Moving house can be an overwhelming, exciting, or stressful time for a dog. The sudden change in environment — including scent, which our dogs rely heavily on — can disrupt their routine, trigger unwanted behaviours and impact their sleep.
Dogs value consistency, and moving house or bringing a dog in to a new home, can often throw this off. Thankfully, there are several steps we can take that may help our dog cope with the move.
Preparation: before introducing a dog to a new house, ensure you have the house ready to go. If you’re moving house, you may wish to check your dog in to a boarding kennel for a few days while the bulk of the move is happening. Before bringing them home, or if you’ve newly adopted them, you can pre-place their food and water, bed and toys, so that when they arrive, they can quickly determine the location of everything.
Pheromones: you may wish to introduce a pheromone-dispensing product, such as Adaptil, a few days prior, so that they are greeted with a calming scent on arrival. These are highly rated by many dog owners, though they won’t work for every dog.
Routine: wherever possible, try to keep their routine as consistent as possible, including feeding, walking, and grooming at the same or similar times each day. If you’re moving to a new neighbourhood, however, you may wish to walk at quieter times of day to avoid meeting too many other dogs being walked at once.
Take some time: while it’s generally recommended to take some time off work to help settle the dog in to the new house, try not to be around 24/7, as this can add stress when you do eventually return to work.
Quiet and calm: try to keep your home quiet and calm for the initial few weeks so as to not overwhelm the dog. Also, tempting as it may be to show off the new family member, try to invite family and friends around to meet the new arrival only after a settling period, and not all at once. Similarly, if you have friends or family with other pets and you want to introduce them, do this somewhere they’ll have space to get away from each other and make their own choices.
If you were seeking any further advice on settling a dog in to a new home, you’re more than welcome to contact the team at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home by calling 0131 669 5331 or by visiting us at 26 Seafield Road East, Edinburgh.