Moving is almost always stressful, and not just for humans—it’s tough on dogs, too. If you’re moving with your dog and wondering how to help your dog adjust to a new home, we’ve got some tips!
- Pet-proof your new place: If you have a fence, check every inch of it for places they could escape. Use gates as needed, indoors and out.
- Keep your dog on a leash: It will take time for your dogs to learn where they can and cannot be inside and outside of your new house. You may also have potentially dangerous items like cleaning supplies or human food out before you’ve totally unpacked.
- Create a familiar space: Arrange beds, crates and toys as close to your old setup as you can. Stick to their previous feeding and walking schedules.
- Explore safely: Get to know the new neighborhood bit by bit, rather than all at once. So many new things can be overwhelming for a dog. Remember, they hear much more than you do. They may never have seen a pool before, or heard the sound of a basketball court. Meet your neighbors so your pet knows who is allowed on their block and who is “stranger danger.”
- Make their new world fun: Gall, who moved with her Rottweiler and cattle dog from a farm to an apartment, uses mental stimulation to tire her active dogs. Her suggestions include hiding food around the house (only where you want the dogs to be) and feeding them from Kongs or food-dispensing toys. Brain games help too. Humphrey is a big fan of Nina Ottosson puzzle toys.
Don’t expect perfection. Dogs adapt fairly easily to new situations, but there is a lot to take in. Stay calm, reinforce positive behavior, and spend more time interacting with your pet.