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New Home? How to Ease Dog Stress When Moving

Written by Adaptil, published on 14 March 2022

Moving home can be stressful! It's said that 60% of people found that moving home was the most stressful thing they had done. Disruption, packing, the move itself - and then unpacking again, it’s no wonder moving is stressful. And it’s the same thing for your dog!

While your pet may not be helping to pack boxes, they know that things are different! Everything that has become normal and comforting in their environment is changing - their daily routine, furniture around the home, their safe havens have all been packed away!

So, when planning for change for you and your family, don’t forget to plan for your pooch to keep disruption minimal, as both changes and travel can be stressful for your dog.

Here are 15 tips to help to ease dog stress when moving.

15 Ways to Ease Dog Stress when Moving

  1. Keep your pet away from the chaos!
    Consider giving your dog a holiday during the height of the disruption. This could be booking them into kennels for the period of packing, moving, and unpacking in your new home. Alternatively, a friend may be happy to give them a temporary home for a while, especially if your pooch is used to visiting them and they feel safe there.
  2. Create a doggy safe space.
    If your dog will be with you throughout the move, make sure you keep all of their belongings together (their bed, food bowls, toys etc.) in a safe space such as a different room, while the rest of the house is being packed up.
  3. Keep your dog in their safe space for as long as possible.
    If your dog is nervous or protective of strangers to your home, ensure they are kept away in a different room from the removal team.  This will protect your dog from becoming anxious, and help the removal team to get on with their job. Using an ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser in the room will also help keep your dog calm.
  4. Make sure your dog is crate trained!
    If your dog has been used to sleeping in a dog crate, it’s a good idea to keep them in the crate with all their resources whilst the removal team are doing their job. They will see this as a safe haven and it will help them to feel less stressed.  If they don’t use a crate regularly, you might consider crate training for a few weeks before your removal date so that being in a crate will come naturally to them.
  5. Keep routine!
    Even though you will be very busy during your house move, don’t forget to continue to give your dog the attention they would normally receive. Keep to their routine wherever possible, like feeding and walking at the same times during the day.  If you are unable to do this yourself, delegate this responsibility to someone else.
  6. Keep them safe at all times.
    The disruption, the noise and strangers moving things from the home will all make your dog feel stressed, so make sure that everyone is aware of where your pooch is and that he is not allowed to escape through an open door.
  7. Reassure your pet.
    Keep reassuring your pooch that everything is fine. Spend a few minutes every hour during the move to comfort them, and give them a treat for being good - your regular  reassurance will help them settle.Small yorkshire terrier with moving boxes
  8. Make sure your dog is used to the car.
    Prepare your pooch for the journey to their new home. Make sure they are used to travelling in a car - if your dog has car anxiety it’s important that you try and overcome this before your move so that when you finally leave, your dog will not be further stressed by getting into a car. Take a look at our top tips for travelling with your dog for more expert advice and top tips. Use an ADAPTIL Calm on-the-go Collar along with ADAPTIL Transport Spray to provide extra support for their trip.
  9. Go for a walk before driving to the new house. Avoid feeding your pet too close to the car journey to your new home. Give them light food and make sure you go for a good walk before you get into the car. That way your pet should be happy to curl up and sleep through the journey.
  10. Let your dog explore!
    Like all new spaces, your dog will want to investigate and sniff everywhere when you arrive! There will be new smells, new noises and everything will be new. If you have a garden with your new home, you might want to let them explore the garden first (if it is safe and secure) whilst your furniture is being unloaded.  But don’t leave them alone outside as this could make them feel even more stressed;  spend time with them playing and reassuring them.
  11. Take a walk after arriving - when you can!
    If you have time, on arrival to your new home, take them out locally for a walk so that they can explore the neighbourhood. This will not only help relieve their stress, but can also help them relax if they are tired when you get back home.
  12. Create another doggy safe haven.
    In your new home, settle them into one room with their bed, water and toys and spend some time with them to settle them down before you leave to unpack. Music can be therapeutic for dogs so some gentle classical tunes may help them - especially if they have heard it before!
    terrier dog sat on top of vintage suitcases
  13. Keep to your doggy routine in your new home. 
    Feeding time, going for your daily walks, playtime etc. should stay the same if at all possible. Enjoy exploring new walks and meeting new people and doggy friends together, initially on a long lead to start with until you are both familiar with the area.
  14. Register with the vet!
    It is important that you also register with a new local vet close to your new home and change their microchip to your new address. It would be very stressful for you and your dog if they got lost in your new area and there was no means of tracking them!
  15. Reassure - and try ADAPTIL
    If your dog doesn’t settle, or is barking and whining, leaving them in a room behind a stair gate, or in their crate, might help. Seeing you might reassure them that all is OK and you may consider plugging in an ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser to support them as they settle into their new home.

Continuing Support with ADAPTIL

Using an ADAPTIL Calm On-the-go Collar can also help during the move and travel itself. An ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser will also help your dog to settle in. If possible, arrange for the diffuser to be plugged into the room where your dog will sleep in your new home, approximately 24 hours before you arrive.

Adaptil Calm Diffuser

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