More than half (56 percent) were surprised by how hard it was to look after a young pup, while 71 percent said bringing home a puppy was like having a newborn baby.
The damage the pet did to their house (43 percent), and its behaviour (42 percent), were cited as top reasons for “puppy blues” – a term coined to describe the feelings of regret, resentment, and doubt some experience after bringing home a new pooch.
It also emerged that although 86 percent love their pet unconditionally, despite the hard times, a staggering 91 percent feel they would have benefitted from expert advice on how to cope.
The research was commissioned by pet insurance brand ManyPets, which has teamed up with vet Dr Scott Miller to host free one-to-one sessions, to help owners acclimatise to their new role as puppy parents.
Oke Eleazu, UK CEO of the brand, said: “While bringing home a new puppy is a uniquely fulfilling experience, the lack of sleep, mess, and feelings of regret can become overwhelming.
“As the research shows, 37 percent of dog parents experienced some form of puppy blues. We want to help pet parents feel they are not alone.
“This is why we’re excited to have appointed veterinarian, Dr Scott Miller, as our first ever Doggy Doula, to provide the emotional and informational support needed to help new dog owners adapt to life with their puppy.”
The research also found 75 percent of those with puppy blues felt ashamed by their emotions towards their pup – after almost half (46 percent) even considered giving up or rehousing their pup many times.
For some, having a puppy also created tension within the household due to the additional chores – with 52 percent quarrelling more about their puppy than the washing-up.
And 52 percent said getting a puppy caused arguments between themselves and their partner or family.
Despite feelings of regret and upset after getting a puppy, thankfully those emotions tended to subside quickly.
Of those who had puppy blues, 96 percent said those feelings either totally or somewhat disappeared over time.
And for 28 percent, the more negative emotions typically went away in less than a week.
Dr Scott Miller, who has appeared on ITV’s This Morning, said: “It’s normal to doubt yourself, and no matter how much prep you do for the first day, the responsibility of taking care of a little one can still be a real shock.
“Even though you might feel embarrassed or scared to admit how hard you’re finding it, a great starting point is to seek out support when you’re struggling.
“As Doggy Doula, I’m here to lend a non-judgemental ear to your puppy problems.”