‘I don’t want my puppy anymore’: help if you are finding things hard

January 31, 2021

If you are finding things hard or are feeling like you don’t want your puppy anymore, here’s some information that might help you. 

I regret getting a dog

You got a puppy, and now your life has been turned upside down. You’re not getting much sleep because your puppy cries. Or you’ve been outside for the umpteeth time tonight in your PJs and wellies patiently waiting for your puppy to go to the toilet. Only, they wait to go until you’re back indoors and have locked the door before releasing the contents of their bladder exactly where you’ve just stepped.

Your adorable puppy has turned into a baby shark, complete with razor sharp teeth. And you can’t use the remote control anymore because it was used as a teething chew. 

Everyone in the house is feeling fractious; and it feels like you’re the only one doing any of the puppy chores, despite everyone promising they would help too. 

Does this sound familiar? 

The early months with a new puppy are really hard work. It often comes as a shock just how much of an impact a puppy can have on your lifestyle. But it does get easier

Here’s four common new puppy problems you may be experiencing.

My puppy is making me depressed

Everyone’s heard of postnatal depression, but you may not have heard of post puppy depression. It’s something that many new dog owners experience as the hard work of raising a puppy takes its toll. In a survey of first-time dog owners, we found that most people struggle in the early weeks. As well as feeling happy and excited after getting a puppy, 59% of respondents reported feeling exhausted, 54% said they felt overwhelmed, and 51% said they felt anxious. They also said that after the initial few months, life with a puppy does get easier. 

Check out our Puppy Guides for tips on everything from toilet training to taking your pup outside for the first time. 

I can’t cope with my dog anymore

Sometimes dogs develop behavioural problems which can be stressful and make you feel like you can’t cope with them anymore. If your dog is displaying behaviour such as being aggressive towards people or other dogs, or around other food, you can get help from a professional dog behaviourist.

I’m thinking of returning my puppy

If, after reading this, you still feel like you don’t want your puppy, you could start by contacting the breeder. A responsible breeder will want to make sure that their puppies have gone to the right home. They should be able to advise you about what to do if you feel that having a dog is not for you after all. 

You may even find that you feel better about life with your puppy after a conversation with the breeder and received some advice about how to address any challenges you may be experiencing. If, however, you still want to return your puppy, the breeder should advise you about what to do. 

I want to get rid of my dog but I feel bad

If your circumstances have changed, and you need to give up your dog, it’s understandable that you may feel sad or guilty. The best thing you can do for your dog is make sure they are rehomed to a loving new home. 

Where can I take my dog to be rehomed?

If you want to give up your dog, there are a couple of options you could try: 

Selling your dog privately

If you are thinking about selling your dog privately, you’ll want to make sure that they go to a good home. 

It’s much better to rehome your dog via a reputable rescue organisation. They will carry out all the necessary checks to make sure that your dog is matched with the right home. 

However, if you plan to sell your dog to attract the right buyer, it’s important to be honest about why you’re selling and the type of home your dog would be most suited to. Provide as much information as you can about your dog’s temperament and behaviour, and encourage potential buyers to meet your dog more than once to make sure that your dog is right for them. 

For advice on how to sell a pet responsibly, read this guidance from Wood Green The Animals Charity.  


  • Don’t forget that many new puppy owners struggle in the early weeks but it does get better. 
  • You can get help from a professional dog behaviourist if you are experiencing behavioural problems with your dog.
  • If you need to give up your dog, using a reputable rehoming organisation is the best way to make sure your dog is matched to the right home. 
  • If you plan to sell your dog privately, be honest about why you are selling and provide as much information as you can about your dog to find them a suitable home.

Support for you during your puppy’s first year

Wishing your puppy came with an instruction manual? Join our Puppy Parenting Club for step-by-step advice and tools to support you through the first year.