Like People, Dogs Need Time To Adjust To New Homes
Dogs, just like people, tend to get comfortable in their old, familiar spaces and areas. When the family moves, it is very common for a dog to require a few weeks to adjust to the new surroundings.
In some cases, such as a move to a different type of home, such as a house to an apartment or a more suburban or rural area to the city, the adjustment time may be longer, and the dog may be more anxious and stressed. Additionally, the age of the dog, the breed and the dog’s temperament and personality will also play a role.
To help any dog to adjust after a move, here are some tips that will make life easier for your dog and also for you as the concerned owner.
Make a Space
Making a space that is just for your dog is important in a new living arrangement. This space can be your dog’s crate if he or she is crate trained, or even their bed or a portable pen. This is not a place for punishment or banishment, but rather a place of calm and relaxation.
It can be unnerving for dogs with all the activity of moving, particularly if there are moving crews that are unfamiliar to the pet. As dogs can bolt out the door, it is a good idea to have this space in a bedroom or area where the door can be closed to prevent these types of incidents.
Bring Old Favorites
Make sure you have a box of your dog’s favorite things in your vehicle or one of the first things that will be unloaded. In the dog’s own space, make it comfortable and familiar with favorite toys, chew items, blankets, dog beds or other things that are comfortable and pleasant for the pet. This should occur first thing, just let the moving in wait for a few minutes, it will make a big difference to the dog.
For dogs that are anxious and stressed, an old sweater or sweatshirt in their area can be a welcome addition. Your scent will be a familiar reminder to the dog that this is where you are and where they are to be.
Stop for Play Breaks
While moving is hectic, everyone needs to take a break. Make it a point to involve the dog on the breaks and toss the ball in the home or in the secure, fenced yard. Taking the time to interact with the dog will help relieve the anxiety and give the dog something to do both mentally and physically.
For the next few days, as you unpack different rooms in the home, allow the dog to move around with you if he or she will be allowed throughout the house. This is a great way to talk to and interact with the dog and make the entire home a familiar space.
Get into a Routine
After the moving in is over, get back into a familiar routine as quickly as possible. Try to maintain the same feeding schedule, exercise times and grooming routines and don’t make a lot of changes if they can be prevented or minimized.
It is also important to take your dogs for walks in the new neighborhood. This is a great way for both you and your pooch to have a chance to meet new people and their pets and to find the best dog-friendly places in your new digs.