snowy conditions often damage your pup’s paws and overly hot weather can cause dehydration or even sunburn. If its a hot day but you wouldn’t consider it dangerous, a paddling pool can offer a great chance to associate your puppy with water and cool them down too. Limiting the amount of time in the garden when its cold weather is something you should consider during these conditions. We have two articles on our website regarding walking your dog in the winter and walking your dog in the summer. These articles give some good information about the limitation, causes, and subsequent issues created by adverse weather.

Mental Stimulation For a Puppy

Mental stimulation is something all dogs need, especially when they are young. puppies are full of energy and curiosity, meaning that the garden would be a welcome place to go and explore. It’s important to keep your puppy safe before 8 weeks by not allowing them access to the garden. However, it’s also best to keep your puppy mentally stimulated. This can be done by carrying them around the garden and showing them new things without having to let them down onto the ground. Also giving them a small area to walk around in is great for mental stimulation and introducing them to toilet training. Because you are unable to let your puppy out in the garden you should provide lots of toys for them to play with.


It’s tempting to think about letting your puppy out in the garden as soon as you get them home, but as mentioned in this article it’s simply not worth it. These limitations do come with some leverage and its common to allow your pup a small space in the garden which you have control over. Ensuring you monitor their every move and limit the time they spend out there. Socializing your puppy is also important, as the first few weeks when you get your puppy home they are more accepting, of new experiences. Carrying your puppy around your garden can be a great first introduction to the outside world, leading to more interesting environments.




Dean Lissaman

As a child I grew up around dogs and have loved them ever since. I now have a beloved Golden Retriever who enjoys exploring the outside world. Being an outdoor enthusiast has inspired me to create the ultimate resource on relating both dogs and the outdoors. For more information on me check out my about page.

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