How to help a dog adjust to a new home. 8 tips for moving with a dog.


As anyone who has moved knows, moving is quite stressful. From organizational prep to endless packing and the actual move, there are lots of moving parts. A move uproots your life and your routine, until you get unpacked and settled in your new home. 

Moving with a dog is just as stressful and disruptive for your dog. Think about how your dog gets nervous when you’re simply packing for a trip. Most dogs know what packing a suitcase means - that you’re going to leave them - even if they are in fact lucky enough to be going with you.

How to help a dog adjust to a new home? Make sure to give your dog extra attention and reassurance before, during and after the move. Consider leaving a few empty boxes around before you start packing, to ease your dog into a packing environment.

And keep your pup essentials in one, easily accessible place, to ensure they don't end up in storage or on a moving truck that won’t arrive for another week.

Once you move into your new home, try these tips to help your dog adjust to your new home. 

1. Set up your dog’s space right away (with their existing pup paraphernalia).

Set up a dedicated space for your dog right away (ideally similar to the set up in your previous home), as a comfort zone within the new and unfamiliar environment. Resist the urge to buy new dog essentials for your new home. Moving time is not the time to buy a new dog bed or dog toys, even if all these items have seen better days. The comfort of a familiar bed, crate, and toys, with familiar scents, can help. 

2. Pet proof your new home - indoors and out.

In addition to helping your dog feel secure, make sure your dog is safe from any indoor or outdoor hazards by pet proofing your new home.  If you have a physical fence, make sure there are no holes in your fence. Or that you have screens on all your windows, and your new door closes all the way, so that your dog cannot let himself out. 

If you need a new, easy and portable fence solution, check out our GPS dog fence. Training your dog to a GPS fence before you move could help ease the transition. But training once you’ve moved into your new home is also a good way to engage your dog for some extra attention. Pet proofing outdoors should also include making sure all the plants and flowers in your new yard are dog friendly. Try these tips, including what plants to avoid, to create a dog friendly yard.

3. Stick to your routines.

Change is stressful. And much like people, dogs like routine. It makes them feel safe and secure.  So don’t force too much change on your dog all at once. Instead, stick to your old routines such as walking, eating, play time and whatever else your dog is used to. 

4. Daily exercise & mental stimulation are more important than ever.

Physical exercise decreases stress levels, and a tired dog is a happy dog. So ensuring your pup gets enough daily exercise outdoors after a move is crucial. Giving your dog freedom to roam within virtual boundaries with SpotOn GPS Fence can help. To complement physical exercise with mental stimulation when indoors, try these interactive toys.

5. Infuse your new home with familiar smells

Smell is the dominant sense for dogs, and familiar smells are reassuring. So infusing your family’s familiar scents into your new home (with new, unfamiliar scents) will help.  In addition to keeping their familiar scented bed and toys, repeatedly sitting with them on the floor will help install your comforting scent at their level. You can also leave a t-shirt or other piece of non-washed clothing with your smell on it in their space to help them feel at home.

6. Explore your new neighborhood, and meet your new neighbors. 

Every sight, sound and smell in your new neighborhood will be new to your dog. So don’t overwhelm them with too much exploration all at once. Instead, explore your new surroundings gradually, a little each day, including meeting your new neighbors, human and dogs alike.

7. Don't leave your pup home alone right away. Ease them into it. 

How long does it take for a dog to get used to a new home? Dogs can develop separation anxiety after a move, even if they’ve never been uncomfortable being home alone before. So handle this slowly, with care.  Wait a few weeks before leaving your dog home alone. And then when you do, make sure the first time is only for a short time, so you can gradually ease them into being alone in your new home.

8. Indulge them with extra love, patience and compassion. 

Now is the time for extra love and attention to help your dog adjust, since they are likely just as overwhelmed and stressed as you are from such a big change. It will probably take your dog a few weeks to feel safe and settled in your new home, so don’t worry if they don’t seem like their happy, confident selves right away. With sometime,  extra love, and patience, your pup will bounce back to their tail-wagging selves once they feel completely settled into their new home. 

Keep these tips in mind to ease dog anxiety when moving to a new home. Positive experiences, including play and social interaction in your new home will help counter stress and get you both happily settled.

Author Bio:
Amy McPoland is a dog mom, dog lover and Sr. Brand Strategist at SpotOn Fence.

Related Stories

6 Dog-Friendly Landscaping Ideas

6 Dog-Friendly Landscaping Ideas

If you love a well-manicured lawn, it may be hard to imagine how to keep that lawn looking gorgeous while catering to the needs of your dog…

SpotOn vs Invisible Fence®: Comparing Cost, Setup, Features, and More

SpotOn vs Invisible Fence®: Comparing Cost, Setup, Features, and More

When shopping for a dog fence, Invisible Fence®  is a popular choice as it has been available for over...

Dog Friendly Backyard Upgrades to Improve Your Pup’s Life

Dog Friendly Backyard Upgrades to Improve Your Pup’s Life

Incorporating dog-friendly backyard ideas into your landscape design has many benefits for both you and…

Read More

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published