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I actually joined this site to talk about my depression. My husband and I didn't get a puppy though, we got a 5 year old, but I still feel super depressed. I feel so overwhelmed at how life has changed. I feel trapped and smothered by her. I really don't like walking her (and 4 times a day for potty breaks...is that even normal?).

She is very sweet and oh so cute, but also seems to be a very anxious dog. And for someone who's already prone to anxiety and depression, she's making me more depressed and anxious. I had always thought that dogs were supposed to help with mental illness. I'm a first time dog owner...I've always wanted a dog, but now I feel regretful and stupid. I feel like such an awful human being for feeling this way. I feel so bad for our little Mabel. She deserves a better owner. She loves me so much, and I still feel like she's a strange, unpredictable dog. Our apartment feels weird to me since she got here. I haven't been hungry.

I know I need to give it time, and my husband is very supportive, but he works in production (which means long days) and happened to get a 10 day gig right after we got her (the story on how we got her is strange to begin with, and not planned, otherwise we wouldn't have gotten a dog right now). I work from home, so she sticks to me like glue.

Anyway, I could go on and on about it, but I just wanted to get any advice or support you have...thanks for listening...
 

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I put my dogs outside more than 4 times a day. Tiny dogs have tiny bladders, but if you find walking REALLY overwhelming. It looks like you have a shih zu by the tags?

Small dogs CAN be trained to use a cat litterbox.

How long have you had her?
 

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She's a Maltese/Shih Tzu mix. We got her on Sunday (it's been the longest week ever). That's good to know about the litter box, I'll have to look into that. We're going to go and talk to a vet about what we can do to make us all feel better. I know I sound like an irresponsible dog owner. It's not like I'm neglecting her in any way, I'm just having a hard time adjusting...thanks for responding!
 

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It's totally normal to feel overwhelmed, anxious and depressed after getting a new dog. Any life change, really, though no one mentions that it totally happens after weddings, buying a new house, getting a new job, etc.

Give yourself time to adjust. 4x walking daily is totally normal, and I honestly wouldn't give that up. Exercise is good for her and good for you.
 

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I have anxiety as well, and it was through the roof when I got my puppy; and he had some problems that made it even harder.

It does get better - I promise. Give it a month to get in a new routine. To me, it's like starting a new job - you're learning new things about the situation, your tasks, your role, this new creature...it's exhausting. But once you start to pick up on patterns, personality, what you need to do, etc. it gets much easier and you start to wonder why you were even stressed in the first place.

Do talk to your vet. Aside from going out more than you think she should, does she do anything that upsets or concerns you? It may be worth bringing up to your vet if so - or asking here, as there are some great people here who are happy to help.

Also - have you looked into doggy daycare, or a dog walker? It may help you adjust if you don't have to be with her 24/7, so in the beginning at least you could drop her off somewhere for a couple of hours so you could relax or get some work done. If daycare's not an option, maybe a friend who loves dogs?
 
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