do puppies need to be vaccinated before having contact with other dogs

Do puppies need to be vaccinated before having contact with other dogs?

Our question this week was:

Does my puppy have to have vaccines before contact with my other dog who has had all her vaccinations?


Mandy Russell


Hi – thanks for your email Mandy. You asked a very good question. The answer is: If you have an adult dog at home that is up to date on her vaccinations, it should be okay for your puppy to be in contact with your dog.

There are two things pet owners worry about when they get a new dog:

1. Introducing infection to your adult dog at home
2. Introducing infection to your puppy

For the first concern, if your adult dog is up to date on his vaccination, then introducing infection to your adult dog at home is unlikely. If your dog at home is an unvaccinated dog , then it would be possible for the puppy to transmit disease. However, whether or not the puppy gets a vaccine before this introduction is not going to change anything. What I mean is that if the puppy has an infectious disease that can be transmitted, he will still transmit it with or without the vaccine. The vaccine is to PREVENT the new puppy from getting disease. For some diseases, like parvovirus, dogs are generally infected and show symptoms 5 to 12 days later.

For the second concern, introducing infection to your puppy, if your dog at home is an adult with vaccinations, the risk of him transmitting something to your puppy is very low. However, if someone has an unvaccinated dog that is already sick, it could transmit disease to your puppy.

An article that might be helpful to you is Puppy Vaccine Recommendations. This article goes over what your dog needs.

Good luck with your new pup!

Dr. Debra

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