How getting a puppy can affect your mental health for the worse


Within the first few weeks of getting our puppy, Eddie, I knew I wanted to write this blog post. That 
sounds terrible and like I immediately didn't want him anymore, however that's not the case. There 
are so many reasons why I wanted to write this post, but the main one being that no one talks about 
how your mental health can be affected for the worse when you get a pet. So many people talk about 
how pets, especially dogs, can change your mental health for the better and whilst I agree, the puppy 
stage is completely different and can make your mental health worse.

At first you're excited, because you've got a puppy that you've most likely been dreaming of for years. 
Myself included. Then either a few hours or days later it hits you. The reality off it all. You now have 
to look after a living, breathing animal, train and feed it, make sure it goes to the toilet outside, 
doesn't chew anything it shouldn't, buy toys and food, make sure it sleeps, leave on its own so it 
doesn't get separation anxiety, but don't leave it for too long, neutered, microchipped, vaccines, vet 
bills, walk it multiple times a day and watch it 24/7. It was around day 2 or 3 that I realised all of this.

Because he was 9 weeks old we couldn't walk him until his 2nd injections had been completed and 
settled. He was 14 weeks when we took him on his first walk. 5 weeks of being even more restricted 
on what we can and can't do. The first week of having Eddie, I didn't shower, brush my hair nor my 
teeth, wouldn't leave him, didn't eat or drink because I felt such an immense amount of pressure. The 
second week I started to feel a lot better and got into a routine for a few weeks. Then once we could 
walk him everything changed again. I found he was getting more energy as well as being 
overwhelmed and distracted by every single thing outside, as well as biting more due to his baby 
teeth starting to come out. My arms were covered in scratches, scars and blood from his tiny teeth 
irritating him. There were obviously good days, but there were bad days too.

People think you get a puppy and it's all cute and fun. A puppy doesn't just sleep, eat and poop. 
A puppy is an awful lot of hard work. More than myself or anyone realises.


You can't lock a puppy in a cage when it's not doing what you want it to. Yes time out for a few 
minutes to calm down or when you're leaving the house etc, but you can't keep a dog locked up all 
day long. A dog is a commitment for life, not a present for Christmas. 

I struggled and am still struggling trying to find the balance between managing to get things done, 
professional and personally, but also making sure that Eddie is safe. It's in my nature to worry and be 
overprotective but I didn't realise how much it would impact my mental health. I almost felt like I hit 
rock bottom again and had to cruel out a 10ft hole to get myself back to being semi ok. 

The main reason for me writing this is because I wish someone had told me this. I wish someone told 
me to think about my mental health before getting a puppy. I wish someone was there to say put 
yourself first, make sure you're ok and settled then introduce a puppy into your life. In no way is this 
me saying I hate Eddie, I don't want him anymore or I wish we never got him, because I spend way 
too much time crying over how much I love him, however I just wish someone talked about the 
negative sides of a puppy with your mental health. Since getting Eddie (14 weeks ago) my mental 
health has become more rocky, my medication has had to increase and I am having more down days. 
But since getting Eddie I've also met people I wouldn't have before, become more active, talking to 
new people, waking up earlier and getting the chance to start a family. 

I love Eddie and wouldn't change anything, I just wish I had this post to read first.

xoxo
Lea-Mai

8 comments

  1. this is such a refreshingly honest post, props to you! I bet he loves you so so much x

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    1. Thank you! He sleeps on my neck at night so I'll take that as a yes x

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  2. They can be so much hard work!

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  3. Aww I am sure it has been difficult at times, once she is out the Puppy stage hopefully you will find things more manageable.

    Amy x
    The July Rose

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    1. I hope so! Can't wait for him to settle down a bit more x

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