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Feeling sorry for the dog

The shelter I got him from is a non kill shelter and I love the dog. I knew a dog would take a lot of time effort mental drain physical drain in the beginning and slowly will get better, my mental can not keep up and I’m getting sick a lot because I’m so worried I am not giving him the life he deserves. I know this takes time but is it normal to feel doubt. I wanted him so bad and I want to keep him but at the same time I don’t know if I’m giving him what he needs and the unwavering doubt is killing me. I walk him everyday for an hour but it seems like it’s not enough. I know he’s new to my home and it takes a long time to adjust. Idk what I’m doing, like I have no idea what I’m doing and I thought I did alot of research, 4 weeks back and forth to the library, and about 2 months browsing everything I can on the internet in a row. And it still wasn’t enough to prepare me. My family knows I have the dog and is encouraging me on that I’m treating him amazingly and that they think I picked a good dog but they also warned me I might not be ready and it wasn’t a good idea. I should have listened I thought i was fully prepared, I had the money and the time but just this feeling… is not a good feeling. And it’s not going away. Please any advise I can get. I don’t want to bring him back unless I feel his quality of life is being affected or my quality of life isn’t improving. I hope I’m not being selfish.

Look up puppy blues. Went through a 3 week hump where things were pretty difficult with my new buddy. It can be longer, though. Sometimes physical stimulation is not enough and they need mental stimulation. Get a Kong, and freeze his kibble meals in there with something sticky like peanut butter or a little liver pate. This keeps my pup fully occupied for an hour (tire Kong), and afterwards he looks like he went through an exorcism, haha.

Stop worrying if you are good enough. The only way you can really fail this dog is neglect, abuse or abandonment. I promise it will all be worth it.

It can take over a month for some pets to adjust to a new home. If you think he isn’t getting enough exercise keep in mind mental stimulation (short training sessions / puzzle toys etc) is much more tiring. You don’t have to run him every single day. It also helps to bond with your dog. You could also set him up with a daycare if you need a break if he likes to play with other dogs. If you decide to take him back to shelter it’s definitely not a selfish decision.

Dogs are wonderful animals, and you should try your best to make it work, but you shouldn’t sacrifice your mental health for this. If the issue is that you’re just worried you’re not doing good enough, that’s one thing. If that’s the case, I’d encourage you to ask for help! Talk to friends who own dogs. If you’re walking them every day for an hour, you’re way ahead of the curve and if this post tells me anything it’s clear that you care. You could even call the shelter and ask for their advice on taking care of the puppy.

That said – if this is actively hurting you, please don’t feel too guilty about considering taking the dog back. I volunteer at a shelter as a walker/caretaker. An alternate perspective I’d like you to consider is that they’d rather a dog come back and be re-adopted by a family that meshes well than stay with someone who may not be able to take care of them properly! Especially if it’s a no-kill shelter.

There’s no wrong or right answer here. I don’t think you need to feel guilty for feeling this way and I hope it works out for you in any case.

By tranthe

We never say no to any dog – mixed breeds, banned breeds, disabled dogs and seniors. We try to rescue them all. Unfortunately, we cannot do that without the public’s continued support.

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