How to Settle & Calm Your Dog When Moving to a New Home?

dog looking at the window

Moving house with a dog is stressful for everyone, but you know who has the hardest time coping with the whole situation, right? 

Canine companion, that’s who. 

Dogs rarely react well to sudden change and it’s your responsibility as their owner to do everything possible so the whole relocation experience is as stress-free as possible. 

You see, dogs form a tight bond with the environment they inhabit and breaking that connection holds the risk of anxiety. 

For example, there are cases of dog separation and dog stress when moving. Yes, you read that right - your beloved doggie can develop actual mental health issues. 

Learn How Vitamin D Deficiency may Affect Your Dog’s Health.

Now, with all of the above being said, there are certain measures that you can take in order to minimise risk factors when moving out with a dog. 

Let’s begin with…

How To Calm And Settle A Dog When Moving House?

It takes time and love. Change is stressing and care, support, and patience is what your pup will need prior and after the relocation.

Introduce your pet to moving supplies used

“Generally, there is no natural defensive mechanism in dogs against cardboard boxes and duck tape”, says London-based relocation professional and man with a van for hire Ryan Banks, “But nevertheless, dogs are often frightened and worried as boxes pile up. Imagine the sheer terror in your beloved companion’s eyes when you stack 50 cardboard boxes in your living room out of nowhere.” he adds. “That’s why I always advise dog owners to gradually fill up the property with boxes, at best, two weeks prior to you moving out”.

A handy tip to stop your dog yelping when moving: Avoid the above-described scenario by leaving a few boxes lying around your house prior to packing day. By doing this, you give your pet some time to get comfortable with the materials and once packing day arrives, your pet won’t get as stressed out. 

What to do with a dog on moving day? Exercise as much as possible before and after the move!

white short coated dog with ball

Wondering how to calm a dog after moving? Do you know what a tired dog is? 

A calm and well-behaving one, that’s what. 

Overall, exercise is a vital part of the physical and mental health of both dogs and humans and putting focus on it will help your pup stress less. 

Make daily walks longer as your moving day approaches, jog more and basically, do whatever makes their tong pop out faster - play fetch or invite friends over, so everybody’s busy.

A safe zone helps settling a dog when moving house

pug covered with blanket

No matter if you’re moving your whole house or a few cases full of clothes - your dog will sense that something is “wrong” and will start to stress out. 

That’s why it’s a good idea to create the so-called “safe zone” for your pup to settle at.

  • Choose a room that you’ve just moved out or one you are not going to enter as frequently.
  • Get your dog’s bed, food and water bowl, toys, etc. and place them there.
  • Leave an old piece of clothing with your scent on it to create an even more comforting feeling.
  • Introduce your pet to the area and visit it as much as you can.  

Get a friend to watch over your dog on moving day

We highly advise spearing your dog the whole “movers invading your territory” situation. 

At Dog Owner, we can guarantee that your pet will enter panic mode as soon as the removals team lift the first cardboard box from the floor. That’s why it’s best to leave your pet with someone on moving day. We suggest asking a friend or family member that your dog is familiar with and also likes, to take care of it for a few hours. 

Once you’ve moved in everything, you can then show your dog it’s new home.

More Tips on How to Settle Your Dog into a New House?


Keep Calm and Leave Panic Aside

Dogs can sense when you are stressed out. 

If you wish to avoid your dog freaking out in your new home, keep a calm demeanour. The more positive and happy you look, the better your dog will feel in its new house. 

Stay at Home For a Few Days Prior to Moving Out

Take a few days off work and spend the time with your canine companion. 

Once you see that your dog is feeling better after the move, spend small periods of time away from the house, so your pet can get used to your absence. 

As time passes, and you get back to work, your dog will feel more OK with the idea of spending time alone and getting comfortable with its new home. 

Check how to create the most pet-friendly apartment for your dog.

Keep Old Routines

This tip is maybe the most effective and important one - don’t change your pet’s schedule. 

If you’ve walked your dog every morning at 6 am, continue to do so. Is your pet used to exercising in the park? Find one in your new living area. To upkeep your dog’s ongoing regime will help it feel more at home as you relocate. Any slight changes, even those that wouldn’t have affected your dog prior to moving, can stress the poor animal further.

Signs of Dog Anxiety After Moving and What to Do?

Brown Pitbull

As we mentioned earlier, dog anxiety as a matter that should be taken seriously. The same way children need dogs, your pup needs you. If you see your pet freaking out after relocating, especially if we are talking about moving with an old dog, keep a close eye for the following signs of anxiety: 

  • Shaking;
  • Tucked tail; 
  • Withdrawal; 
  • Hiding tendencies; 
  • Unusual low activity levels; 
  • Escape behaviours; 
  • Diarrhea; 
  • Licking (despite regular baths) 
  • Biting; 
  • Drooling. 

How to Ease With Dog Anxiety when Moving?

Sometimes, no matter how many prevention steps you take, your dog still gets a little bit too worried. If this happens to be the case with your pet, don’t stress, there are things that you can do to lower the animal’s anxiety levels. It’s always best, to begin with, more natural remedies like CBD treats. They are made from cannabis but don’t contain any THC, making them completely safe for your pet. If the treats don’t work, maybe it’s time to visit your vet. 

Chances are they will prescribe a calming medication like Alprazolam or Diazepam. If you don’t fancy the idea of giving your animal a pill, go for a stress-reducing Thundershirt or calming collar.

So, How Long for a Dog to Adjust and Settle into Your New Home After Moving House?

Black and White Dog

As with humans, it takes anywhere between 20 and 40 days for new habits to form. Arm yourself with patience and enough love and care is what to do when moving to a new house with a dog. Just remeber how daunting a move may be for your precious pet.

Moving with a Dog - Conclusions

To relocate is hard enough without having to cope with anxiety and dog stress but if neglected, those can be a problem. That’s why it’s best to take precautions and prepare for the event long before the final date is due. We hope that now you know how to calm and settle a pup