Moving to a new home is exciting, but it can also be stressful for the whole family. You’re aware of the changes happening, but your dog isn’t. Leaving the comfort of familiar spaces—inside and out—and landing in a strange one can be upsetting for the canine member of your family. Plan ahead and make it a little easier when moving your dog into a new home.
Start slowly. Tame some of the pent-up energy from the trip to your new place. When you arrive, take your dog for a walk around the neighborhood, letting her sniff out the surroundings (and for him to leave his mark on the territory). Then calmly walk up to your home. Avoid using an excited tone, saying something like, “Who has a new home? You do. You do!” Your pet doesn’t understand the words, but your voice will rev up the energy you’re trying to tame.
Make it familiar. Dog behavior is guided by a strong sense of smell. Have your new home ready with some familiar favorites. Avoid the temptation to stock it with new toys, blanket, bed, crate, and dishes. Put the old things in the same places as in your previous home, like the bed in the living room and the dishes near the refrigerator.
Be patient and attentive. Your dog will probably experience some anxiety at the sudden change—which could show itself with barking, pacing, and potty accidents. He might be more clingy than usual, so be patient and soothing. Plan to spend time playing together. Try to avoid scolding your pup too harshly during the transition. These dog behaviors are the result of fear and confusion. It doesn’t mean your good dog has become a naughty one.
Find friends. Check out the local dog parks where your precious pup can meet other dogs and dog lovers. Look for a good dog sitter who can come to your home and get to know your buddy. Walk around the neighborhood and you’ll quickly meet the pet lovers, who can give you advice on a good veterinarian, groomer, and pet sitter.
There’s nothing like getting a warm welcome from your dog. When you move into a new home, it’s your turn to do it for him!