Many pregnant and new moms (and dads) may be thinking “I resent my dog,” and don’t want to talk about it… But this is something that definitely needs to be discussed. It is normal to feel frustration, guilt, grief, and resentment towards your furry friend when this big change happens in your family.
Along with pregnancy or becoming a new mom, you are experiencing a lot of changes. This resentment may show up in different forms. For example, you might
But no matter how you are feeling, it can be tough to navigate these new emotions when your dog used to be your whole world!
Recently, I had the chance to speak with Caitlin and Chelsea, registered psychologists who specialize in perinatal mental health. They shared that one reason why new moms may resent, become overwhelmed with, or become angry with their dogs is due to postpartum depression and anxiety.
If you are struggling with postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, or even the “baby blues,” you should always reach out for help. Although your experience is individual to you, it is common for moms to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or angry with their pets or the people around them during this time. You aren’t alone, and it is completely normal to feel like this! Give yourself some compassion during this transition and ask for support.
In addition to resentment, many moms feel angry, nervous, or stressed when their dogs are around. There are many interactions between your dog and baby that you may not have thought about. For example, your dog might jump and lick, avoid you/your baby, or be stressed around your baby (i.e. peeing and barking).
On the other hand, some moms feel like they are “bad moms” because they are trying to juggle a dog and a baby. They may feel like handling both is too much. Some moms resent their dogs without an actual “reason.” For example, they get extremely annoyed with all of the normal things their dog does or feel like they are always in the way.
This is why it is so helpful to prepare and train your dog before your baby comes home. With some preparation, you can feel more at ease. Additionally, it’s never too late to start training, even after you have your baby. Many parents go over my Preparation Course before they have their baby and come back later, when the baby is here as a lot of the content is applicable in the immobile baby phase.
But that is okay! If you are thinking to yourself, “I resent my dog,” you are not alone. These feelings are normal to have! You are going through an extreme change in your life, and so is your dog. It’s not a bad thing to feel resentment, guilt, or grief, and none of those make you a bad mom.
Embrace the change, and know that you are doing a great job during this new stage of life! Give yourself some grace, ask for help, and connect with your dog by setting aside time to cuddle or go on a walk, just you and your dog.
Like this blog? Have questions? Looking to connect? Awesome, me too! Follow me on instagram and let me know your thoughts! I am always here to answer questions you may have.
Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only. Please contact your veterinarian, a certified dog trainer, or a veterinary behaviorist, if your dog's wellbeing is at risk or your dog's behavior poses a threat to you or other people.
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