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Thread: Anxiety following adopting a rescue dog

  1. #1

    Anxiety following adopting a rescue dog

    Hi, I'm new to this site. I have suffered from anxiety in the past, but nothing like what I'm experiencing now.
    After 6months of research and consideration, plus lots of nagging from the kids, we adopted a retired greyhound on Friday (our first dog). She's doing great apart from the fact that she's very clingy, and that's to be expected, but I'm falling apart. I can't sleep, haven't eaten since she arrived, I feel sick all the time. Im struggling to pin down what the issue is, but I do feel totally overwhelmed, plus sort of claustrophobic and like my space has been invaded. I am a control freak and obviously having a dog is unpredictable, but I never expected to feel this way, in fact I though having a pet would help.
    Currently we have her on foster for a month, so I know I can send her back to rescue at any time, but how would I explain the reason to them or my kids? And the dog has done nothing wrong. I know though that if things don't get better I won't have any choice as I can't live feeling this way. Hope someone out there has some advice. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Re: Anxiety following adopting a rescue dog

    Hi Vix, and welcome to NMP

    This issue is very common in anxiety, loads of us have gone through it when taking a pet on.

    There is a good thread here worth reading as you will see others going through this, what they were told and how they came out of the other side...with a loving member of the family they wouldn't trade for the world:

    There are other threads too.

    Change & uncertainty, extra pressure from responsibility, new commitments - all take us out of our comfort zone.

    It takes time, some quicker than others, but you will adapt to the new pressures and the love for your new dog will beat it.
    For free Mindfulness resources, please see this thread I have created to compile many sources together

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Re: Anxiety following adopting a rescue dog

    Hi Vix, I understand completely what you are going though. I've actually not long been through and come out the other side of it myself with a kitten over the last month, and it was what drew me to this site.

    It's completely normal to feel overwhelmed with such a large change to your routine and space/home.

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    The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

    But I have promises to keep,

    And miles to go before I sleep. - Robert Frost

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Re: Anxiety following adopting a rescue dog

    Hi Vix,

    I had the same experience as you! And I still have that dog 5 years later

    I adopted a 6 mth old rescue too. She's a collie/american bulldog and is my first dog. I got her at 41 when I knew I would not be having kids.

    Anyway, I took a week off work to bond and settle in etc and I loved her immediately. But after a few days I was feeling really ill and got the flu and then I started feeling really sick in the stomach and pooping and, at the time, didn't even think it was anxiety. She was booked in for neutering and I had to cancel as didn't feel I could manage to drive the 5 minutes to the vet. I was completely overwhelmed.

    So, I had a long chat with the rescue and they agreed she could go back to her foster. I was then able to get some much-needed sleep, they dealt with the neutering, and then I got her back about 4 days later. Couldn't live without her!

    I am told people can get into a real panic state when they have a new baby too. Such a big responsibility and a big change in your life. It was the dog-handler who actually said to me 'I think you are having severe anxiety'. I didn't even recognise it at the time!

    Outcome? This dog, Lola, has completely transformed my life, filled my heart, and is really the love of my life. I'd say stick with it and you will feel more settled

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Re: Anxiety following adopting a rescue dog

    Hi Vix,

    I would love to know how you are getting on now? After years and years of wanting a dog we moved to a house a few months ago and the cat was unwell and put to sleep in September. We are now in a position to adopt a dog and visited the retired greyhound trust last week... we are now going to pick her up next weekend.

    I should be happy and my boyfriend can't understand why I'm now freaking out!

    I'm feeling generally overwhelmed about it and don't know why... I'm obsessing and over thinking everything. It's all I can think about and I can't sleep at night.

    A specific worry is that I'll be allergic to her as I am to some dogs. I was allergic to the cat but managed this with limited contact, washing my hands after I stroked her etc. On meeting this specific greyhound I had no reaction and was so happy but a couple from the centre came round with their greyhound last night for the home check and my nose felt very itchy so I'm panicking again that once she's in the home in an enclosed space I will react and her fur will build up etc.I suggested to my boyfriend we stop her going upstairs for this reason when we get her but he got annoyed at me and said I'm worrying for no reason and it will be fine.


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