Employers not understanding of the stress new owners face, new study finds

Getting a new puppy can really turn your life upside down, especially for the first few months as you deal with house training, separation anxiety and life adjustments. A new study shows it's also estimated that puppy owners sleep less than parents of new-born babies and three quarters said their employer and co-workers had added unnecessary stress to the process of becoming a dog-owner by not understanding the impact it had on their life.

According to the results, the first month of owning a puppy can result in 21% less sleep per night than the average new parent manages during the same time period. 1,632 parents with children aged one and under, as well as 1,422 dog owners whose pets are less than one year old, were polled by www.web-blinds.com as part of ongoing research into sleep deprivation during important life events.

All parents were asked how many hours they’d slept each night during the first month of their child being born, with the average answer emerging as six hours. Puppy owners gave an average of 5 hours and 30 minutes per night to the same question.

Dog owners were asked what was the biggest reasons for their poor sleep, by choosing from a list of possible scenarios. The most common responses were:

  • Being kept awake by the puppy barking/whining - 74%
  • Toilet training accidents - 51%
  • Causing noise/destruction in the house - 38%
  • Worry/stress over the puppies' safety - 28%
  • Getting up early/staying up late for walk and feeds - 16%

When asked if the owners had received adequate support from those around them, only 23% said yes. More than three quarters admitted their employer and co-workers had added unnecessary stress to the process of becoming a dog-owner by not understanding the impact it had on their life.  

Kirsty O’Sullivan, spokesperson for Web-Blinds.com, said, "Becoming a first-time dog owner can be a lot more overwhelming and exhausting than many might realise. Suddenly, you are responsible for your puppies well-being at all times of day and night."

We would love to hear what you think. Do you feel new puppy-owners should get more support? Have you experienced a problem with co-workers or your employer after getting a puppy? Please comment below.