How to Acclimate A Dog to Your New Home
Dogs, like humans, need time to adjust to their new home after a household move. Here are some tips to help smooth that transition.
Keep Routines the Same
Dogs are happy as long as their routines and social group, including people and animals, remain the same. Try to keep walking, eating, and bedtime routines as similar as possible when you move. If you know the routine will change, begin gradually changing the pattern before the move.
Prepare Carefully if the New House Has New People or Pets
You’ll need to do additional preparation if the new household will include new people or animals. First, introduce the pet to the new household members on neutral ground before moving to see how they get along. Keep the dog on a leash at first. Then, reinforce the meeting as a positive experience by including treats and play.
If the new household has other dogs, try taking the dogs for walks together on the move day before returning to the new house. Provide separate feeding and sleeping areas to prevent competition until the dogs become comfortable with each other. Saving favorite toys and treats until interaction with the new dogs will help build a positive association more quickly.
If the new household has cats, introduce the animals slowly. Keep the dog on a leash at first, and do not force the cat to meet the dog. Be ready to intervene if conflicts occur. Give both treats at the time of interaction to develop a positive association.
To introduce your dog to other humans, encourage the humans to play with the dog and provide treats. Let them know that any type of punishment is unacceptable.
Give a Tour of the House
Your dog needs to get to know the home’s layout just as any other occupant would. Before the move, walk through each room of the house with the dog on a leash. Spend time with him so that he can adjust to the surroundings.
Put your dog’s bed or favorite blanket in the room where he’ll sleep. Ask him to lay in the area and provide a treat when he does so. Select a dedicated location for food and water. Prevent the dog from entering any unsafe areas, such as crawl spaces or basement steps.
If your dog is exposed to wood or tile floors for the first time, make sure he takes it easy on them until he gets used to them.
Tour the Yard
After you’ve toured the house:
- Walk around the yard with the dog on the leash.
- Provide opportunities for him to smell and mark the area.
- Check for and repair any gaps in the fence or problems with the gate latch that could allow the dog to escape.
- Make sure the dog won’t have access to any poisonous plants.
A Quiet Place
Ensure the dog has a quiet place to get away from the household activities if necessary. Having a secure, comfortable place is particularly important if the dog is adjusting to new people or pets, in addition to a new home. Give your dog extra attention during this adjustment time.
Update ID Information
Finally, a dog ID tag is essential for your canine companion. Should your dog escape or wander off from your new home, the ID tag is a universal symbol to others that your dog has a home and family. Make sure you update the collar tags and the identification chip information with your new address and contact.
Your tag should include
- Dog’s name
- Your phone number with area code
- Your address
- Essential medical and behavioral issues
Moving Made Easier
We can help you ease into your new home by assisting with your move. As full-service movers, we can handle everything from the packing to the transport and everything in between. Contact us for a quote.