31st May 2023
Who doesn’t love puppies? There’s nothing quite like bringing home a fluffy new friend. Being that as it may, that doesn’t always mean that puppies don’t cause problems. Many new dog owners find themselves feeling far from happy during the settling-in period.
For some new puppy parents, once the initial elation of this new furry family member wears off, they find themselves feeling swamped with feelings of anxiety and stress. Enter the 'puppy blues'.
What are the puppy blues?
So, what are puppy blues, you ask? Puppy blues is a term that’s used to refer to a negative emotional reaction that some people experience after bringing home their puppy. Some of these feelings include anxiety, sadness, and regret.
Sometimes, the reality of having to take responsibility for a fresh-faced new canine chum can be overwhelming. Cute pictures and picking puppy names aside, integrating a new dog into your existing lifestyle can be tricky and hard to manage.
From feeling as though you aren’t a good owner, to convincing yourself that you and your new dog don’t have a strong emotional bond, the puppy blues can affect anyone - even people who have had dogs all their life.
As for what causes the puppy blues, this can vary from owner to owner. Some of the most common reasons are:
Training a puppy takes a lot of work, and can’t be achieved overnight. Owning an unruly young dog can be extremely draining and demoralising. If your puppy isn’t listening to you or taking in your training methods, it’s worth visiting a puppy training class and asking for help from a professional.
Change in routine
Puppies need a lot of your love and attention - as well as time. Many pet owners have to give up certain activities and lifestyle choices to ensure that they aren’t leaving their puppy alone for too long. Getting used to a new dog-focused routine can be tricky for first-time owners.
Expectations versus reality is all too common when it comes to owning a pet. We’re talking more than walks and tail wags. Even if you thought you were prepared for a puppy, the reality of taking care of one might not be as breezy as you first thought - resulting in a lot of negative energy.
Between buying good quality puppy food, and making sure they have a comfortable basket, puppy insurance, and reliable medical care, puppies can be pretty taxing on your bank balance.
Issues with sleeping
During the first few weeks, it’s expected that puppies will cry during the night, resulting in broken sleep for the owner. On top of toilet training and having to let your new puppy out for number one and two’s, sleepless nights are pretty regular for new puppy parents
Signs you may have the puppy blues
Are you struggling to understand if you have puppy blues? If you’ve recently brought home a young dog and you’re unsure if you might be suffering from them, here are some signs to look out for:
- Feeling sad or hopeless
- Feeling anxious or paralyzed
- Feeling overwhelmed or out of your depth
If you’re experiencing any of the above in relation to your new dog, it’s likely you have puppy blues.
How long can the puppy blues last?
As with everything in life, this depends on the individual and their personal circumstances. Usually, the first two to three weeks are the most challenging, as you’re likely to be stuck in a pretty poor sleeping pattern due to potty training and late-night howling sessions.
It’s all about gaining control. Once the event-filled nights start to die down and you begin to regain some say over your sleeping schedule, you should notice your puppy blues start to ebb away and become less all-consuming.
Is it normal to feel regret after getting a puppy?
The short answer is, yes. It’s totally normal to feel a twinge of regret after getting a puppy - and you shouldn’t feel ashamed of it.
There are a whole host of friendly Facebook communities, forums, and interactive training platforms that can help connect you with new owners who are also struggling to connect with their puppy. Swapping stories and advice with others in the same situation as you can really help settle your emotions and inspire you to look to new things to try - such as bonding activities or training classes. All you need to do is ask Google and you’ll soon see that you aren’t the only one.
Getting a puppy can be one of the most meaningful - yet one of the most challenging - things a person can do, much like becoming a parent. Both of those don’t come without battles. Like navigating taking care of a newborn, adopting a puppy can be extremely difficult. Don’t be too hard on yourself if all the unexpected puddles and broken nights’ sleep start to grate on you - it’s normal to feel that way!
When do puppies get easier
Puppy parenting does get a lot easier as time goes on - but it takes a lot of patience, as well as understanding, to get there. Once you’ve got the first few weeks out of the way, hopefully, your puppy will start to feel more settled and will therefore adopt a less anxiety-induced sleeping pattern.
Ensuring your puppy is protected with puppy insurance and all of their necessary medical checks will also help keep your mind at ease!
Just like toddlers, young puppies need to learn right from wrong in order to develop into well-behaved dogs. If you want to take on puppy parenting and be a good owner to your new furry friend, you need to brace yourself for lots of chewing, barking, and smelly unwelcomed 'gifts’'
As your puppy continues to grow and develop, your routine should become less strained and you should (fingers crossed) come to love your pet.
If you’re suffering from puppy blues and feel like you’re a one-man band - please remember that there’s a whole orchestra of new dog parents playing the same tune as you. All you have to do is persevere with your puppy and get through the first few months.
They say that good things come to those who wait, after all.