How To Keep Your Puppy Safe From Germs, Bacteria And Viruses

As a puppy parent, you take on an awful lot of responsibilities. If you’ve just adopted a precious pup, you might be realizing this fact right now, as the myriad of choices, decisions, and tasks associated with raising a puppy come to light.

What food is best for your puppy is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s also how to train them, whether you should use a crate, when they should be spayed or neutered, what food you should feed them, etc. The list goes on and on. As your pup’s new surrogate mom or dad (or other), these challenges, questions, and tasks must now be met by, you guessed it, you.

One of the most important tasks you face with a new puppy in your charge is to keep them safe from harm. Making sure, for example, that they can’t run out into traffic, eat a toxic plant, or get attacked by another dog is all on your shoulders and essential to ensuring your puppy lives a long, healthy life.

There are three things you need to protect your puppy from that are a little more difficult than the others however; germs, viruses, and bacteria. All can cause various diseases in a puppy that are not pretty to see.

After the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, many puppy parents were panicking about how to protect their pup from viruses. However, germs and bacteria are just as concerning. I was thinking about all of this the other day when one of my dogs was sneezing a lot. (Like many of you, I’m now paranoid about viruses.)

As I watched her sneeze and wheeze, I thought about a question I’ve heard a lot in the last couple of years: how to keep your puppy safe from germs, bacteria, and viruses? In today’s post-pandemic world, it’s a very good question.

The answer is that there are several methods you can, and should, use to protect your puppy from germs, bacteria, and viruses. Most of them deal with reducing the risk of transmission of these three sickness-causing little buggers, which I will go into below.

If you’re worried about protecting your little pup from these unseen but insidious bugaboos, read on. I’ve got a lot of information below to help you do that and ensure your precious pooch stays healthy and avoids the sicknesses that they can cause.

What Diseases can Puppies Get? 

Several diseases commonly affect puppies and dogs. Most of them are prevented by vaccinating your puppy, similar to the way humans are vaccinated against COVID, measles, mumps, and the flu, among others. 

Those diseases include rabies, parvovirus, and distemper, which, if they aren’t vaccinated, can lead to grave health problems and, unfortunately, the death of your puppy (or adult dog).

There are also diseases that, much like in humans, can cause your puppy to become very sick, but, unlike those I just mentioned, there aren’t any vaccinations or other measures to prevent them. 

Diseases like cancer, arthritis, and heart disease, for example, can sometimes occur, but, as in humans, there’s no known way to prevent them from happening. (Keeping your pup away from fatty foods, maybe, but it’s not guaranteed.)

Then there are the diseases caused by germs, bacteria, and viruses. In most cases, you can prevent these diseases with a little bit of forethought, preparation, and persistence. (Not always, but most of the time.) Below are some of the most common diseases in puppies and dogs caused by germs, viruses, and bacteria.

Canine Diseases Caused by Bacteria

Most bacteria infections that affect puppies and dogs come from drinking contaminated water. They can also be spread when your puppy comes into contact with urine from an infected animal. Mating and getting bitten by an infected dog can also spread the following canine diseases, including:

  • Skin Infections.
  • Leptospirosis.
  • Kennel Cough.
  • Lymes Disease.
  • Ear and Eye Infections.

The best way to prevent bacterial diseases from spreading to your puppy is to ensure that they have their own water bowl. Also, when in your yard or out for a walk, it’s imperative that you don’t let them drink from puddles.  Keeping them away from infected dogs is essential, also, although not always easy to do.

Canine Diseases Caused by Germs

Germs spread from one puppy to another in much the same way as they spread from human to human. That includes direct contact with a sick dog or puppy or contact with an object a sick puppy or dog has touched (usually with their mouth). 

Those objects include toys, bedding, or other things. They also spread from raw food, especially meats like chicken and beef. Puppy sicknesses caused by germs include:

  • Campylobacter. 
  • Salmonella. 
  • Brucella

The best way to stop germs from spreading from one puppy to another is to disinfect any items that have been touched by another puppy that is possibly sick. Another way, of course, is to keep a sick or infected puppy or dog away from a healthy puppy. However, that’s not always easy because some dogs will have a sickness or disease that isn’t showing any outward signs.

Canine Diseases Caused by Viruses

Viruses in dogs and puppies are spread virtually the same way they spread in humans, mainly through tiny droplets of saliva produced when a puppy coughs or sneezes. Licking or chewing toys, bedding, bones, bowls, and other things can also spread a virus from one puppy to another. The most common dog diseases caused by viruses include the following:

  • Canine Papilloma 
  • Rabies
  • Kennel Cough. (Yes, it’s caused by both viruses and bacteria.)
  • Canine Distemper
  • Canine Influenza

Some of the best methods to stop the spread of viruses in dogs and puppies mimic the methods used to stop them from spreading in humans. Washing your dog’s paws frequently is a good idea, especially if you take them to a dog park or let them roam in your backyard. 

Speaking of roaming in the backyard, it’s always best to supervise your puppy when they’re outside. That will help keep your precious pupper from getting into anything that might be harmful to their health, including feces from other dogs. 

As I mentioned earlier, it’s imperative to keep them from drinking or even licking water in puddles. Lastly, you should also wash your own hands regularly when handling a young puppy. That’s especially true if you have several dogs or puppies in your home or work in a shelter.

Of course, as I mentioned earlier, one of the best ways to prevent many types of disease in your puppy is to have them vaccinated.  Plus, you should also bring them to the veterinarian to have been treated for heartworm, fleas, ticks, and other nasty creatures. In most cases, this needs to be done regularly throughout their doggy lifetime.

Final Thoughts

If you were worried about how to keep your puppy safe from germs, bacteria, and viruses, I hope today’s blog has put some of your fears aside. Using the methods that I talked about today, you can significantly reduce your puppy’s chance to come into contact with all three. That, in turn, will reduce the risk they’re exposed to any of the diseases germs, bacteria, and viruses cause. 

Cleanliness and close supervision are two of the best methods of puppy disease prevention, by far. If your puppy can’t get into anything nasty, foul, or infected, and you clean up after them well, you substantially reduce their risk of becoming sick.

Thank you for dropping by and checking out today’s blog. I hope that the information I presented today was very helpful and empowers you to keep your pup safe and healthy. If you have more questions or want more actionable advice on being a super puppy parent, please see my other blogs on the subject. They’re filled with facts, data, and advice to help you raise your puppy into a healthy, happy, and well-adjusted dog.