Are you having second thoughts about keeping the little puppy you just brought home? Do you feel regret about getting a puppy when you did?
It’s not uncommon for new parents to find the newfound responsibilities of caring for a puppy quite overwhelming.
However, if you tend to feel regret too frequently and are wondering what kind of help or support is available for a pet owner in your situation, read on.
5 things to do when you regret getting a puppy
New parents react to the responsibility of raising a puppy in several ways. One prevalent feeling is exhaustion, and this is not unfounded.
A survey conducted by One Family Dog reported that 59% of new parents felt exhausted from these responsibilities, 54% felt overwhelmed, and 51% felt anxious.
Here are some things to do when you begin to feel regretful, overwhelmed, exhausted, or anxious.
#1 Write down why you got the puppy in the first place
What made you get a puppy in the first place? Let those reasons be your motivation again.
Write them down, and let that be all you see and think about when you feel like throwing in the towel; constantly give yourself a sense of purpose and a reason to try harder.
If your reasons aren’t motivating enough, find one to help you stay the course.
Reminding yourself of why you got started in the first place and filtering all the positives from the negatives will help you go through all your tough puppy times.
#2 Evaluate why you are failing
You need to be honest with yourself by evaluating the situation to figure out exactly why you’re feeling regret. Try to recall and write down all the difficult experiences you’ve had with your pup.
Figure out what you need to do to handle the situation better next time or prevent it from repeating itself. You may need to be more patient with your pup or perform all your puppy responsibilities more promptly.
Honestly, answer some critical questions:
- When was the last challenging experience you had with your pup?
- Was I able to keep my cool? Have I been patient enough?
- Has the pup been getting enough eat and sleep?
- Are you doing everything that is expected of you?
- How could you have handled the situation better?
- Is your dog’s behavior completely normal?
- Can your finances adequately cater to yourself and your dog?
Getting the right answers to these questions will set you on the right path to making better decisions for yourself and your dog.
#3 Seek help and support
It’s okay to reach out to friends and family for support; having a friend you can rant to can really help. This can be for emotional support, tips and tricks on bonding with your pet, or even a play date to give everyone a happy day!
Get professional help from experienced pup parents or professionals who have gone through the same thing or helped others.
Join social media groups, especially on Facebook, and visit websites (like this one!) for helpful tips and guidance.
The best way to meet other pup parents is by going to dog parks or joining social networks created for this purpose.
Fulfilling all the pup responsibilities alone can be overwhelming; a friend or family member can take your pup off your hands for some time, giving you a little time to yourself.
#4 One more chance
Let’s do a recollection here. Now that you have:
- Reminded yourself why you got a puppy in the first place
- Evaluated your puppy journey so far
- Sought advice from fellow pet parents and professionals
It is now time to give your puppy (and yourself) one more chance to implement all these good habits!
As you do this, keep repeating the 3 steps above so that you never stop improving. Things can take time, and what may eventually happen is your newfound purpose in this entire puppy journey.
And even if this “one more chance” is not a total success, do consider giving it “one more chance again” because you get better after every try.
As time goes by, you may ultimately get past this feeling of regret and finally begin to enjoy raising a puppy. Most assuredly, these steps are not to be taken only once and immediately forgotten.
#5 Select a new home for the puppy
You should only consider this as a last resort after taking all possible steps and only if it is the best decision for your puppy. In fact, I hope you will never have to come to this step.
The bad news is that you and your dog may just be a genuinely wrong match; the responsibilities and finances required to adequately raise the pup may also be too much for you to handle.
Hence, the best decision would be to consider rehoming your pup so they are taken better care of elsewhere.
Here are some steps to take to properly rehome your puppy.
- First, reach out to friends, family, or pup parents you might have met while looking for help or guidance.
- Find out if they’re willing to adopt the puppy. This is the best strategy because you are familiar with these people, and you can be sure your pup will be safe with them.
- Provide them with adequate information about your difficulties, so they’re prepared for anything.
- If no one close to you is available to adopt the pup, you can contact their breeder to inquire about the possibility of returning the pup.
- Otherwise, you can contact any rehoming center or breed rescue organization as well as an animal shelter closest to you.
Ensure you see the process through to ensure the pup is cared for wherever it is.
Why do some owners regret getting a puppy?
Taking care of a puppy or puppies may be one of the most significant challenges a person may face, which can be overwhelming.
People get puppies for all sorts of reasons, but as with every decision people make in their lives, they may not have thought this through enough, which may lead to regret after going through with it.
People tend to oversimplify the responsibilities and cost of raising a puppy and jump at the decision without proper research or understanding of how things are done.
This is among the most common reasons new dog owners regret getting a puppy. As a result, finances suffer, and more time than expected is dedicated to taking care of the little pup.
Adjusting to changes
Taking in a pup will significantly affect your daily routine, especially if you’re the only one tasked with pup responsibilities.
The first few weeks may be chaotic because your pup is still trying to settle in. They would infringe on your space and time or disrupt daily habits or activities.
This may make you reconsider many things, especially whether you actually need a puppy. New parents don’t prepare adequately for this, making them regret their choices.
Sure, maybe you now decide that you don’t need a puppy; but the point is that your puppy needs you.
Demand on your attention and freedom
Another essential thing new dog parents may not have considered is the extent to which their dogs, especially when little, require a lot of attention.
The interesting thing about it is that this attribute of seeking attention is relative, so it’s difficult to tell to what degree dogs can go just to get their owner’s attention.
But one thing is certain; it is natural for every dog to desire so much of your time and space.
In hindsight, some new parents get puppies without first considering their environment, the kind of neighborhood they stay in, or family preferences.
Getting this wrong may make it more challenging to go through the first few weeks with your pup.
To adequately care for a dog and enjoy doing so, you must first ensure they feed and sleep well. Next, you must also ensure they are getting enough exercise, playtime, or sufficient space to roam and play while being careful to avoid separation anxiety.
Four ways to tell you’ve got puppy blues
Puppy blues is most common in new or first-time dog parents. It is the constant state of feeling overwhelmed, angry, frustrated, anxious, and regretful after taking in a new pup.
It is very common for pet owners to feel this way, and there is no telling how long these feelings last. How can you tell you’ve got puppy blues?
Symptoms of anxiety
The severity of these feelings and how long they last vary from person to person. The most obvious symptoms include a general feeling of annoyance, frustration, anger, and resentment concerning anything that has to do with your pup.
However, note that the general feeling of frustration does not just signal that a person has puppy blues, but when these feelings begin to take a toll on one’s mental or emotional well-being, then it becomes a cause for concern.
Your mentality about taking care of your puppy
Consequently, these feelings overwhelm you, and you begin to see the responsibility of caring for your pup in a new way: a burden.
It becomes an impossible task to do simple things for or with your dog. You feel tension and wonder if you can raise a pup all by yourself.
An important thing to do is to first shift your thinking to accommodate what’s important: these feelings don’t last forever.
You may also begin to ask whether getting a puppy was a good idea. The lifestyle change, losing personal time, and the financial drain are enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed.
Ultimately, you must trust yourself to be able to get through this by convincing yourself that you can take care of your puppy.
In addition to feeling anxious, regretful, frustrated, and depressed, another sign of puppy blues is the feeling of overall exhaustion from being weighed down by all the responsibilities and changes.
You might become irritable, have frequent quarrels with other people in the household, lose your appetite, and be sleep deprived even if your pup sleeps well at night.
The needs, responsibilities, changes, and deprivations that come with bringing home a new puppy can make a person feel helpless and trapped, causing you to consider whether you made a mistake.
Don’t begin if you cannot commit
Like every relationship in life, even between dog and parent, we will always face some kind of hardship.
It will take a lot of effort to make things as they ought to be with your dog, but taking the first step of getting the pup makes you responsible for what comes after.
Carefully consider all the possibilities and have reasonable expectations. Also, remember that you may end up doing or spending far beyond what you had expected.
Myths vs. reality
There are several assumptions people make that make getting and raising a puppy sound very easy.
Your dog may demand more time, space, food, and exercise than you expect, which may cause an owner to regret getting the pup in the first place.
Aggression in dogs cannot always be predictable by breed. A wagging tail does not always mean your dog is happy to see you or wants to play with you; likewise, breeding and raising a dog is not as easy as you think.
To avoid feeling regret over getting a pup, stick to reality, not myths.
Adjust your expectations
Having a clear-cut understanding of what it takes to raise a pup is essential to having reasonable expectations before or after you get it.
Once you begin this way, staying committed to the course becomes easy because you’ve prepared yourself for the worse.
Truthfully, some dogs don’t make it easy for the parent either, so it’s okay to feel overwhelmed or regret or even question why you got the pup.
However, remember that there are so many positives to owning a dog, and things get better eventually.