Tips for Transitioning Your Dog to Your New Home


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Moving to a new home is stressful for everyone, but your dog may suffer the most. Because he is a creature of routine and habit, unfamiliar smells and surroundings can cause him anxiety. It’s up to you to help him transition smoothly into your new home.

Easing the Transition for Your Dog

There are plenty of steps you can take to make sure everything goes well for your dog while moving. It’s best to get started early with these tips.

● Get Help From Your Vet

First, talk to your vet for guidance if there are any areas of concern, such as long travel times. Additionally, make sure your dog has had a recent visit and is up to date with all his medical needs. Locate a veterinarian near your new home and transfer his records ahead of time. Be sure to confirm his arrival as well.

● Visiting Your Home With Your Dog

If you’re moving locally or have time before you fully occupy your home, Club Canine recommends visiting it with your dog if allowed. If not, introduce your dog to the neighborhood by walking him or taking him to the nearest park.

● Maintain His Schedule

While a new place will be unfamiliar, your dog’s routine shouldn’t be. Keep everything the same, from where you keep his dog dish to the timing of his walks.

● Leave Dog Items Unwashed

You might want to move with new or fresh-smelling dog blankets, pillows, and toys, but your dog won’t. Cesar’s Way recommends bringing his old items and leaving them unwashed. The familiar smell will help your dog adjust to the new location.

● Stay Calm

Dogs are great at picking up our emotions. The more you can remain calm, even when packing and unpacking, the better chance your dog has of staying calm too.

Keeping Your Dog Safe

There are several things you’ll need to take care of before, after, and during your move to keep your dog safe in your new home.

● “Dog Proof” Your Home

Similar to baby proofing, this is the process of finding and eliminating anything in the new house that can be dangerous for your dog. For example, vertical blinds, mini-blinds, or any window treatments with long cords can become choking or chewing hazards. Petful has five easy ways to dog-proof your home.

● Previous Pets

If there were pets living there before, be sure to do a thorough cleaning. This will reduce the smell of other animals and alert you to fleas and ticks. It will also remove harmful bacteria left behind by other animals.

● Safeguard the Outdoors

Remember to check outdoors too for harmful plants, flowers, pesticides, and other items in your garden or yard. VetBabble has a list of the 10 most harmful plants for pets. If you are near a dangerous street, make sure your dog can’t get out on his own. You might want to consider building or installing a fence, which costs an average of $2,728 according to HomeAdvisor. Remember to make sure that he can’t slip under or jump over the fence.

● Moving Day

Moving day usually means doors and windows will be open. To keep your pet safe, have him stay elsewhere or crate him during the moving process. While packing and unpacking, make sure to keep chemicals, medications, and other hazardous items out of your dog’s reach. This is especially important if you have open boxes on the floor.

For more tips, How Stuff Works has a detailed list on how to make your home safe for your dog.

While moving won’t be easy for your dog, before long he’ll adapt to your new home. For now, we recommend giving him a little extra attention, love, and doggie treats. Even if his home has changed, he’ll know that your love has not.

By: Cindy Aldridge |