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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19831
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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I am getting a new puppy and want to intelligently balance

Customer Question

I am getting a new puppy and want to intelligently balance exposure risks and the need for socialization in the period before he is fully vaccinated. We live in an area where I can control the dogs with which he interacts, but there is significant wildlife, and I don't know if they spread diseases such as parvo. Secondly, I want to get an opinion on socialization in places such as large hardware stores where dogs are welcome, but relatively infrequent, and any issues are cleaned immediately. They offer so many people and sounds that they are really a useful place to socialize.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi Sir or Madam,
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
The problems you have with places like hardware stores is that you have no control over the dogs that come and go there or the people your dog might come in contact with there. In addition, while the store might clean up fecal matter, etc, people can also carry disease on their shoes since parvovirus can live for months in the environment and if a person steps where infected fecal matter is the virus can be spread. Diseases like parvovirus also require disinfecting. Usually a bleach solution can help prevent the spread but it would depend on what they used.
On your own property, you can control who and what dogs interact with your pup. What I do is have a shallow pan and bowl of mild bleach water )1 part bleach to 20 parts water) and have visitors step in the water to remove the virus from the bottoms of their shoes. I also have them dip their hands in the bowl to ensure they haven't picked the virus up from another pup that doesn't show symptoms yet. It isn't fool proof but is helpful. I also ensure the only dogs my pups come into contact with are those who are already fully vaccinated with the last vaccination administered at least a week previously.
This is the only real way to help ensure your pup is protected. While socialization is important, it usually isn't hard to get people to stop by and see a puppy and most dogs are considered fully vaccinated after at least 2 vaccinations with one after 12 weeks of age. I personally go for 16 weeks since my breed (rotties) is prone to parvovirus.
If you have ever seen a dog with parvo, you won't want to put your pup at risk for parvovirus at all. I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler