Moving to a new house can be an exciting experience, especially if you’ll be moving to somewhere more spacious than your last residence. It can also be quite hectic and stressful for everyone involved, including your canine friend. That’s because dogs thrive on routines and familiarity, and disruptions to their schedule and environment can easily stress them out. This might cause your normally good-natured pup to develop symptoms like hiding, trying to escape, or biting because they feel anxious.
If you notice changes in your dog’s behavior, you might be dealing with a scared pup. Put anxious dogs at ease with these five ways to help your pet settle into your new home.
Set Up Your Dog’s Space Right Away
One of the most effective ways to help your dog ease into your new home is by immediately setting up a dedicated space for them as soon as you arrive. Place your dog’s bed and a stainless steel bowl filled with fresh water in one part of your new house. The familiar smells of your dog’s items can help comfort them. Aside from these essential pet supplies, consider bringing out their favorite dog toys to keep them preoccupied while you instruct the movers where to put your stuff.
Moving homes usually results in a lot of physical chaos, as you’ll need time to organize your possessions into their new storage areas. Avoid losing track of your pup’s belongings by storing them in customizable dog toy baskets. Keeping these items separate from your own makes them easy to move and place in your new home, so your pup can feel reassured by having them around.
Stick to Your Routine
As mentioned previously, dogs are creatures of habit. They like to follow the same schedule for walks and feeding times because that’s how they make sense of their day. Maintaining your pet’s old routine can also reduce your dog’s anxiety about changing residences and help make them feel more at ease in the new house. So even if you are busy with the move, try to retain your dog’s old schedule as much as possible. Feed and walk your dog at the same times as usual, even if it means stopping in the middle of a task. It’s especially important to attend to your dog’s needs as this is likely a stressful time for them.
If moving to a new place requires you to make some changes in your schedule, do your best to maintain most parts of the old routine as much as you can for at least a couple of weeks. Once your dog has become more accustomed to the new environment, you can gradually change their routine.
Tire Out Your Dog
On moving day, make sure to give your dog plenty of exercise to help burn off excess energy. When a dog has pent-up energy, their stress levels can also increase. So, an extra game of fetch in your backyard will go a long way in helping keep your dog calm during the move. You might also want to extend your usual walk so that you and your pet can explore your new neighborhood. Remember, the more energy your dog releases, the easier it will be for them to relax and settle in your new home.
Keep Your Dog’s Old Stuff
You might be excited about also buying new furnishings for your new home, including new things for your dogs. While you might not want to keep the old fur-covered dog bed and dinged-up water bowl in your new home, don’t get rid of them just yet. The familiar scent of these objects is key to helping your dog settle in.
If you truly want to indulge your pet with new stuff to celebrate the move, opt for new toys or a bag of tasty treats that could keep them preoccupied while you’re busy unpacking.
Give Your Dog More Time and Attention
The first few days can be stressful for your dog, as they might not understand that they’re now in their new home. If you can, stay home with your pet during this time. Your presence will help comfort them and make them feel safe. Ideally, you shouldn’t leave your dog alone in the new house for the first few days. Leaving your dog alone might cause them to panic and misbehave if they are still getting acclimated to the new environment.
If you need to step out, see if you can bring your dog along or arrange for someone familiar to keep your pet company at home while you’re gone. When your pup is more settled in, you can start teaching them to be left alone gradually. Start by leaving them for 10 minutes and work your way up to longer periods.
Moving to a new place isn’t easy for any dog. However, you can help your pet feel more at ease in their new environment by paying special attention to their needs. Helping your furry friend settle into the new house will allow you both to focus on enjoying your new space.