Guest post by Laurie Larson
Home is where the heart is, especially for your dog. Pet owners should understand that most of what your dog knows of this world is your house, so it’s important that he’s comfortable in it and feels at home.
The routine in your home, the smells, your dog’s belongings, and the attention you pay your dog at home are his or her world. Moving to a new home can uproot routine, comfort, and normalcy for a dog just like for a child. Pets are like our family members, so we should give them the same amount of attention when it comes to easing their concerns.
Introducing your dog to a new home can cause fear and anxiety in your dog that can be troublesome for you as well. You may encounter issues with your pet that you aren’t used to such as accidents in the home or aggression.
To avoid any issues and maintain keep your pet stress-free during your move, see the following four tips on how to ease a dog through the transition to a new home.
Keep a Consistent Routine
Quite simply, dogs love a routine that establishes order in the pack and normalcy. Losing this sense of routine during transition into a new home can be stressful and unsettling for them. Try your best from the first day he or she sleeps in the new house to have the same sleep schedule, same eating times, and same walk time.
If you have completed a long-distance move, time and climate changes may impact your dog’s sense of routine and normalcy as well. Since it takes about three weeks for a dog to adjust to a new setting, keeping the same routine as in the last house is essential for helping him or her adjust.
Provide Lots of Love
Your dog will need some extra tender loving care during his or her transition into your new home. Love and attention go a long way in reducing fear and anxiety your pet may have when entering the unknown.
On moving day, you will feel pulled in so many different directions by movers from moving companies, contractors, spouse, and children, that you may forget to give the same amount of love and attention as usual to your pet.
It’s understandable — just try to walk him or her the same amount of times and make sure to create one-on-one play time for just you and your pet. Spend some extra bonding time together by sleeping together at night as this is shown to provide great comfort and bonding time for both you and your pet to enjoy.
Create Familiarity through Smells
There may be anxiety for your dog when you first leave him or her at your new house by him or herself. A great way to reduce anxiety when this happens is to leave the same kind of treats behind that you would at your old house, and make sure and keep the old toys and blankets that he or she is already attached to, along with all the smells they have.
Don’t clean your dog’s sentimental items, as the smell of the old house on these items helps with the transition. As part of this familiarity, make sure and create a familiar space for your dog, with the same setup as before for crates, beds, and toys.
Remember: Patience is Everything
Above all, the most important thing to remember when transitioning your dog to a new home is to be patient with your dog. Remember to empathize with your dog, as no one can actually explain to your dog what is happening and why. Your dog simply trusts you and will follow you wherever you go, so honor that loyalty by being patient.
Every dog will adjust in his or her own time and way, so remember to be flexible and also persistent in how you instill normalcy and routine for your dog in your new house. Accidents may happen, so account for this and perhaps limit his or her area to limit marking territory and reduce the chance for mistakes.
In the end, you are your dog’s home. As long as your relationship with your dog stays the same and you stay mindful of your dog and his or her needs and emotions, making accommodations and adjustments where necessary, your dog will adjust in just a matter of time.
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