Helping Your Dog Adjust to a New Home
Advice from the Relocation experts at North American Van Lines
Even when you’ve found the perfect home, moving can still be rough. It can be hard for your dog too. Like people, a move can cause a dog to have a lot of different feelings. Even though this can be a stressful time, this can be a smooth transition for both you and your furry friend. It takes preparation and consideration.
Maintain a Sense of Normalcy
It’s hard to explain all the changes in store to your furry friend. Because of this, it is important to try to keep your dog’s normal routine during this time. As time goes on, it will become easier for your dog to make schedule adjustments. In the beginning, this sense of familiarity will help your dog stay calm.
It is also important to make sure they have many of the comforts from their old home. It may be tempting to throw out all your old furniture and start fresh. Your dog will find it harder to adjust if you throw out their bed and all their toys. These items will help your dog get use to the new place.
Watch for Signs of Trouble
It is normal for dogs to experience emotional, and even physical, problems after a move. For this reason, it is important to pay close attention to your dog’s health during this time. Some big changes to watch for include:
- Changes in eating and digestion. If your dog becomes constipated or develops diarrhea, it can be stress or even a reaction to local water. Using distilled water for a while can help if it is the water supply. If you sense stress is the issue, be sure to contact a local vet and consider a bland diet until things calm down.
- Aggressive behavior. It is normal for dogs to get upset from time to time, so if they seem more sad or aggressive during a move, this ok. If these behavioral changes persist, you may want to take them to a vet. There are products to help your dog relax ranging from pills to jackets.
It is also helpful to keep a copy of your dog’s health records on file. You will likely have to get a new vet, and it will be helpful to both you and the doctor if you know your dog’s medical history.
Give Your Dog Extra Attention and Affection
It is hard to explain this situation to your dog, so they might need a more attention than usual. If you rush to leave them alone in this new place, they may panic and act out. More active dogs might like it if you take them on longer walks. You can buy them new toys that can keep them distracted for a long time. This might seem inconvenient at the time, but it is worth it to know that your dog will be happy and well adjusted.
It can take time for people to adjust to a new home, so it shouldn’t be surprising that dogs struggle too. This may be one of the biggest changes they will experience in their life. Your dog may revert to puppy-like behaviors, like having accidents in the house. Understand that this is a reaction to increased levels of stress. Don’t be too hard on them. Let them know that you are still there for them. After a few weeks, they will likely adjust and feel more at home in the new house.
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Kelsey Hawkins is a contributing writer and media specialist for North American Van Lines. She regularly produces content for a variety of informational and lifestyle blogs.