How to Help Your Dog Adjust to a New Home

How to Help Your Dog Adjust to a New Home

Moving into your new home can be a process. You’re probably excited to start this new journey, but it’s important to remember that this new place can be scary for your pet.

My dog and I recently moved into a new apartment and it was a big change for him. It’s important to remember that you’re not the only one that has to get used to a new place - your dog does too. Here are some of the things I found that helped my dog adjust when his whole world changed.

Moving With Your Dog

Place of His Own

If possible, set up a room or an area that your pup can call his own. Place his bed, food and water in this place so that he has a spot to go to that is quiet and away from everyone else. This new home can be a bit overwhelming, so having his own corner can help him feel more comfortable.

My dog sleeps on a big, fluffy blanket. When we moved, I didn’t wash the blanket so that it smelled like our old home. This helped calm my dog and he felt more safe in his new room.

Here are some tips on helping your dog adjust to your new home.

Extra Loves

You should try to associate as much positivity with this home as possible. A few extra treats, some more cuddles or additional play time will help your dog realize this place is a good place and he should be happy here.


If you always take your dog for a walk right after work and put him to bed at 10 o’clock - keep doing that. Your schedules and routines are likely to change when you move, but try to stay as close to your old routine as you can. Having some familiarity in their schedule will help reduce your dog’s discomfort.

Set Boundaries Right Away

A new home means new rules. If there are rooms or new furniture that your dog has to stay out of/off of, make sure he knows this right away. If you lay out the rules as soon as you move, it will save you from stressful training later.

To help prevent your dog from marking in your new home, make sure he only roams when he is supervised for the first couple days. This way you can catch bad behavior immediately.

If your dog does start marking in your home, make sure to clean it with an enzymatic cleaner to fully remove the scent. Then, change the meaning of that area. Try giving him treats there or playing with him in that area to help him associate that spot with positivity. He won’t feel so territorial and is less likely to mark there.

Home Alone

When your dog has to be left alone in your new home, try leaving toys out to keep him occupied. It helps to change up which toys are available to him so that he doesn’t get bored with them. Toys can keep your dog entertained so that he doesn’t get into trouble while you’re not home or get scared by being all by himself. Find some toys or healthy chews that will keep your dog busy for hours.

Give Him Time

The most important tip I have is to give your dog time to adjust. He will get comfortable with his new home, it may just take a while. It’s hard for them to understand why everything has changed and why they aren’t going back to what they know as home.

It is to be expected that he won’t act like his normal self for a few days. In time, he will realize that his family is here and he will feel safe and secure in his new home.

And of course, make sure to update your dog's ID tags with your new contact info just in case he wanders off while exploring his new environment.

Jul 10, 2023 Sabrina Kremer

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