Do you have the puppy blues?

 Back to blog
For Mental Health Awareness month I thought about writing about all of the ways dogs can bring support and happiness to our lives. Instead I decided to shine a light on this little talked about subject. 

You’ve recently brought home your new puppy. Your own expectations, and everyone else’s, lead you to believe that you should be feeling nothing but joy with your new family member. But you don’t. In fact you feel quite the opposite. 

You are experiencing the puppy blues.

What are the puppy blues?

The puppy blues, or post puppy depression, as they are sometimes known, can be thought of as having similar symptoms to postnatal depression.

It’s a topic that isn’t much talked about. The puppy blues often manifest as anxiety, depression or a feeling of overwhelm in new puppy parents. Not everyone will feel this way, or to the same extent. But if you are, it’s okay. You’re not alone.

Why do people get the puppy blues?

Just as with postnatal depression, it’s not clear why some people get the puppy blues while others don’t. It appears that people with a history of anxiety or depression can be more prone to being affected, however it can still affect those with no such history. 

What to do if you have the puppy blues

Support system

It’s hard work raising a puppy, and it’s important that you surround yourself with people who are able to support you. Whether that’s asking friends, family or perhaps a dog walker to come in and watch your puppy for a few hours to give you a break. Or finding people online who relate to what you're going through to give you emotional support.

Take time out for yourself

With your well deserved break time, make sure you do something for you. Perhaps take a hot bath, meet up with friends for a drink or even just take a nap. You need to look after yourself as well so do whatever helps you or brings you joy.

Seek professional help

Don’t be ashamed to reach out for professional help. That may come in the form of asking a dog trainer for support, to come up with ways to manage the areas of your puppy’s behaviour you’re finding most challenging. Or it may be that you contact a mental health professional to help you through this time.

Crate train your puppy

Teaching your puppy some independence will also give you some much needed physical and mental space away from your puppy. Spending time crate training your puppy, ensuring they are happy to be left alone, will be invaluable. 

Adjust your expectations

An aspect of puppy ownership that can trigger the puppy blues is when the reality of living with a puppy is very different to how you imagined it would be. 

Puppies can be energy zapping. They don’t come ready trained. The sleepless nights and house training accidents can take a toll.

Try to be kind to yourself, and your puppy. Accidents will happen. It’s not the end of the world. You’re both learning how to live with each other and it can take time to settle into a rhythm with one another.
Just know that if you are feeling any negative emotions regarding your puppy, you are not alone. It can be tough. Even for owners who have had dogs before, as every dog is different. But it doesn’t last. You will get through this and enjoy spending time with your dog.
If you need help with your new puppy, why not book a 1-2-1 session with me? We can work out bespoke strategies to help you cope with your puppy and break training down into sections that are manageable for you.
Created with