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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I'm relatively new here, but I'm so glad I found this message board. I've learned so much in a short time. We had a golden for 8 years and lost him last July to cancer. Life has not been the same without him. If everything goes as planned, we will be bringing home a new puppy in May.

I have a few concerns. From what I'm understanding (correct me if I'm wrong), puppies are not fully vaccinated until 16 weeks old. My aunt and uncle have a lake house in Florida that we usually go to every year. What things would I need to be concerned about with taking a puppy under 16 weeks old to a lake? I'm not even referring to swimming, just health concerns. I thought I read somewhere about the risks of parvo and lakes.

We were also invited to a family reunion in Georgia, in which the puppy would only be about 13 weeks at the time. This is also on a lake in a wooded area. I am strongly leaning towards not going because of the health concerns and risks.

Any information you all have would be greatly appreciated. This is probably just going to be a summer spent at home training and working with the new puppy. I really don't want to take any chances!

Thanks.
Michele
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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There are some areas where Parvo is indeed a big threat...
Parvo is spread through contact with infected dogs. Specifically fecal matter of infected dogs.
Your dog can contract Parvo in its own yard...if a person, other dog, cat or other animal has stepped in feces of an infected dog and walked in your yard...the potential for infection is there...

Life is a series of calculated risks....
Personally I would go....
The risks of keeping a puppy in a protective bubble during his formative puppy development period far outweigh going to a family members camp where they can meet friendly strangers...be in new environments..experience wonderful, positive parts of being a dog!

Must add that I wouldn't 'invite trouble' by going to dog parks, or areas where lots of unknown dogs travel....just try to find a balance of risk...

There are waterborne diseases and illnesses that you may want to consider....but they are not usually anything you can vaccinate for anyway...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. I would really love to go because my aunt and uncle, which own the lake house, have an older golden retriever and I thought it would be some socialization for the puppy. For the Georgia trip, I have a brother in law that has 2 labs, very friendly and trained, and I also thought it would be another great social experience.

Is there any harm in letting a puppy explore the water (lake), say try to swim a little if he's interested?

Thanks.
Michele
 

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I think I would go.
 

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With our first Dog I was not even warned about parvo and she went everywhere. With Callie I new about the dangers and I had a hard time waiting till she was 16 weeks old to take her to the parks and such. At 13 weeks the protection should be pretty decent. I would go.
 

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Loving goldens since '95
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Thanks for the reply. I would really love to go because my aunt and uncle, which own the lake house, have an older golden retriever and I thought it would be some socialization for the puppy. For the Georgia trip, I have a brother in law that has 2 labs, very friendly and trained, and I also thought it would be another great social experience.

Is there any harm in letting a puppy explore the water (lake), say try to swim a little if he's interested?

Thanks.
Michele
I would go ahead and bring the dog. Like LibertyME said, it is the perfect chance for the puppy to be socialized around people and new surroundings and will probably be beneficial for him/her. As long as your aunt & uncle's dog and your BIL's labs are all up to date on his/her shots then it would be great for the puppy to meet them!
 

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Your relatives aren't afraid of gators in Florida? Everyone I know who swims their golden in a Florida lake keeps a close eye on them to the extent of everything else--and either has a lead on them to pop them out of the water, and knows they have a perfect recall.
 

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Nancy
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At 13 weeks, I'd go and take my puppy. The only places I avoided when Hank was little were dog parks, pet stores and socializing at the vet office.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, gators are something you definitely have to be careful of in Florida. My aunt and uncles lake is probably the only lake I would ever go swimming in, at least in Florida. We mainly go wakeboarding, boating, or ride waverunners. People have lived on this lake for years, people swim in it, and no one has ever seen a gator. But, I'm always VERY cautious! There is actually 1 man who goes for a swim across the entire lake every day, and it's quite a distance! My aunt and uncle's golden retriever usually only swims very close to shore and he also goes out on the boat.

Michele
 

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What part of the state? If you're close, we'll have to have a play date. A lake with no gators? Your secret is safe with me. I will also check out the real estate while I'm there--that's awfully tempting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I live on the east coast of central Florida and I definitely would not take a dog to any lakes in this area. My uncle's lake house is near Gainesville and north of Palatka I believe, I can't remember the name of the town; it's a small town.

Where do you live?

Michele
 

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I'm in Weston, just west of Fort Lauderdale. I've got to tell my husband--lake homes near Gainesville, where dogs can swim free from the harm of gators. Let me know about any "For Sale" signs. He keeps saying that the Gainesville area is where he wants to be--he's a graduate of the Univ. of Fla (as am I) and he wants to be by his beloved Gators--the ones that play in the O'Connell Center and Ben Hill Griffin Stadium!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No "for sale" signs that I know of. I believe most people have lived there for years. I still don't feel 100% safe from gators, though. I do find it interesting that no one has ever seen one and I know the neighbors have a lab that swims a lot. It seems like the last time I was there I saw a few more dogs that I hadn't noticed there before. We just don't go that often. Only when we get invited!

Michele
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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CRIPES!! I didn't even think of gators!!!!!
 
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