Like people, dogs need time to adjust to a new place. Make your pup feel safe and protected in your new home, and ease the transition by taking a few extra steps when you move. If you take the time to help ease your pet's adjustment, your pet will adapt much more quickly and with a lot less stress.
Before the Move
Before bringing your dog inside the new home, put out his food and water bowls. Pick a permanent spot for his bed and put his favorite toys nearby. The dog will get the message that this is his space. It won't hurt to put a few treats near his eating and sleeping areas as well, so he will immediately associate positive feelings with these new spaces.
Don't forget to pet-proof your new place. Search around for any cords, debris, or nails sticking out in the carpet and baseboard areas.
Making the Move
When you're moving your dog into a new home, make the move during the day. Dogs naturally feel more fearful at night, according to the American Kennel Club. If possible, move your dog during a bright day so he feels secure. As soon as possible, take him out to go explore the new yard. Let your dog lead you as he sniffs and explores. This will help him start to feel more comfortable more quickly with his new territory.
Most importantly, don't rush your dog. Let him set the pace and explore new surroundings in his own time. If your dog would rather sleep than explore, let him sleep. He will go exploring the new home on his own, so don't try to speed up the process.
After the Move
Keep your dog's schedule as normal as possible. Maintain the same feeding times and walking times so he won't have to adjust to lots of new changes. Try to keep the house as quiet and calm as possible. According to PetFinder, too much excitement in a new place can make it harder for your dog to adjust.
Spend extra time with your dog after the move, so he knows that you are still a constant in his life. Talk out loud to your dog so he can hear the comforting sound of your voice and spend time petting and playing with him. This will help your pet begin to feel more relaxed.
If possible, don't leave your dog alone in the new house for too long in the first week. Being alone in a new place will increase your pet's anxiety. Spend as much time as you can with your dog and begin leaving the house gradually. Go away for less than an hour the first time, and then spend a little more time out of the house every day.
Adapting Your Space
There’s a lot you can do to make your dog feel more relaxed and secure, but don't forget to take steps that will actually make your dog safer. Get new tags (which you can purchase for under $7.00) with your new information on them, and make sure your dog has them before you move.
Consider installing a fence around your property if there isn’t one already in place. According to HomeAdvisor, the average national price to install a new wood fence is $2,751.00. If you want to add a gate, you’ll likely spend an additional $200.00 - $600.00, depending on the materials and scope of the project. A fence will not only make your dog more comfortable, it will also give you peace of mind knowing that your pet is protected and safe. A new neighborhood comes with other dogs and wildlife, stray animals, children, and potential threats to your animal’s well-being.
Protecting Your Pet
Take the steps to make your dog feel protected and safe during a hectic time. Give your dog the attention he needs and deserves during a move that’s stressful for the both of you. With a little extra care, your dog will adapt to his new environment and be safe, healthy, and happy in your home -- just as you want him to be.
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