How to help your dog to settle into a new house

Congratulations! You’ve got a new house and you’re ready to move! But you’re a bit worried about getting your dog to transition, right? This post is just for you! Here’s how to help your dog settle into a new house!

Behaviour to expect from your dog

When we moved house, Clover took a few weeks to settle in. She was very territorial in the house and would bark every time she heard any kind of noise. She spent the first week crying at the front door and back door. We weren’t sure if the increased anxiety meant that she needed to pee more often or if she was telling us she didn’t want to be in the house. We could tell instantly that she was experiencing low-level distress from the change.

Here are some common behaviours to expect:

  • Increased crying, howling or barking.
  • Chewing things they wouldn’t normally chew.
  • Peeing or pooing inside the house to mark their territory (this is common if the house had a dog with the previous occupiers)
  • Your dog may stay close to you in the house and follow you around. Alternatively, they may find a quiet, safe space to curl up into. This depends on the temperament of the dog.
  • General behavioural difficulties, such as not following commands.
How to help your dog to settle into a new house
Clover the Cavachon: long haired dog with apricot colourings around the nose and chin, blond fur everywhere else. The dog is laying on the grass in front of a house.

How to help your dog to settle into a new house

  • Don’t try to rush your dog. Patience is key when settling in your furry friend. Getting frustrated will only increase their anxiety and will take two steps back from achieving your goal.
  • Leave blankets and other fabrics unwashed. It can be tempting to clean everything before you move so that you can start afresh in your new home. However, by leaving the smells on your fabrics, your dog will have a calming reminder of the environment that they are used to.
  • Try to avoid leaving them in the house on their own too soon. This can be upsetting for your dog and can potentially cause feelings of abandonment. When you do decide to leave the dog at home, start with small amounts of time and build up the trust with your dog that you will return. Here are some tips on leaving your dog alone at home.
  • Be prepared to be flexible on house rules. You may have a rule that your dog is not allowed upstairs. However, for those first few nights, your dog may not like being left downstairs. This is where having a dog that is crate trained comes in handy. Read here about how you can crate train your dog. You could allow your dog to sleep near you in it’s crate and slowly transition it downstairs as your dog becomes more comfortable in the new house.
  • Keep to your dog’s daily routine. Your dog is in a new space with unfamiliar smells and surroundings. This is a big change. The best thing that you can do for your canine companion is to stick to their daily routine. Too much change can be overwhelming but by feeding, walking and playing with them as usual, they will adjust quicker.
How to help your dog to settle into a new house
Clover the Cavachon: Apricot cavachon puppy chewing a yellow, plastic chicken toy on the grass.

Important things to remember when moving house

This is a process for everyone, yourself included! Moving house can be a stressful situation and our dogs are very tuned in to our emotions. Even though you may be busy during the process, it’s important to keep to that daily routine.

Each dog will react differently to the moving process. The age of your dog will also have an impact on how they respond to changes as well as their temperament. You know your dog best so trust your instincts.

I hope you’ve found this post on ‘how to help your dog settle into a new house’ useful. Sharing what I’m learning with Clover is what I love about this blog. We can all help each other!

Do you have any suggestions that you can add to my list? Let me know in the comments below!

Always remember to take a paws.

Charlotte x

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