How To Help Your Dog Adjust To Your New Home

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Not sure how to help your dog adjust to your new home? Check this article for straightforward tips on how to help your dog love his new home. Read on!

Moving is ruff.

The packing, the constant worry, the planning, the cleaning, organizing everything, the lifting, the cleaning once again… and then just when you reach your new destination you have to do it all over again. This is something that no one can avoid.

Moving to a new home always requests for certain planning and preparation.

No matter where you might be moving, locally, out of state, or internationally, you have to do the necessary planning and preparation.

You have to find the right moving company, to see what is the best way to move your stuff from point A to point B, while keeping your dog’s routine in order, and your dog stress-free.

Preparing your dog for the process is important, but you must not forget to think ahead when it comes to your new home.

As a responsible dog owner, it’s your responsibility to help your dog adjust to your new home and feel safe. This is something that needs to start before you settle in completely.

To help you make the transition as stress-free as possible and help your Fido adjust to his new home in no time, we have gathered straightforward tips to help you.

Keep on reading to learn how to make the transition to your new home go smoothly for both you and your dog. But, first…

Before You Move With Your Dog Do This…

Just a quick reminder that proper preparation will make everything much easier.

Once you start packing, your dog will sense that something is happening. To keep him at ease, know your steps and make packing fast.

Here is how to prepare for moving, and how to let your dog see that everything is OK.

  • Let your dog get familiar with moving supplies. Shop moving items, like boxes and tapes, weeks before the moving day. Place items in the bedroom or any area where your dog is allowed. This way your dog will get familiar with them.
  • Don’t make a big fuzz with moving supplies. Always do your best to create a positive association with moving supplies. Once your dog starts exploring moving supplies give him treats. Another great move would be to place treats inside the moving boxes so he can sniff them out.
  • Prepare. You are road tripping with your dog and have his supplies on hand. If you are moving internationally make double-check on travel requirements and think about the proper crate and a dog-friendly hotel option. Even if you are moving without the state, make sure that your dog is properly microchipped.

Last, but not least… Make sure that you do proper research on the best moving companies.

With online options nowadays, it is super easy to check moving companies for online reviews, moving options, and services in general.

If you are in need of out-of-state relocations, focus on finding the best interstate moving company based on their services, pricing, and perks. If they have any dog-friendly options, you are in luck.

If not, focus on finding the company that will keep both your and your dog’s items in perfect condition while moving.

While You Pack Do The Following

Once you pack you are one step closer to moving in into your new home. To make this transition from packing to arriving smooth for your dog you need to do the following:

  • Do not ignore your dog while packing, stick to your routine
  • Let your dog have his favorite place until the day of the move arrives
  • Keep your surrounding as ‘normal and usual’ as possible

Now that you have packed and you are about to enter your new home with your dog, you are ready for your next chapter.

Moving is stressful and reaching your new destination doesn’t mean that things are done.

No, you have to unpack again, set everything as you desire, and create new cozy home vibes.

You also need to help your dog adjust to his new living space. Here is how to do that.

How To Help Your Dog Adjust To Your New Home

What you do after you move into your new home is what will help your dog still be a good boy.

Bear in mind that dogs are creatures of routine and they need time to adjust to any changes.

Adjustment to a new home isn’t something that will be done in only a few days.

No, proper home adjustment usually takes weeks, unless your dog is really an experienced traveler, who is used to changing homes every month or so.

If your dog is really sensitive, or even prone to separation anxiety, you should know that in some cases home adjustment may take up to a few months.

That being said, make sure that you do not rush the process. Take your time, and let your Fido adjust in his own time. This is the best way for your dog to truly enjoy his new life surrounding.

Although you shouldn’t force your dog to adjust, you can incorporate some steps to make your new home or apartment a safe and loving surrounding for both you and your dog. Here is how you can do it easily.

1. Routine Comes First

Dogs are creatures of routine. Nothing excites them more than knowing that first thing in the morning they will have a morning walk and a treat or a breakfast afterward.

If your dog gets breakfast after his first walk, or later at night, you should stick to the feeding schedule once you move. Act as if you’re living in your previous home.

Also, the feeding location should be similar to what they know. For example, if his feeding place was in the kitchen, stick to that feeding location.

Stick to food that you usually serve, because this is not the time for trying different dog food brands. Stick to a familiar routine and familiar flavors.

Extra tip: Avoid trying new dog equipment in this period, such as a new collar or harness. Try to keep things similar or the same as much as you can.

2. Provide A Safe Place For Your Dog

Dogs are territorial beings, and as such, they love having a place of their own.

It doesn’t have to be anything huge, a corner with a dog bed is more than enough for dogs to claim it.

You can look at it as a safe place, a zone of comfort. This place should be used as a resting zone, sleeping area, or just as a place for your dog to go to when scared of fireworks or just overwhelmed by a busy day.

When dogs feel stressed (no matter what the reason might be), like during a move they need a space to provide them peace and calmness.

Make sure that you incorporate at least one item from your old home that your dog loves.

It can be a dog bed, a rug, a cozy blanket, or different toys. You may love everything new, but your dog will enjoy even more something old and familiar.

3. Stick To Familiar Furniture If Possible

Unless you moving means new everything, you should stick to your old furniture. What may appear old to you, is familiar to your dog.

Even if you have to re-design and redecorate everything do not toss away that chair that your dog loves so much.

Keep items that really make your dog safe and familiar. If possible, create an identical or similar furniture layout to your old home. Trust us, if you make this effort your dog will be more than thankful.

4. Hold On With Visitors

We are not saying that you should keep people away. No, we are just saying that you should take it step by step.

Give yourself and your dog time to adjust. Showing your new home, or welcoming new friends into your home is essential just make sure that your dog is ready for that big move.

Inviting a large number of people over in the first couple of weeks can be stressful for your dog.

Take it slowly, and let people come over in smaller groups. If your dog is usually social and loves being around people, moving may be stressful and put him into his be-extra-careful phase.

5. Provide Enough Exercise And Attention

Have you heard of that saying – a tired dog is a good dog? If not, believe it.

Dogs were bred to perform certain tasks outdoors, which is why they love being so active outdoors. Canines love when there is a job to be done.

Today, dogs are mostly full-time pets, but they still enjoy having a job, like going outside and having regular exercise.

Exercise is a great way to provide great mental stimulation while enabling physical strength.

All in all, once you move stick to regular exercise time, and help your dog burn off that extra energy.

When stressed dogs may feel too intense, and a good run might help them calm down.

In a way, exercise is crucial for keeping anxiety under control, or just keeping the dog calm during the entire moving process. Do not train your dog more intensely than usual.

6. If Possible Stay Home Longer

Some dogs are more clingy than others are, and they may demand more of your presence.

Even if your dog is an independent breed, moving can fall down on your Fido.

After all, moving with dogs falls hard on them as well, so be well aware of that. This is why you should do your best to stay home as much as you can, at least in the first few days.

It takes a couple of days for a dog to realize that his new home is actually a safe place.

Do your best to stay next to your Fido in days to come, even if it means to rescheduled some meetings and events.

Stay at home for a minimum of three to five days. When the time comes to leave your dog alone at home, start doing so days before…

Think about puppy days, and use the same principle: leave Fido alone for a few minutes alone, then increase gradually to 10 minutes, then increase to 15 minutes, and so on… Do not forget to serve your Fido a treat whenever you come home, for being a good boy.

Before you leave him alone in your new home for a longer period, make sure that you provide a really long walk or exercise/training session earlier to tire them out.

Last, but not least…

7. Be Understanding

Do you remember that phase when you first got your puppy? Do you know how many adjustments and how patient you had to be to get over that puppyhood phase?

Even if you just adopted an adult dog, you know how much understanding and patience the moment brought with you. This is something that you need to bring up again.

Big changes in a dog’s life such as moving require a certain level of patience and understanding.

Your dog may follow you around much more than you’re used to. He may refuse food. He may seem lethargic and a little blue.

You may expect some uncommon behaviors, such as barking and growling (if this isn’t something that he normally does, expect it). These signs and many more can be indicators that your dog is under a stress.

Wait for some time… If it seems that symptoms are only getting worse make sure that you talk with a professional dog trainer or a dog behavioralist.

Find The Right Veterinarian

Moving with dogs is always challenging, and comes with ups and downs.

Luckily, if you’re well-organized and already have experience with moving from place to place, you know how important is to care about your Fido.

Not only that you have to keep your dog calm while packing, moving, and eventually reaching your new place, but you need to provide the after-moving care.

This means that you should help the dog adjust to a new home while sticking to the old routine.

Moving to a new place, especially if you are moving from one city to other, means that you need to think about the right care as well.

To get your dog the best, in terms of nutrition and care, you need to find the right veterinarian for your dog, who is nearby, has great facilities, and with whom you can communicate with easily.

In the meantime, show your dog his new surroundings step by step and keep your Fido happy.