Moving to a new house can be exciting and stressful too, both at the same time. There are so many things to be excited about, new rooms, a backyard with fruit trees, more space, and above all a new neighborhood. On the other hand it can be very stressful too because there are so many things needed to be done, like packing, moving, sorting, you name it. But wait, are you moving with one of your canine family members? It can add even more stress if you need to introduce your dog to a new home.
Yes, it’s true moving to a new house and a new neighborhood can be stressful for your dog too. With a new place and house to be explored, a lot of new smells, and a new neighborhood to be investigated, it becomes an overwhelming situation for your beloved dog too. But If planned properly this can become one of your best memories and experiences. Here are some ideas to introduce your dog to a new home and neighborhood.
Table of Contents
- 1 Introducing your dog to a new home
- 2 Meeting your resident dog
- 3 Make sure to tour the new neighborhood when you introduce your dog to a new home
- 4 Ways to create a familiar environment for your dog
- 5 Think about your yard before you introduce your dog to a new home
Introducing your dog to a new home
You need to take your dog to your new home before moving in. Just like all the family members visit and take a tour of the new house, in the same way you can take this opportunity to introduce your dog to a new home. This way they will be able to explore the whole place and get introduced to the new smell. It will also give you an idea of what all can be done and needs to be fixed to prepare it for the arrival of your dog.
This will help your dog to become more aware of his surroundings. Check all the areas in your house with your dog’s safety in mind. This can include thinking about the floors, crawl space, basement, backyards, and every nook and cranny. Secure any areas that you don’t wish your curious pooch to get into to make sure they stay safe from harm. When you have moved in, try to guide your dog to a designated place where he can eat and sleep. Try to keep all his favorite toys and blankets in his area to help him feel comfortable and welcome there. You can keep treats on hand to reward him with as an encouragement and motivator when he displays good behavior in the new home environment.
Take it easy and slow
Keep in mind that everything is new for your pet right now, from a different house to a new neighborhood, and sometimes you can be in a new city also. There are a lot of changes both for you as well as for your dog. Thus, it is very important to take it one step at a time, letting your dog get used to this new environment. Each dog is different and under certain circumstances, they can behave differently to change. It is wise to spend even more quality time with your dog in the first few weeks after moving. This will help your pet be reassured you are here with them and you are experiencing this fun, new adventure together as a family.
Meeting your resident dog
Sometimes a family unit grows bigger in the process of a move, and if you already have a resident dog in your house, an introduction of a new canine member can be stressful to both of them. Many times when moving or getting married, the new partner may bring their pet to add to the family unit. This can be quite a challenge at the beginning and the need for patience is high in this case while the two dogs get acquainted with each other and with the new household. Thus it is important to take everything slow and let all parties involved adjust to the new environment a little better.
If you need to know how to introduce your dog to a new home and neighborhood because you are adopting a new dog from a shelter, you have to keep in mind that these dogs’ mental conditions may be different. The shelter’s environment can be very triggering for the dogs, and it does affect their mental state. So take it easy and have some down time to allow them to settle in, because adjusting to a new environment takes time.
If you are introducing a new dog, try to keep your resident dog on a leash. You can take the two dogs on a walk to explore the backyard at first and introduce them to their new space together and to each other. Walks will be important to keep them both healthy, well exercised and feeling loved. This gives you a chance to bond with both of your dogs and helps them adapt more easily to their new home and each other.
Tips to help your dog decompress
- Forget expectations: You and your dog are unique, so don’t compare it to others. The process of introducing your dog to this new environment can take time.
- Take your time: Ease yourself into the situation. It can take four to six weeks for your dog to get comfortable.
- Stay calm.
- Give them space: Create a den or safe space for your dog.
- Crate train: A crate is an easy way to create a safe space for your dog.
- Keep them on a leash.
- Introduce your dog to new visitors and new home slowly.
- Give your dog ample exercise: A good dog is a tired dog. Regular walks are good for you and your dog. And walking allows your dog to bond with you. It is also a great way to get your dog comfortable with new people and other dogs.
- Keep a routine: Dogs thrive on routine. So even if you are in a new environment, keep your routine in place as much as possible.
- Establish positive associations: You want your dog to feel like this new place is wonderful. So have plenty of treats ready. So you can make this time a positive experience.
Make sure to tour the new neighborhood when you introduce your dog to a new home
After moving in, look for nice places to take your pet on a walk and try to explore your neighborhood as much as possible. Walking through the neighborhood you will find out about your new neighbors, other dogs in the neighborhood, children, etc. It’s important to figure out these things so that you can help your dog get accustomed to the new environment. Try introducing your dog to the new neighborhood gradually visiting one side of the neighborhood at a time. This will allow him to explore, sniff around and be curious, but not at an overwhelming rate as in trying to take in the entirety of the whole neighborhood at once. Remember to always keep your dog on a leash as there might be some aggressive dogs, or children out playing and you’ll want to be prepared for how your pet may react.
You have to keep your dog safe and others also. As mentioned earlier, all dogs are different, thus they would behave differently. Some might become timid and some might show aggressive behavior. This makes it even more important to watch your dog carefully, and if you notice any aggressive behavior, attempt to dissolve it quickly. If they are shy or timid try to encourage them, but let them take their own time getting comfortable with their new environment. Be patient and let your dog adjust on its own. Gradually your dog will feel more and more comfortable and ready to run around at a local dog park or while out on walks with you in the neighborhood.
Ways to create a familiar environment for your dog
Dogs can adapt to a new environment fairly easily, but still, some dogs, if they are rescued or are coming from the shelter or some other environment, may take a little time. You don’t know what they have gone through. So give them some time to get acquainted with the new environment. Gradually they will start accepting and enjoying the new house. You can make it easier for your dog, by making your house pet proof.
While moving into the new house, try to introduce your dog to a designated place to eat, keeping their bowls there on a regular basis. Also, try to follow any old routines with your dog, which will help them reduce their anxiety of change. Knowing dogs have a superpower sense of smell, you could introduce a familiar scent in the new environment to help them quickly get acquainted with their new living area. Finally, check any animal hospitals nearby so you are aware of their locations in case of emergency. These helpline numbers should always be kept handy.
Dogs can sense your anxiety
Always remember dogs are very sensitive and understand their owners well. They can sense your anxiety and stress quickly. Thus, your dog will also feel the same level of stress and anxiety as you have. Change is not comfortable for anyone and it can create a lot of stress which your canine companion can pick up on from you. So it is up to you to manage your stress and help your dog feel more confident about the move and the new home. Help your dog see your excitement and it will be happy too. Taking these small steps to gently introduce your dog to a new home and neighborhood should help make things a bit easier and hopefully more stress free. Follow these tips and you and your dog are sure to have a smooth move and make lots of new memories together.
Think about your yard before you introduce your dog to a new home
When you move into a new home, you have to think about your yard as well. There are many hazards to be mindful of including lawncare products, pests, toxic plants, and wildlife. In addition to good training, learning about the plants in your yard. And putting up fencing around your property can help eliminate many of the hazards.
Toxins in your backyard
Your yard can be have a slew of plants which may look nice but are toxic to your dog. While many are not deadly and not every part of a plant is considered toxic. However, your dog can get still get really sick, so it’s best to avoid toxic plants altogether. In a previous blog, we discussed some toxic plants, but be sure to check with your local nursery to make sure your outdoor plant choices are safe.
You need to choose your mulching material carefully if you have dogs. Some popular mulches, such as cocoa bean, are toxic to dogs.
Pesticides are obviously toxic, so look for nontoxic alternatives. Some plants, such as marigolds, are natural pest repellents. A mixture of soap and water sprayed on flowers will eradicate aphids. Or you can try just a handful of ladybugs.
Be careful though, even organic alternatives to pesticides and fertilizers can be toxic to your dog, especially if consumed in large quantities. Be sure all your gardening material is safely stored so that your dog can’t access to it.
Pests & wildlife
Many wild animals carry diseases that can be passed on to any animal who comes in contact with them. Rabies, distemper, salmonella, and parasites such as ticks, coccidia, giardia, and mange are only a few of the diseases that your dog can acquire from contact with wildlife.
When a dog goes after prey, her full attention is on the chase. She doesn’t hear you call her, she doesn’t notice she’s running into a busy road, she’s oblivious to anything that is not prey. If she does catch the prey, she may end up being bitten.
In help avoid wildlife encounters, you should install a fence around your property. Or make sure that your dog is always on a leash. Then you want to also avoid issuing an open invitation to these animals. Dog bowls, garbage cans, uncapped chimneys, and bird seed under bird feeders are all temptations that could lure wildlife into your yard. Another way critters are lured into a yard is if it supplies good living and hiding areas.
If you have a medium or large dog, you don’t have to worry about birds of prey. But young puppies and small dogs can easily fall victim to an attentive raptor. There’s not much you can do to prevent this other than be vigilant about supervising your dog when she’s outside.
Make sure that you place your birdfeeders out of reach of your dog. The seeds that fall to the ground can become moldy. This can make your dog sick if he eats the seeds. It may also attract small critters which your dog may chase.