How Moving to a New Home Affects Your Dog

Dogs are adaptable, but changes may affect them a lot --just like it happens to some of us. Some changes are small, like relocating the bed or the water bowl. And then there's moving to a new home. Dogs will definitely notice this one because it deeply affects them.
How Moving to a New Home Affects Your Dog

Last update: 06 May, 2019

We know how much you love your dog and how you’d never consider leaving them behind when moving to a new home. By getting a suitable place for both of you, you can live together without any major adjustments.

Dogs prefer a steady routine and are territorial. So, moving to a new home doesn’t just mean abandoning his old place. It also means going to a new location without knowing if their owner will also change.

You know that’s not the case. You know what you’re up to and you also know that your dog is the only master of your home and heart. But they don’t.

Don’t worry too much in any case. Anxiety and fear of the unknown are normal, so it’s logical for your dog to be anxious. When you both get to your new home the smells and spaces will all be new to them and so they’ll feel a bit lost.

Your dog may also feel nervous meeting new dogs in the new neighborhood because they don’t yet know their place in that territory, and to what extent they’ll be included. It’s actually quite easy for a dog to adapt to his new home. Just follow the simple tips that we’re about to give you.

Moving to a new home, help your dog adapt

A dog with a chew.

Before the move

  • Perhaps everyone knows you and your dog around your neighborhood, but once you move to your new home you’ll be complete strangers to most people. So, update the information on your dog’s tag case he gets lost.
  • Before the move, if possible, walk your pet through the new area so that when he arrives, he’ll be familiar with the area and less traumatized.
  • Don’t wash its bed, you’ll have time for that later. Your dog’s personal objects are of great importance to him because through their sense of smell he can fill his mind with memories. A bed with the old scent, for example, will make him feel more secure during the first few days.
  • Maintain your old routines. It’s normal for you to have to change them a little after moving to a new home, but try to keep change to a minimum for the time being, as a courtesy to your pet.

During the move

A dog lying on the couch looking at something.
  • Leave the dog in one place during your move. Don’t take him along on every trip you take taking things from one place to another. Leave him with a friend or relative, if possible.
  • Hide treats and other sweets throughout the new house, so he’ll find them as they explore every corner of his new home.
  • Don’t leave them home alone immediately after you move, he’ll be anxious.

Moving to a new home: After the move

  • As soon as you can, let him know which places are allowed and which are off-limits.
  • Let him choose the new place for their bed.
  • Be patient during walks. Everything is new and he needs to sniff everything to become familiar with the new world around him.
  • Let him interact with his new neighbors –both humans and other dogs.
  • Pay a visit to the local vets, just to say hi and introduce him. This way your dog will feel more comfortable when he needs an appointment.
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The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.