Help Your Dog Adjust to a New Home

Dog adjusting to new home.

Our dogs are valued family members and we’d do everything & anything for them. When you’re moving to a new home, what do you need to think about to help your four-legged friends adjust? Dogs are notorious creatures of habit and may feel anxious & overwhelmed by a move. At Compass Homes, custom homes builders in Columbus, OH, we talk about this often with clients. Our clients get so excited about this new home they’re moving into, that they sometimes forget how it might affect the family pets.

We’ve gathered up some information that should help your furry friend make a smooth transition to your new home. We’re focusing on dogs, but many of these ideas will undoubtedly work for cats, too. Snakes? You’re on your own!

A Few Reminders

If you have to change vets, locate a new one & visit soon after moving so if there’s an emergency you won’t be scrambling to find a vet you love. Be sure your pet is microchipped, has a collar with identification, and you have a recent photo. During the move is a prime time for a dog to get out & possibly lost. You don’t want to be caught without needed information to help locate your pooch. If your dog isn’t crate trained, don’t wait until moving day to put him in a crate if you need it for the move. You might even consider boarding your pup for a few days during the move, if that will help your dog feel more secure.

Routine is Routine

Keep the same routine for your pet as much as possible…feeding, walking, getting up & going to bed, and time spent in a crate, outside, or at the dog park. If you can, take your dog to your new neighborhood and walk there instead of your old neighborhood. Take short walks, eliminating any undue stress with a new environment. Check out the neighborhood for other dogs that might be an issue or a new playmate. And where are those cats hiding out?

Don’t Toss It All

You might be ready for new towels, furniture, and dishes, but keep your dog’s old well-loved belongings for now. Your dog will feel comforted by that old banged-up dog bowl & chewed up stuffed animal. If you’re intent on replacing the dog bed and getting new toys & bowls, do it after you move in & everything has settled down. Introduce a few new items at a time.

Keep it Real

Dogs pick up on your emotions, so the more stressed you are, your dog will be as well. Don’t expect Fido to be comfortable the minute you walk in through your new front door. Many dogs will react with behaviors out of the ordinary. Your dog may have loved being home alone in the old house, but not this one. Take turns staying with your dog, have someone check in, or have a dog sitter come by for a few weeks. Leave treats & other familiar items out if you don’t crate your dog. Hide food around the house (where the dog is allowed) and play seek & find to create familiarity with the new home. Consider using a crate until your pup is comfortable if you’re worried about your dog soiling the carpet, floor, or furniture. Dogs love familiar smells, so get your scent on the new furniture & even on the floor.

Play & Love

It’s time to spend some quality time walking, playing, snuggling, and loving on your dog. The best side effect – your stress levels from moving will decrease, and your dog will love spending time with you. It’s a win-win for everyone. Don’t get so busy with the move that you forget your furry friends. A little quality time will go a long way. Keeping the same set up of the bed, crate, and toys in the new house will promote a familiar feeling of home for your dog.

Your dog is “human” too and might not adjust as quickly as you think. Stay patient, exude love, reinforce all positive behavior, and spend quality time together. At Compass Homes, with homes in Jerome Village, we love designing homes with your dogs in mind. We’ve designed homes with everything from dog doors & dog showers to special drawers for storage & feeding. You might even get us to take your dog for a walk!