New sights, smells and sounds. New territory to explore. New neighbourhood cats to chase and fellow canines to meet. Moving house can be an overwhelming experience for a pup – everything is so new!
Some dogs can get really stressed when moving home, so making the transition as simple and seamless as possible is the best way to keep your canine pal calm and quickly get them used to a new space.
Why not browse our holiday cottage collection and plan a relaxing break to reconnect with your whole pack after the move?
If you are moving house with a dog, we’ve put together a few ways you can help your family pet settle into their new home. Read on for tips on keeping your dog calm during this busy time.
Stay home for the first few days
While your dog is learning that this is now their home, having their family or their ‘pack’ around them is essential. If you can, take a few days holiday or work from home so that your best pal is never left alone in a new place.
If you have to pop out, try to take your dog with you or ask a friend or family member to keep them company. When it’s time to leave them home alone, work up to it gradually so they can get used to being on their own in your new house.
Adjusting to any big life changes can be stressful for your dog. Read our guide to helping your dog with separation anxiety for more tips on keeping your dog calm.
Establish a routine
When planning how to settle a dog into a new house, remember to establish a routine early on, preferably the day you move in if possible. Running through your normal daily routine with your dog will gives them a feeling of familiarity and security.
The more the days pass and the more often you and your pup do your usual routine such as the morning feed or evening walk, the quicker your dog will begin to feel comfortable in the space.
Bring familiar items
When introducing a dog to a new house, bringing along your dog’s bed, toys, blankets and other items from your old house will instantly fill the place with the scent of home, which is more likely to de-stress your pup.
Familiarity is key as no dog likes too much change, so even if the old dog bed is falling apart at the seams, don’t be tempted to get a new one when you move – we’re certain your family pet loves it and will need it when settling in.
Give your dog loads of attention
In a new space, your pup wants to know you’re still there, so when they come over to see you, be sure to give them a really good fuss!
Play with toys, run through training tricks, provide tasty treats, and just generally give your pup lots of attention to reinforce that the new house is a happy, positive place to be.
But don’t forget to give them their space too!
Create a safe space for your family pet as soon as you move in where your pup can retreat to if they are stressed or tired. Place their dog bed and other familiar items together here so they are surrounded by all their favourite things as they adjust to their new home.
Our canine friends are incredibly responsive to their owners and environment, so the lounge is usually a great room to create a safe space. When the family is relaxing, chatting and watching TV in the lounge, your doggo will be likely settle down with you.
Give your dog plenty of exercise
Moving house with a dog is no walk in the park – but a walk in the park may help!
Whether you’re human or canine, exercise is a fantastic stress reliever. So, get your four-pawed pal outside on long mood-boosting walks or let them chase after tennis balls in the garden to keep their mood high.
Best of all, after all that exercise, your dog is sure to be exhausted and will be more likely to quickly fall fast asleep when everyone else heads up to bed.
Keep your dog distracted
If your pup is starting to look sorry for itself or begins to express its nervousness through whining or pacing, try to distract them with a game or food.
Dogs can often be easily distracted with a strong-smelling dish or a great game of tug-of-war, giving your pup less time to stress about being in a new situation and more time having fun with their owner.
Here are a few fun activities you can do indoors while getting your dog used to a new home.
Therapies and products
If your dog is prone to anxiety, there is a whole host of therapies and activities that may help keep your pup calm, although make sure you get your dog used to any new therapies before the big move.
Dog massage is a lovely way to bond with your pup and pamper them at the same time! There are also many products from herbal supplements to plug diffusers that may be perfect for your pup. Every dog is different so it may be worth trying a few different calming products until you find something that your pup responds well to.
Our partners offer some wonderful calming products and you can get discounts when you sign up to our Canine Club. You could pick out supplements for anxious hounds at Woof & Brew, choose cosy dog coats from our friends at Ruff and Tumble, or try a calming box full of goodies from Love Louie.
Make sure your dog is microchipped
Nervous dogs have a tendency to bolt at loud noises, whether it’s the sound of a police siren driving by or the neighbour’s dog barking.
Ensure your pet has a collar, name tag and health insurance, and is microchipped for emergencies. Your pup doesn’t know the area yet and will not recognise your house as their new home immediately, so do all you can to ensure your dog can be brought back if they get lost.
Planning how to calm a dog in a new home involves keeping yourself calm too. Our pup pals will take their owner’s lead and if your pup sees the family running around stressed or you become angry and impatient with the dog, they will take on that stress.
If your dog is acting up, for example they won’t stay in bed or begin howling during the night, patience is key. Dogs prone to anxiety are likely to have a tricky first night but, by staying calm and making the new house feel like a friendly, welcoming space, your dog should soon settle in and it will soon begin to feel like home for everyone.
For more wonderful tips and tricks on how to care for your four-pawed best pal, be sure to sign up to Battersea’s pet advice email series, The Battersea Way.
Unwind with a pet-friendly break
Even dogs need a holiday to de-stress and have fun! Take a look at our guide to keeping your dog calm on holiday and you may find a few tips in there that will help when you move into your new home.
Be sure to browse our cottages for some holiday inspiration and plan a trip so that you, your dog and the rest of your pack can spend time relaxing far away from the bustle of day-to-day activity. Put your feet up (or paws!) and spend time together on a dog-friendly UK holiday.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.