How Long to Wait After Dog Vaccines?

Dr. Joe Alcorn, M.S., D.V.M.

Dr. Joe Alcorn is founder of Care Animal Hospital in Temecula, California. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and his advice has been featured in large publications like Bustle and Martha Stewart.

Home » Blog » How Long to Wait After Dog Vaccines?

Vaccines can help prevent illnesses, ensuring your dog enjoys a happy, healthy life. However, there are after-care instructions you must remember. Whether you want to walk your dog or let it socialize with other pets, we’re explaining how long you need to wait after dog vaccines.

How Long to Wait After Dog Vaccines?

Wait for at least 30 minutes after vaccination before bringing your dog home. This way, I can immediately care for your pet if allergic reactions occur within minutes. Your dog should only go for walks, trips, or play dates a week after the second vaccination.

Two black dogs chasing each other on a grass lawn

Your pet will get fully immunized only after the second and third shots, so you should limit going out during this period. Waiting for the right time can help you avoid illnesses and costly treatments.

When Can My Dog Go Outside After Vaccination?

A good rule of thumb is to limit your dog’s exposure to outdoor environments, or close contact places such as dog boarding services depending on the vaccination your pet already has. You should keep your pet at home prior to the vaccination schedule.

There are certain immunizations that dogs only get after the first and second shots. Meanwhile, complete immunization happens after the third vaccination.

How Long to Wait After the First Vaccination?

After the first shot, it’s not ideal for bringing your dog into public spaces where it can get exposed to unvaccinated pets. Dogs won’t develop the necessary immunity at this point.

A good alternative is to bring your dog into your backyard to expose it to new experiences. However, you should still mostly carry your dog and not let it play on the ground, where it could get viruses or infections.

How Long to Wait After the Second Vaccination?

We recommend waiting at least a week after the second vaccination before bringing your dog out. You can now walk your dog in public spaces or attend obedience school.

However, only pets aged 10 weeks old or older after the second shot are immune to vaccine-preventable diseases such as distemper, Parvovirus, and hepatitis.

Two volunteers holding on to a brown dog for examination

How Long to Wait After the Third Vaccination?

The third and final vaccination covers the second shot for the leptospirosis vaccine. Wait at least a week after the third shot before bringing your dog to areas with water or livestock.

Can I Let My Dog Go to Public Spaces After Getting Vaccinated?

Letting your dog out is essential for socializing and establishing good routines. This is a crucial part of your pet’s development because you need to positively introduce new people, animals, places, experiences, and scents to your dog.

While waiting for your dog to get full immunization, you can let it roam in controlled areas.

When Can My Dog Go to the Garden?

Your dog can go to your garden for potty training a week after the first round of vaccinations. Dogs can get Canine Parvovirus which can live on the ground for a long time, so only spend a little bit of time in your garden.

You should also ensure there’s no infected dog poop, food bowl, bedding, or human clothes in the area.

When Can My Dog Go to Pet Parks?

It’s best to wait after the third round of vaccinations before bringing your dog to playdates at pet parks. While most pet parks require visiting dogs to be immunized, your dog’s immunization isn’t still sufficient after the first and second shots. 

When Can My Dog Meet My Other Pets?

If your other pets are fully immunized, you can introduce your newly vaccinated dog a week after the first shot. Make sure to limit the interactions within your home and keep their playing areas clean and sanitized.

What to Do While Waiting for My Dog to Get Immunized Fully?

While waiting for a week after the second vaccination, there are things you can do to prevent mild symptoms post-vaccination.

  • Provide a warm, cozy place for your dog to rest
  • Ensure your dog has access to water
  • Avoid giving your pet high-intensity activities or rough playing. Let your pet come to you if it wants attention
  • Don’t pat the injection site, and avoid cuddling in the meantime to prevent bumps and lumps
  • Set up a puppy playpen to prevent other pets from disturbing your newly-vaccinated dog
  • Be sure that only vaccinated pets approach your newly-vaccinated dog
  • Limit exposure within shady areas since puppies can less regulate body temperatures
White and tan English Bulldog lying on a black rug

What Is the Risk if I Take My Dog Out Too Early?

Taking out your dog days after the first round of vaccination risks exposing your pet to dangerous viruses. Socializing weeks before the second round of vaccination can put your dog at risk of contracting potentially life-threatening diseases from other pets since it hasn’t built up enough resistance or immunity.

Your pet may get sneezing and cold-like symptoms. If you have a puppy, your pet is still developing its joints and muscles, so its body isn’t strong enough to go on long walks or do high-impact activities.

Related Questions

What Happens After the First Vaccination of Dogs?

Dogs don’t have full immunization after the first vaccination, so it’s not ideal for bringing pets outside. At this point, monitor for vaccine reactions such as lethargy, vomiting, or swelling of the injection site. Bring your pet to our clinic for examinations if symptoms persist for days.

How Soon Should I Get My Dog Vaccinated?

We highly recommend getting your dog vaccinated for around six to eight weeks of age. Regardless of the age you get your puppy, you should continue with the vaccinations for four months, which is the necessary time for its body to mount a long-term immune response.

Are There Variations in Dog Vaccine Schedules?

In general, puppies need annual vaccinations every three weeks until they reach four months old. This is why you should wait at least a week after the second or third round of vaccinations before going out to prevent contracting viruses.


After the first shot, wait for 30 minutes before going out of the clinic to monitor for allergic reactions. Wait a week after the second and third vaccinations before bringing your dog out in public spaces. Waiting for your dog to get immunized completely can save your pet from fatal diseases.