How To Help Your Dog Adjust To A New Home
If you are moving with a dog soon, you may have already noticed a change in your dog's behavior as you prepare. Unfortunately, this anxiety can worsen throughout the move, resulting in a withdrawn pup or one who has regressed to destructive behavior. Unless you're Dr. Dolittle, you can't tell them their world hasn't been completely turned upside down, and they've just moved to a new home. Instead, you'll have to work on your non-verbal communication to help them transition to their new life. To help you and your pet, UF Mover Guys has provided the following tips.
We always suggest getting a jump start on packing, but it can be extra helpful when it comes to your pooch. Packing things slowly and early will help them become accustomed to boxes and things changing without the immediate upheaval of moving. You can also create positive associations with the boxes, so they're more at ease with them after the move when boxes are everywhere. It's also a good time to pare down with some junk removal services of items neither you nor your dog will miss. When you begin packing early, you'll find things are less stressful for both of you!
It's easy to become disheveled during a move and lose track of things, but it's important you pet-proof your home before allowing your dog to explore their new surroundings. Before letting them loose in the house, ensure cleaning supplies, scissors, and other hazards are put away. If you're worried about them going to the bathroom in the home or making a mess, consider using a secure leash line outside if you have a private and fenced-in yard. Additionally, make sure to introduce your puppy to the new neighborhood on a leash for the first couple of weeks until they learn the area and feel more at home.
Keep Things Familiar
Moving is a huge change for your furry pal — different scents, different locations, different activities. Minimize the amount of change in their life by keeping everything else as routine as possible. Try to adhere to usual feeding and walking times and even set up their toys, bedding, and crate similarly to how it was in your old home. Put off purchasing new furniture for a short time while adjusting to their new surroundings. New things they won't have an issue with? Toys! And this can help curb destructive behavior that may arise as a result of nervous energy.
Lots, & Lots, & Lots Of Play
Extra playtime is another one of those routine-breaking things that your pup won't mind and will help alleviate their nervous energy. It will also help them to associate their new home with good things. Take them for long, leisurely walks around the neighborhood, allowing them to smell around and meet new people in a neutral environment. If you have a yard, run around with them, play fetch, tug-of-war, or tussle about. Even if you don't have a yard, you can play with them indoors. If your dog is already used to going to dog parks, try out one in your area. Bonus points: you may both meet a new friend!
Extra Love & Belly Rubs
Connecting with your dog with outdoor playtime is another good way to let them know they're safe. Cuddling, scratching their favorite spots, brushing them, and belly rubs will all be appreciated. When they're napping, let them nap on the couch or bring their beds closer to you. You can also run through familiar training routines to help them earn extra rewards. High-value treats, such as cheese or plain roasted chicken can also help with new experiences.
Keep Them Company
Once you move into a new home, you probably have a lot to do and may be starting a new job or school soon, but if you can, try to stay at home with your dog during those first few days as much as possible. Remember, they just lost the home they were used to might be anxious about losing you next. Not only will this help your dog, but it will give you some extra downtime to unpack and acclimate to your new home as well.
Give Them Time
While you might be extra stressed because of the move and changing circumstances, it's important to be patient with your dog. They don't have the luxury of understanding why these changes are happening, so a bit of compassion can go a long way. Remember, they will settle down in time and be perfectly at home again before you know it!