The process of moving and starting over in a new place is exciting, but also unpleasant. However, we usually get a lot of time to plan and prepare ourselves for it.
Dogs, on the other hand, find themselves caught off guard.
One day, out of the blue, they find themselves in this strange, new environment.
Of course, some dogs don’t mind moving, but several others can find it to be a traumatic experience. They can feel uncomfortable, insecure, and uneasy in a new place.
If you don’t address this, your pet might develop new behavioral issues. Here are seven ways you can ward off your pet’s anxiety and help them adjust better in unfamiliar surroundings.
1. Don’t Leave Them Alone For The First Two Weeks.
To help your dog believe that their new space is just as safe as the one they left, stick by their side.
It will assure them a sense of security and comfort. This way they will start getting used to the new space.
Keeping in the same room as you are at all times will also ensure that they don’t try to escape or run away.
When you do leave them, you want to make sure they don’t feel any separation anxiety. Ensure they’re calm and occupied with treats or a toy.
If you’re going to confine them, do it in a way they’re already used to.
Avoid having long goodbye sessions and showing your emotions in front of them as this can cause them anxiety and worry.
2. Pay Attention To Their Mood & Appetite.
Some pets can feel stressed and anxious in a new home. It can sometimes take them months to fully adapt, but they should start easing into it after a few days.
However, if you notice a slight change in them or seem too depressed and anxious, consider taking them to a vet.
If the pet is going to be making a long car trip or flying, give them less to eat the day before. This is to reduce the chances of motion sickness.
Once they’re in their new home, keep their diet unchanged for the first two weeks. At first, you might notice that their food intake has reduced, but that’s normal.
Aim to build it up to their standard serving size gradually.
3. Shower Your Canine Friend With Attention.
A strange, new household can confuse a dog. So, stay with them as much as possible for the first 2-3 weeks as they go around and explore.
Lead them to areas they’re allowed to access and make sure they understand where they shouldn’t go.
Give them a tour of the backyard and show them where they can answer nature’s call.
Even though you might be busy unpacking everything and settling in yourself, try to take out extra time for your furry friend.
Be extra patient, understanding, friendly, and compassionate.
Shower them with encouraging words and belly rubs. Spend time on the floor with them for strong one-on-one bonding.
4. Don’t Buy Them Anything New Right Away.
When you move, you might toss out a lot of your old things and replace them with new stuff. But when it comes to your pet’s items, you want to resist the temptation to do so.
This means using the same water and food bowls, dog bed, dog mats, crate, toys, and a leash.
This is also not the time to experiment with new brands of food.
Also, take it slow when you’re going around the neighborhood and introducing them to new places and new dogs.
Unique experiences and gear can turn out to be stressors, while familiar smells will be comforting.
5. Keep Your Pet On A Leash
When your pooch is out in the backyard, they might attempt to jump over or dig under fences or open gates in hopes of returning to more familiar surroundings.
So, if your place isn’t pet-proofed, you might want to put them on a leash when you leave them out.
If they’re excessively stressed and showing destructive behavior, keep them leashed even inside the house to keep them in sight to prevent accidents.
When you head out with your dog in a new area, they might try to escape or be aggressive to unfamiliar dogs. So, having them on a leash can help you control these problematic situations.
6. Give Them A Safe Space Of Their Own
In your new house, give your canine friend a safe place where they can retreat when feeling overwhelmed.
Show them somewhere that’s quiet and away from people and make sure nobody disturbs them. It could be a temporary set-up, but it has to feel like home to them.
Fill it with things they associate with familiarity and happiness, like their old blanket, crate, toys, and other favorite items.
7. Don’t Change Their Old Routines Abruptly
For the first few weeks after their shift to a new place, keep your pet’s routine as similar as possible to what he/she was used to.
This means that you shouldn’t change the time they go to bed, for their walks, or the time they take their meals.
Pooches love routines and habits, so exercising, playing, and eating as though nothing’s changed can bring them immense joy and help them adjust better.
Changing homes with your pet, handing them off to a new owner, bringing in a new pet from the adoption center, or any other scenario that removes a dog from a familiar environment can cause them stress and anxiety.
These seven tips will help you help them adapt and make the transition as seamless as possible.