Moving to a new home can be a huge pain - there’s so many things to pack and prepare, so much paperwork and other things to deal with. But if you have a dog, helping them adjust to a new home can become even more complicated. After all, a huge shift in environments can be very stressful for your pup.
Thankfully, there’s plenty of things you can do to help your dog adjust to their new home in no time! All it takes is a little bit of extra planning and care on your part. Let’s take a look at some tips for moving with dogs to a new home!
1. Keep Up A Routine
While you pack up your things, it’s important to continue maintaining your pup’s daily schedule. This helps them feel safe and comfortable, even in the face of huge changes in their life.
Make sure to continue feeding, playing and walking your pup at the same times you normally do. If you have a heavy packing day ahead of you, you could try leaving them with a trusted friend or family member who can help them experience the same schedule.
As much as possible, you should also try to keep your home looking as “normal” as it can. Keeping your home free from chaos, even with moving boxes and cleaning supplies everywhere, can help your dog feel safer. It also helps your pup avoid accidents with dangerous items.
If you can afford to, pack your pup’s daily necessities last. Use the same feeding bowls, in similar locations as before. Avoid trying out completely new things during this period - whether it’s new dog foods, a new collar or harness.
2. Set up a Safe Space
While you’re packing and cleaning around the house, having your pup in a safe space can be a huge relief.
Gather up all of your pup’s favourite supplies like their dog beds, blankets or toys into one area. Try and recreate their favourite regular resting spot if you can! Make sure they have quick and easy access to clean water and plenty of space to rest.
Once you’ve moved to your new home, the first thing you should do is to also set up your dog’s safe space right away. Again, try and reuse the same blankets, food bowls, dog beds and toys so your dog has familiar smells around them.
If your pup is still really anxious, even in their safe space, give Adaptil’s Calm Behaviour Diffuser Kit a try! This diffuser uses natural canine-appeasing pheromones to help comfort and reassure your pup and is great for keeping your dog stress-free and calm.
3. Be Prepared
During the move, planning ahead can be a big help for you and your pup. For one, make sure to pack a bag of necessities for you, your family and your dog.
Make a list of all the items you need for your pup, such as their food and water bowls, toys, treats and any other items your dog can’t live without. Set that aside so you have quick access to your pup’s necessities when you move.
If you can, you should also include helpful calming pet aids like a Thundershirt Anxiety Relief Vest! Thundershirt Vests use gentle hugging to help with anxiety in dogs, applying constant pressure which can help your pup feel calm whenever they get stressed.
4. Shower Them With Love
Moving can be a really anxious and stressful time for your dog. They have no idea what’s going on, so it’s absolutely vital to give them plenty of attention to distract from the anxiety.
Take a couple minutes out of packing or unpacking to play with them or give them belly rubs. A couple of occasional dog treats like Zeal’s tasty Free Range Air Dried Spare Ribs Dog Treats can also be a great way to keep your dog’s spirits up!
Once you’ve moved, you’ll also want to stay at home with your pup for as long as you can while your dog gets used to their new home. This also helps them feel more secure in their new surroundings as it allows them to know that you and your family are also there with them, even if the environment seems foreign.
After your dog is more used to the home, try leaving them for gradually longer periods of time. Start with 10 minutes, and work your way to longer periods away. Before leaving them for longer periods of time, you can also try tiring them out with vigorous play time or a long walk. Toys like Red Dingo's Durables or Kong's Extreme Goodie Bone Dog Toy can help to keep your dog entertained longer.
5. Be Patient
Moving can be super stressful for you and your dog, so make sure to be as patient and understanding with your pup as you can!
During your move, take special note of any changes in your dog’s behaviour to get a better gauge of how they’re doing. The following behaviour are examples of signs to look out for:
- Following you around the house, which may indicate that they may be experiencing separation anxiety
- Less of an appetite
- May not play as much as before
- More aggressive toward unfamiliar people and sounds
- Excessive barking
Try to spend extra time with them during these moments. If your dog is experiencing symptoms of separation anxiety, take a look at this article. If the changes in your dog’s behaviour persist, you should also try consulting a canine behaviour expert.
Equipped with the right tools and knowledge, moving with dogs can be a joy. After all, there’ll be plenty of new things for you and your pup to explore and experience together! All it takes is a little patience, attention and lots of love!
Tammi writes articles about anything from data analytics to animal health, and loves doing the occasional craft. But most importantly, she loves hanging out and doing photo-shoots with her dog.