Why Your Dog’s Behavior Might Change When Moving to a New Home (And What To Do About It)

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Moving to a new home is stressful for everyone, including your dog! So, it’s no surprise that your dog’s behavior may change as they adjust to a new space and routine. Humans starting new jobs and taking care of the details of getting furniture and people moved is a lot to deal with. On top of that, dogs can pick up and reflect their human’s anxiety.

So, what can you do as a dog owner to help your pet adjust on moving day and beyond and ensure that the process is as stress-free as possible? Keep reading!

Why is My Dog Acting Out After Moving to a New Home?

Dog behavior can change, especially when they become unsure about their new environment. If you feel anxious about the move, some dogs will read that and become over-anxious. If you are stressed and have little time for your pooch, they may try to get your attention by chewing, barking, or even peeing on the floor. And if you seem unsure about a new house, they might try to claim territory in that new house so that they feel more comfortable.

Don’t let this worry you. You can do many things to help the situation, like providing them with a dog-friendly space and being consistent in their routine. You can also bring some of their favorite items with scents they are already familiar with to the new home, so they know this is their place too. Give your pet time to sniff around the house and the yard, if there is one, as their noses are how they will become familiar with the new place and feel at home.

It’s important to remember that dogs are curious, and if the door is open, they might find themselves lost in a new neighborhood, so take extra steps to keep your pet safe. The most important thing is to be patient with your furry best friend as they adjust and give them extra loving during the moving process!

6 Ways to Help Your Dog Adjust After Moving to a New Home

5 Ways to Help Your Dog Adjust After Moving to a New Home

Looking for more ways to help your dog adjust to their new surroundings? Let’s look at what you can do to ease the transition and keep any negative behavioral changes at bay.

1.   Set Up Your Dog’s Space in the House

First things first – set up your dog’s space in the new house straight away. It’s a good idea to find a cozy corner of the house where you can put their dog bed, toys, and any items they may find comforting – they don’t have to be there permanently! The more items that smell and feel like home, the better. This will be a safe and comfortable place for your dog to hang out when things are getting overwhelming.

2.   Stay Home as Much as Possible (For the First Few Days)

Stay Home as Much as Possible

Your dog will not be aware that this strange new place is their home, and it’s important to not leave them alone for at least the first few days while they adjust. If possible, take some time off work during your move and stick by their side for at least the first three or four days. Your pup will be able to start adjusting to their new surroundings with their security blanket by their side as both of your scents begin to fill up the house.

If you do need to go out to run some errands, take your pet with you or ask a close friend or family member to come over. When you do need to begin to leave your pet at home alone, it’s important to work your way up to leaving them for a more extended period of time. Start with ten minutes and gradually increase the time that you’re away. This will help prevent any unwanted behavior due to separation anxiety, such as chewing up furniture, barking, or peeing indoors.

3.   Keep a Routine

While you may find it challenging to stick to your usual routine in the first week after moving, it’s essential to stick to the schedule you’ve already established for your pet. Continue to feed them and go on walks at the same time every day. While this may mean stopping in the middle of putting together a piece of furniture, your pet needs to have stability while they are adjusting to their new surroundings. After all, who wouldn’t experience behavioral changes if they were in a strange environment with a whole new routine and had no idea why?

4.   Give Your Dog Some Extra TLC

Give Your Dog Some Extra TLC

It’s easy to get caught up in everything that’s going on with your move – but don’t forget, your pup needs attention too! Going out of your way to give your dog some extra cuddles or throw their favorite toy around is important for keeping them from feeling anxious – regardless of everything that’s happening around them. Let them know that even though you’re in the middle of this big, exciting event, they’re still priority number one in your eyes. Oh, and don’t forget to give them a treat or two!

5.   Be Patient

Although it’s important as a pet parent to do everything in your power to make your dog comfortable, be patient with them if they do still act out. Moving is a big adjustment for the entire family, and even more so for a stressed dog who doesn’t understand what’s happening. If your dog does exhibit out-of-character behavior such as barking or having the odd accident, know that this is a reaction to stress and anxiety. By following our above steps, you can mitigate their anxious behavior and have them feel more safe and secure in no time.

6. Consider Reducing Your Dog’s Anxiety with a Thundershirt

When we moved, our corgi was very anxious, and often created significant problems at home when left alone. After we tried a number of different interventions, the Thundershirt was very effective and side effect-free.

Final Thoughts

Remember that no matter how much praise, love, and attention you give your pet, it will likely take them a few weeks to get acclimated to their new home – and that’s okay! Keep your furry friend in their regular routine, and do not leave them alone in the house too soon. At the end of the day, home is where their owner is, and your dog will learn to love their new environment just as much as you do!

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Down to earth, common sense, proven DOG advice
Welcome to Spike’s Dog Blog by Acme Canine. Throughout the site, you will find a variety of helpful dog training articles, insightful dog behavior tips, and truthful product reviews from nationally-recognized canine trainers and professionals.