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Moving With Your Dog: How to Help a Dog Adjust to Your New Home

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Moving With Your Dog: How to Help a Dog Adjust to Your New Home

So, you’re getting ready to start a new adventure and move to a different location? That’s great! We understand if you’re feeling a bit anxious about how your dog will handle the change. Your furry friend is part of the family, so it’s natural to be concerned. Paradise Moving & Storage has prepared some pawsome tips to help your dog adjust to their new home. 

Keep a routine, even when it’s hard

Relocation, especially for long distances, such as moving to another state, can feel like being thrown into the deep end, not just for you, but for your dog too. It’s easy to let routines slip during this time, but that’s the last thing you should do. 

Dogs do well with consistency, as they enjoy knowing when it’s time for a walk, meal, or cuddle session. This predictability gives them a sense of security, and in a new environment, that’s exactly what they need.

Try to keep your dog’s routine as consistent as possible. Feed them at the same time, take them for walks like you used to, and don’t forget those playtimes.

Stick to your old routine. If you used to walk your dog in the morning, continue doing so. If dinner was always at 6 PM, keep it that way. Yes, it might require some extra effort on your part, especially when you’re knee-deep in moving boxes. But remember, this isn’t just about keeping your dog happy (although that’s important too!). It’s about helping them feel secure and comfortable in their new surroundings.

Help them let out energy

Dogs, especially young ones, are full of energy. They’re like little furry energizer bunnies, always on the move. And when you have to transition to a new place, their energy can sometimes make them even more stressed. So, what should you do?

Moving With Your Dog: How to Help a Dog Adjust to Your New Home

Do you know how you feel better after a good workout or a jog around the neighborhood? Well, your dog feels the same way. Physical activity is an excellent stress reliever for dogs. It helps them burn off excess energy and promotes the production of feel-good hormones. Playing with your dog can also tire them out a bit, making them more relaxed in their new home.

Don’t forget to take breaks and play with your furry friend during the chaos of moving. Play with your dog in the yard, take a long walk, or have a tug-of-war game indoors (make sure to move any breakables first!). If you don’t have time, hire a dog walker or take your pup to a doggy daycare where they can play with other dogs.

A tired dog is a happy dog, and a happy dog will adjust more easily to a new home. Therefore, don’t skimp on playtime.

Pack a pet essentials bag

When you’re moving, you’re probably going to pack an essentials bag for yourself. It’s that bag with all the handy stuff you’ll need immediately like toiletries, a change of clothes, and your favorite pillow. Your dog needs one too. 

Here’s what you might want to include in such a bag:

  • Food and water. Pack enough dog food for a few days. Don’t forget bowls for food and water. If your dog is used to filtered or bottled water, bring that along too. Abrupt changes can upset their stomach, and you do not want to deal with that while moving.
  • Treats and toys. These can make the relocation more comfortable for your pet.
  • Leash and collar. This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but you’d be surprised how often it gets overlooked.
  • Bedding. If your dog has a favorite blanket or bed, bring it along. The familiar smell can help them settle into their new space.
  • Medication. If your dog is on any medication, ensure you have enough to last for a few days.
  • Poop bags. Yes, the less glamorous side of pet ownership, but necessary nonetheless.
  • First aid kit. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but it’s always good to be prepared.
  • Grooming supplies. Depending on your dog, this could include everything from a brush to doggy shampoo.

Being prepared with your dog’s essentials will go a long way in ensuring their comfort in their new home.

Set up your dog’s space right away

Before you start unpacking your boxes, there’s one task you need to tackle first — setting up your dog’s space. Dogs are creatures of habit and having their own space, with familiar smells and items, can help them feel secure in a new house.

So, where should you begin?

  1. First, choose a cozy, peaceful area for your dog’s bed or crate, like a corner in the living room, laundry room, or bedroom if that’s where they usually sleep.
  2. Then, add familiar items to their space. Remember that pet essentials bag we talked about earlier? Now’s the time to put it to use. Set out their favorite blanket, toys, and maybe even an item of your clothing.
  3. Also, consider setting up their food and water bowls near this space. This can help your dog understand that this is their designated area in the new house.
  4. Remember to show your pet where their new space is and give them some time to explore on their own. Praise them when they use their new space to reinforce that it’s a positive place.

Setting up your dog’s space right away will help them understand that they have a spot of their own. This simple step can go a long way in helping your pet acclimate to their new home.

Give lots of attention

Just like how you feel comforted by a hug or soothing words of encouragement, your dog needs reassurance too. A little extra attention can help them adjust to their new surroundings.

As we discussed previously, it is important to stick to your dog’s routine — feed them, walk, and play together at the same time and in the same way as before. Don’t forget to give plenty of belly rubs and ear scratches.

Make sure to spend time with your dog, even if you just snuggle on the couch for a few minutes after a long day. This can strengthen your bond with your dog and show them that your love for them remains unchanged, despite the change in the environment. 

Moving With Your Dog: How to Help a Dog Adjust to Your New Home

Also, remember to praise and reward your dog for positive behavior in the new home. This can help them associate the new place with positive experiences.

Try an anti-anxiety aid

Sometimes, despite all the love, attention, and familiar spaces, moving can still be a stress-inducing experience for some dogs. If you notice your pup is more anxious or stressed than usual, it might be worth trying an anti-anxiety aid.

You can consider these options:

  • Calming treats. These are not your average doggy biscuits. Calming treats often contain ingredients like chamomile and L-Theanine that are known to soothe anxiety.
  • Pheromone diffusers or sprays. These handy gadgets release dog-appeasing pheromones — the same comforting scent mother dogs give off to their puppies.
  • Anxiety wraps. The gentle, constant pressure can have a calming effect, much like a hug does for us.
  • Calming music. Yes, this is a real thing! There are playlists out there specifically designed to help relax your dog.

Keep in mind that every dog is unique, so what works for one may not work for another. It may take some trial and error to find what works best for your pet. If you’re worried about your dog’s anxiety, contact your veterinarian. They can give you professional advice and suggest other treatments.

Stay home as much as you can the first few days

After the transition, clear your calendar as much as possible. Your dog will appreciate the extra attention in the first few days.

By staying at home, you give your dog a feeling of comfort and familiarity among all the new things. During the first few days, play with your dog more, give them gentle pets and hugs, and guide them around their new home. This can make them feel more secure and help them adjust faster. 

Also, try to keep your dog indoors as much as possible initially, except for walks and potty breaks, of course. Once they seem more comfortable inside, you can start introducing them to the outdoor areas.

Plan some quality bonding time by preparing your dog’s favorite treats and clearing your schedule. Sure, it could mean delaying the housewarming celebration for a bit, but seeing your dog adjust and thrive in their new home will be totally worth it.

Be patient

And now we’ve come to the final piece of advice in this journey — patience. If there’s one thing you take away from all this, let it be this: patience is key when helping your dog adjust to a new home.

Just as it might take us humans a while to settle into a new place and establish a routine, the same goes for our furry friends. Some dogs might feel right at home within a few days, while others may take weeks or even months to fully acclimate. And that’s okay!

You know how when you move, you might still be finding boxes to unpack months later? Or maybe you keep reaching for the light switch in the wrong place because you’re used to your old layout? Well, dogs have their own version of this. They need time to explore, to figure out where everything is, and to understand that this new place is now their safe haven.

So, if your dog seems anxious, if they have accidents, or if they’re just not acting like their usual self, don’t stress. It’s likely just part of their adjustment process. Stick to their usual routine, give them love and comfort, and most importantly, be patient, understanding, and supportive. Soon enough, they’ll be happily exploring their new backyard as if it’s always been their home.

If you have additional questions when moving with your dog, contact us. We are always ready to help you and your furry friend start a new life in a new place.

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