Surviving Puppy Overwhelm, 15 Tips To Help You
Are you suffering from the ‘puppy blues’?
Please believe me when I say that you are not alone. It is very common to suffer from the ‘puppy blues’ but things do always get better.
You may have spent months preparing for your new furry addition but when the time comes and reality hits it can be a very daunting time.
Some people think that a tiny pup can’t have too much impact on your life. However, from the moment he arrives, he is totally dependant on you. Even tiny puppies can be noisy, destructive and hard work at times.
Here, we offer some really useful tips to make those first weeks enjoyable and help you to survive the overwhelming moments.
Don’t worry it won’t be long until you get your life back!
There will be times when you just pray for him to go to sleep. Then before you know it, he is awake and full of beans again.
A young dog needs feeding 3-4 times per day, something you must schedule your life around. He may cry at night time or if you leave the room. He will get under your feet when you are trying to do chores, sometimes literally hanging on to you by his little, sharp teeth. You will have to get up at dawn to feed him and let him outside.
The constant cleaning can really get you down. A puppy’s bladder is tiny so he has to urinate (and poo) very often. Sometimes you wonder how so much can pass through such a little body! There will be days when you feel like you have mastered the house training, then the next day it is back to square one!
You can’t just sit with a cute puppy on your lap. He is stabbing your fingers with his little, needle-like teeth, chewing your clothes, trying to jump off the chair, scratching your neck with his claws and sucking your hair.
Just a simple task like having a shower can be overwhelming. How can you leave the puppy alone for a few minutes without him hurting himself or creating mass destruction?
Then there is the guilt.
Are you doing everything right?
Are you a good dog mum?
Have you bonded?
Are you being too strict?
This doesn’t paint a pretty picture, but you must realise that absolutely everyone feels the same way. Your social media may be filled with people displaying their ‘perfect puppy’ but behind the scenes there will be a different story.
However, for every moment of overwhelm, there will also be moments of complete elation as you watch your puppy find his way in the world. Before long your tiny puppy will become a fully trained adult dog and all the frustration will be worth it.
So, don’t be too downhearted!
Surviving Puppy Overwhelm In The First Few Weeks
Here’s a list of tips to help in your first few weeks with a new puppy.
1 Take some time off work or bring your puppy home when your schedule is calm. Avoid Christmas, when you are moving house, weddings, birthdays etc make sure you will be able to give the puppy loads of your time.
2 Invest in a crate and stair gate so that you have a place of safety for your dog if needed. It doesn’t have to be forever but in the first few weeks, it will make your life so much easier.
3 Put away expensive possessions, again just for a short time. Put the Persian rug in the loft until the puppy is properly housetrained.
4 Don’t leave new shoes, trainers slippers on the floor, your puppy will chew and no one wants little bite marks in their Loubitons.
5 If you drop something on the floor, pick it up.…. a tablet, tissues, batteries, letters, jewellery, kids toys, food, etc. This sounds crazy but it could prevent an expensive trip to the vets… because puppies eat everything.
6 Don’t assume that your puppy will be house trained in a couple of weeks. Stock up on antibacterial wipes and invest in a good sturdy mop and bucket.
7 Put houseplants up high where the puppy can’t reach, not only will it make a terrible mess if tipped over, some plants are poisonous to dogs.
8 Establish a routine, dogs love to know when things happen and it makes them feel secure.
9 Tidy electrical cables, phone chargers or cords well away from your puppies reach.
10 Everyone loves a puppy and you will have your fair share of visitors queuing up for puppy cuddles. Explain that young dogs get tired easily and ask friends and family to phone first so that you don’t get overrun with visitors.
11 Store medication, household detergent, and bleach in high cupboards.
12 Don’t feel that you have to give your pup complete freedom to go in any room of the house. It’s ok to restrict the pup to a couple of safe areas at first.
13 Don’t ever think that you have a naughty puppy and don’t listen to anyone who says that their pup is an angel. A healthy puppy is naturally mischievous and boisterous, it is natural and why we love them.
14 Remember that your puppy will chew, so it is best to have a good array of dog toys that are designed for teething, to offer as a distraction.
15 Praise good behavior and ignore bad. Your puppy wants your attention, only give it to him when he is good. If the pup does something that is wrong, simply remove and distract.
Forming A Bond With A New Puppy
First of all, don’t expect this to happen overnight!
Your pup has recently been given a sensory overload of places, faces, noises and tastes. So it’s understandable that not every puppy will want to settle down for cuddle time when there is so much new to explore.
First things first, you’ve got to be patient and shower them with love. Spend time with your pup daily, playing fun games, tossing around toys, and don’t forget the belly rubs – they love those! Talk calmly and quietly to your pup, don’t correct bad behaviour but really, really praise when they do something right.
Now, routines are your secret weapon. Set up a daily schedule for feeding, potty breaks, and exercise. It helps your pup feel safe and secure, knowing what to expect.
Oh, and let’s not forget socialization. Introduce your pup to all sorts of people, other animals, and different places. This will help them become more confident and adaptable. Before you know it, you and your puppy will be inseparable, and the bond you share will be something truly special!
Share Your Feelings
As I said previously, these first few weeks of complete overwhelm are perfectly normal. It helps to share your feelings with other dog owners. Don’t worry, a fellow dog owner won’t judge you, will appreciate your honesty and will have good advice to pass on.
Family, friends and work colleagues are great for off loading your worries, and you will feel better for saying how you feel.
When my youngest puppy was fully vaccinated I joined a puppy class at my vet surgery. The training tips and socialisation were worth there weight in gold, but the mental state of the owners helped me to understand that I wasn’t alone.
In fact, I was actually doing ok!
Be Kind To Yourself!
Don’t be too hard on yourself, do your best for your pup, don’t expect too much and keep in mind that things will get better.
Everyone loves a cute, furry puppy but they are hard work. The weeks of ‘puppy overwhelm’ don’t go on forever and everyone forgets just how difficult it can be at first. Before you know it the puppy will be a fully trained, adult, household pet and you will wonder how you ever lived without him.
Also remember, the weeks fly by and the puppy develops physically and mentally at a very fast pace. So don’t get caught up trying to be the perfect puppy owner, enjoy every single minute because they don’t stay babies for long.
Top 5 Items To Help With Puppy Overwhelm
- Includes 100 regular size, standard absorbency pee pads for dogs
- 5-layer construction; super absorbent core turns liquid into gel on contact
- Quick-dry surface with built-in attractant for potty training; leakproof plastic lining keeps floors safe from damage
- For indoor/outdoor/car use; suitable for puppy training, assisting older dogs or as an alternative when outdoor is not an option
1.Use Puppy Pads around the house for the first few weeks, give lots of praise when the puppy uses one (even if their aim is slightly off). Gradually reduce the number of pads you use and move them closer to the door, give extra praise (maybe a treat) if the pup urinates outside.
2 You can’t be with your puppy all of the time so it is really important that the pup is safe at all times. It only takes a few seconds for the puppy to get into mischief, so give yourself some peace of mind.
If you do decide to buy a crate for your puppy, take into consideration that dogs grow quickly. Buying a larger crate at the start will save you from buying again when your pup is fully grown.
Keep the doors open at first and place a snuggly blanket and toy inside to give your puppy a snuggly den.
The 10 different chew toys greatly satisfy your dog's curiosity and can be played with in any situation, which can bring unlimited fun to your dog and effectively reduce anxiety. This dog chew toys set is very interactive and can enhance the bond between you and your dog very well.
3 Always buy good quality dog toys. Cheap ones will be destroyed in seconds and could be a choking hazard. Kong is a brand you can really trust, they have a huge range of dog toys and they are virtually indestructible. Fill with a tasty snack and keep your puppy entertained for hours.
- THE ORIGINAL PET ANXIETY AND COMFORT AID - Designed in the USA, since 1997 Snuggle Puppy has helped over 1,000,000 dogs
- REDUCE NEGATIVE BEHAVIORS - Get more sleep! Helps with crate & kennel training by reducing barking, whining and anxiety for your dog, helping YOU sleep at night
- EASY TO USE - Industry leading “Real-Feel” heartbeat with 2 modes; AAA batteries and simple to use Heat Pack included
4 The Snuggle Puppy (pictured above) has a special heat pad and heartbeat simulator which really helps during the first few nights when your new puppy might feel insecure and missing his mother. If you need to leave your pup for a few hours this toy will help him feel calm when alone and reduce separation anxiety
- Small Dog Treats: These puppy training treats are approximately 2cm, a perfect mini size for smaller mouths.
- Nutrious Snacks: 8 percent protein and 7.9 percent fat ensure each dog treat contains all the puppy essentials to grow big and strong.
- Dog Training Treats: Use these puppy bones to make reward-based training sessions more fun and effective.
5 You can’t praise a young puppy enough when he behaves well. Buy good quality puppy treats designed specifically for tiny mouths and use positive reinforcement to make training easy.
These articles can all be found on this website.
Thank you for reading, I really hope that this article helps with the puppy overwhelm that every new puppy owner feels during the first few weeks. Tell us your puppy stories in the comments below, we love to hear them.
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