Puppy depression (sometimes called the “Puppy Blues” and often referred to as the puppy adoption equivalent of postpartum syndrome) is a common and entirely normal response that occurs when adopting a dog—especially in the case of a younger dog or a puppy. Those affected by the condition are overwhelmed by the prospect of caring for their dog and the loss of previously-held freedom. Quite often, new owners even grow to regret their decision and resent their dog.
What causes Puppy Depression?
Triggers for puppy depression vary from owner to owner, but typically include some combination of:
- Grief for loss of freedom
- Feeling overwhelmed with new responsibilities
- Sleep deprivation (especially from house training and/or crate training)
- Anxiety over welfare of new puppy
- Fear or anger over damage to home and furnishings
Only making things worse, in many cases, are the general reactions of those around new owners (people who tend to see the “cuteness” of a dog without the effort behind caring for it).
Who Suffers From Puppy Depression?
Anyone who has adopted a dog (of any age) may suffer, including those who would self-identify as extreme animal lovers.
How Long Does Puppy Depression Last?
Like most things, the answer to this question varies from owner to owner. Typically, however, symptoms of puppy depression last between 2 weeks and 3 months.
Fortunately, this time may be cut dramatically through a number of different approaches and aids, as outlined through the pages on this site. And, remember that depression over getting a new dog is not only normal, but something that emphasizes you care!