Can I Walk My Dog After Vaccination? [Shots to Steps]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

If you’re reading this, chances are you just got your furry friend vaccinated, so congrats! Getting this done is one of the most important things you can do for your pet, but with it often comes a number of questions.

“Can I Walk My Dog After Vaccination?”

Yes, you can walk your dog after vaccination. In fact, it’s recommended to keep them active and moving to help their body process the vaccine and boost their immunity.

I know that vaccines can raise a lot of questions and concerns and you want to make sure your dog is protected without taking any unnecessary risks.

So in this post, I will share some important tips to keep in mind to ensure your dog stays healthy and happy.

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How Long After Vaccination Can I Walk My Dog?

How Long After Vaccination Can I Walk My Dog?

In most cases. you can walk your full-grown or adult dog a day after his vaccination. No reason to let it become a couch potato!

However, in cases where your dog is showing an adverse reaction to the vaccine, you’ll need to hold off the walk until it gets better, keeping a close eye during this time.

If he experiences lethargy or soreness, it’s best to keep him resting and away from overexertion. 

On the other hand, if your dog is still a puppy, you should only take it for a walk 14 days after its last vaccination.

By that time, it’ll be ready to explore the outside world protected from any health risks.

Do dogs experience pain during vaccinations?

Most dogs don’t usually experience pain during vaccinations but puppies might.

If your dog ever experiences pain during vaccination, it might be due to improper handling during the administering of the vaccine.

Also, if your dog is allergic to the vaccine that was used on him, it might feel pain due to the swelling in the area where it was injected.

In general, dogs will experience some soreness instead of pain if the vaccine used on them is non-allergic.

Lethargy and a slight fever are normal reactions when dogs get vaccinated since it’s starting to stimulate their immune system.

It’s not something to worry about since the vaccine is only toughening your dog.

Is it recommended to walk your dog after they receive its shots?

Is it recommended to walk your dog after they receive its shots?

It’s generally safe to walk your dog after he receives his shots, but there will be times that the vet will recommend lessening physical activities for a while depending on the vaccine your dog received and his reaction to it.

If your dog is showing signs of soreness and mild fever after he received shots, it’s recommended to take some rest from walking.

When is it safe for my puppy to go outside in the garden?

Your puppy has a more sensitive immune system, and viruses outside of your home can easily infect it.

It’s only safe for your puppy to go outside in the garden two weeks after he received his last vaccines.

By then, your pup will already be fully immune to brace and explore the new world of your garden.

What are the risks of taking my puppy out too early?

The risks of taking your puppy out too early are too great to ignore.

It might catch dangerous and deadly viruses like parvovirus.

Viruses can easily creep on your pup. He can be just sniffing around in your front yard, and he’ll already be able to catch the sickness.

Puppies haven’t fully developed their immune system yet, so they’re very susceptible to contagious diseases.

Give it more time for the drug to take its effect and in the meantime, you can still have lots of fun inside the house!

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Doggy says, consider reading this too: Lepto vaccine for toy breeds

Factors to Consider When Deciding Whether to Walk Your Dog After Vaccination

Age of the dog

How a dog reacts to vaccines varies depending on their age most of the time.

Puppies and senior doggies are more prone to experience adverse reactions from vaccines since they’re still OR already sensitive to the new shots they’re receiving.

They’ll most likely experience lethargy, lack of appetite, disinterest in physical activities, and soreness, so it’s best not to walk them after vaccination.

Full-grown adult dogs are less susceptible to adverse vaccine reactions, so in all likelihood, they’ll be out and about hours after their vaccination.

I know for a fact that many of my clients take their dogs out for a walk a few hours after vaccination as a relaxing activity.

Health status of the dog

If your dog has health issues, especially if it’s related to the cardiovascular system, they need to take more time to rest and adjust from the vaccination.

Don’t take it out for a walk immediately after vaccination, but instead, let it have a couple of days of home rest.

The environment where you plan to walk your dog

Some environments aren’t suitable for your newly vaccinated dog. 

A dog park where other dogs are exploring here and there isn’t that safe since there could be viruses surrounding it. 

If that’s the route you’re walking your dog, it’s best to avoid it and find a new one to walk on.

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Doggy says, you might be interested to read this too: Dog shaking after vaccination

Importance of Vaccinations for Dogs

You probably already know this but I thought that it’s worth mentioning it here.

Vaccinations are a really important part of your dog’s health care routine as they help to protect your furry friend from a wide range of infectious diseases that could otherwise be life-threatening.

Some of them, such as parvovirus and distemper, are highly contagious and can spread quickly among dogs.

By vaccinating your dog, you’re not only protecting them, but you’re also helping to prevent the spread of these diseases to other animals!

Not forgetting that it also keeps you and your family safe!

Common Vaccines Given to Dogs

I think it’s important as a dog owner to be well aware of the options we have. Although most clinics will give you the necessary advice, I do think it’s worth a reminder again.

  • Rabies vaccine is the vaccine required in most localities to prevent the transmission of rabies from dogs to humans through canine bites. Don’t be surprised if your community is requiring mandatory rabies vaccines among dogs since “prevention is better than cure,” right?
  • Parvovirus vaccine lets you save your doggies from the highly contagious parvovirus that causes fatal symptoms with this vaccine. This virus starts as simple vomiting and diarrhea until dehydration ensues, and can eventually lead to death. It is that serious.
  • Distemper vaccine will allow you to protect your dogs from distemper, which is another contagious disease that affects the respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems of your dogs.
  • Bordetella vaccine is a must-have vaccine for multi-dog households to prevent the constant coughing of doggies caused by bordetella bacterial infection (often known as Kennel cough). At first, you’ll think it’s just a simple cough that’s making the rounds on your doggies, but it can turn out to be a bacterial infection that can easily be stomped by the bordetella vaccine.

Consider reading this too: Does Lysol kill kennel cough?

What Are Some Typical Side Effects of Vaccinations?

Lethargy

Lethargy is a common side effect of vaccinations in dogs. Usually, you’ll notice your dog with a mild fever too.

This is normal! Your dog’s immune system is getting used to the pathogen that was introduced by the vaccine so he’ll feel a bit off.

A day or two after and he’ll be back to his jolly and playful self, but if your dog is still sick 4 days after vaccination, you will have to take further actions.

Swelling

The area where the needle was injected for the vaccination might develop a lump but don’t worry, it won’t swell up much more nor will it release goo.

If it does though, take your dog to the nearest vet right away.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it OK to walk my dog after vaccination?

Yes, you can walk your dog after vaccination so long as it isn’t exhibiting negative reactions towards the vaccine such as any obvious discomfort or lethargy.

How long should my dog rest after vaccination?

Your dog should rest for 24 to 48 hours after vaccination so you’ll have enough time to monitor whether he’s suffering from any negative reactions from the vaccine.

What can you not do after your dog gets vaccinated?

You shouldn’t pat, pet, or touch the area where he’d been injected as it might still be sore. Avoid trying to play with your dog too since he might wanna be left alone due to the lethargy he’s feeling.

Can I walk my dog 3 days after vaccination?

Yes, you can walk your dog 3 days after vaccination so long as it has fully recovered from any reactions it might have had from the vaccine. If your dog is a puppy, you should wait for 14 days before taking it out.

Can I walk my dog after 2 rounds of shots?

Give your dog some time to rest after 2 rounds of shots. 24 to 48 hours is ideal for letting your dog rest before taking him out for a walk.

Do dogs get weak after vaccination?

Most dogs get weak after vaccination, and it’s entirely normal. Their immune system is just getting used to the vaccine that was administered to them. They’ll eventually recover a few hours to a day after. 

In Conclusion: Can I Walk My Dog After Vaccination?

As we’ve discussed, the answer is a resounding yes!

Walking your dog after vaccination is not only safe but is actually recommended to help its body process the vaccine and boost its immunity.

Of course, it’s important to take some precautions to ensure that your dog stays healthy and happy, so always follow your veterinarian’s instructions and be mindful of your dog’s behavior and any signs of discomfort or illness.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

2 Comments

  1. Taking it slow after vaccinating your dog makes quite a lot of sense for sure. It might not be in the best state for a long walk, so taking things a little slower first will definitely be a lot better in order to get it back on its feet. Once I find a veterinarian that does pet vaccinations, I’ll make sure that I follow your tips about this.

    • Hi Afton, thank you for your comments! You’re absolutely right in saying to take things slowly. I remember after vaccinating Bella, I only walked let her out into the backyard on the first day, followed by a couple of short walks the next day. And what do you know? She was running about by the third! And good luck with your dog too!

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