How to help your dog adjust to a new environment

Posted by LMB on

How to help your dog adjust to a new environment

          Bringing a new dog home is a great experience, but like with humans, there is an adjustment period. Having a routine during the first weeks of bringing your pup home will help your dog adjust to your house and family faster. So, whether you have a new puppy or an adult dog, don't expect them to start hopping around right away; it will take time. But with these few suggestions, you will make the adjustment process a bit smoother for your dog. Here are simple tips on how to help your new puppy or adult dog adjust to a new environment.

How to help a new puppy adjust to a new environment.

These tips will assist your new dog in settling faster into their new home and creating a bond with you and your family. The adjustment period could take days, weeks, or even months, but it all depends on your dog’s personality, experience, and how much time you are willing to sacrifice to help your dog socialize. Before bringing your dog home, they might have spent some time with a breeder or even a shelter home, so transitioning to your clean and quiet house is a great deal for them. To help the process, here are six tips to get your new dog used to your home quickly.

Allow your dog to open up slowly.

This is a very important part of this process. You should never force any interaction on your new puppy. For the first two days, make sure you move carefully to help your dog familiarize to your home. He would like to meet one person at a time in order to get to know their new family and neighborhood. Allow him to explore the house and yard at his leisure. If possible, allow him to only interact with your close family relatives till you feel he is ready to meet others.

Each dog has a different personality, as this process may be faster for some dogs. Allow your pup to inspect (sniff) your house for themselves. Let them roam around freely and check out the yard, bathroom, bedroom, sitting room, and even the people in the house. If they come to you for attention, pet them to prevent the situation from being too overwhelming for them. Do not take it personally if your dog does not immediately bond with you and your family. They're in a whole different environment, with new vistas, sunsets, and sounds to enjoy. It might be a stressful time for your new puppy, so try to make things as calm and positive as possible.

Create a personal space for your pup.

One way you can help your new dog feel more at ease is by providing him with your own comfortable bed or a safe place where he can go when he is tired. By creating a safe haven inside your home, you will be alleviating any form of stress that he might be experiencing due to the new environment. You can also introduce him to his new toys, i.e., squeaky toys, plush toys, balls, etc., to kill boredom and associate you with positive memories.

You should begin home training.

Potty training is necessary for puppies and adult dogs that have not been trained, but you should expect some potty accidents every once in a while. Before bringing your puppy home, you should have purchased dog items that will be of help in raising your pup. You will need potty pads, poop bag dispensers, and wipes. Because you and your new dog will not be on the same schedule for the first two weeks, expect a few mishaps. Your new dog will be eating and drinking more than usual, so you should stick to the schedule of taking him out more frequently.

Stick to a daily routine

Try to create a daily routine that works for both of you and stick to it. Your work will be reduced after your new puppy or dog has figured out how things work. Try to not fall out of routine to make your dog adapt to things faster. For instance,

  • Feeding: Each meal should be given at a specific time every day.
  • You should consistently take your dog out for potty breaks. In the morning, after eating, after a nap, and before bedtime.
  • Create a routine for daily walks. It can be done before work or in the evenings.
  • Hangouts: Create time to socialize your dog with other people and dogs.
  • Playtime: Create a routine for playtime with your dog.
  • Every night, make sure you go to bed at the same time.

This also includes time for exercise, daily games, and snack time. He will soon begin to understand each of your routines and what is expected of him at any given time.

Learn to understand your dog.

We strongly feel that when socializing your dog in any new environment, understanding your dog is very important. Being aware of your dog’s personality, temperament, breed, and nature will help you understand some of the behaviors they exhibit. That also includes being able to detect when your dog gets anxious or nervous. It is a bit tempting to introduce your dog to your friends, but your dog may be fearful around strangers, and the main goal is to get your dog comfortable. So, try to detect any uncomfortable situations in which your dog is involved and remove him from them; this will teach your dog to rely on you more.

Be patient with your dog.

Consider yourself in your dog’s shoes for a moment, being surrounded by unfamiliar people in a weird house. To say the least, it's a little frightening. It will take some time for your dog to socialize. Give them space when they need it and go slowly and lightly on them. Learn to be patient with them and it won’t be long before you have a dog hopping around your house like he owns it.

Moving with your dog? What you need to know

        We change houses for different reasons, but it's impossible to predict how your dog will respond when they encounter a new event or place for the first time. New sights, noises, and smells can make them scared, furious, or overwhelmed, but with the right training and exposure, most dogs will rapidly catch up and begin to take on a new environment. Every new environment will need a little form of socialization. Imagine living in the countryside with your dog for four years before relocating to the city. There is a lot of noise and activity in the city, and numerous attractions in a dog park, such as other dogs, people, and toys. This is all new to your dog.

Socializing your dog with other dogs, people, sounds, and moving objects is important to prevent future accidents. For the first time, they are exposed to all of the city's noise and chaos. Their senses are captured by new vistas, sunsets, and many other items. So how can you help get your dog used to a new environment?

Before moving in with your dog


Get your dog used to moving supplies.

Purchase your moving supplies at least two weeks (or more) before you begin packing and store them in a spare room or a corner of the living room. The supplies should be stored in areas where your dog can inspect them. This will make him used to seeing boxes around when you start moving. Avoid overcrowding the space that your dog uses for rest and relaxation, and make sure that nothing interferes with your dog’s activity to play, slumber, or eat and drink in that space.

Pack your dog’s essentials.

Pack his travel essentials: first aid box, blanket, toys, leash or harness, food, and water. Also ensure that your pup’s ID tag or microchip information is up to date. If you are traveling a long distance, make an appointment with the vet to make sure your dog is in perfect condition to travel. Don’t wash your dog’s bedding, as that will help him socialize faster in the new environment.

Prepare for the trip.

Look at your destination and how you'll get there with your dog. Whether you're traveling by car with your dog or moving overseas to a destination that requires flying, your dog must be comfortable and safe. Purchase a fitted harness for your dog to ensure that he is safe throughout the whole car trip. You can also invest in a bag that can be used on aircraft as well as in cars.

How to help your dog adjust after moving into a new home.

Spend time with your dog in your new home.

Your dog will need some time to recognize that this is their new home and that it is a secure environment. Do your best to stay by their side at first, even if it means getting off work. In the first three or four days, your dog should not be left alone in the new home for more than a few minutes, giving them time to adapt to the house with you right there. It’s a new home, everyone is trying to get the hang of it, so why not explore together? Allow your dog to explore the environment, including the yard, rooms, and every corner of the house. If you plan to start leaving them alone at home, do it gradually; 10 minutes to 30 minutes, and so on. Don’t allow your dog to spend time alone in a new house for a long time. This can make them anxious.

Create a personal space.

If they have a crate from their previous home, set it up for them. Stuff their space with their favorite toys, blankets, and other items. You should place the crate at the center of the house, making it easy for your dog to see everyone at home.

Create a daily routine and stick to it.

Don’t slack off on walking or playing time. Although moving to a new home can be stressful, you need to stick to your schedule to make your dog adapt faster. Stick to the same feeding schedule, playing, snacks, and bedtime. The feeding schedule should be consistent, and the location should be similar. For instance, if your dog's food and water bowls were usually placed in the living room in your previous home that location should still be maintained. Also, now is not the time to try out new dog items; stick to the items your dog is used to. There will be plenty of opportunities to try out the new items, food products, and food bowls.

Don’t force any interaction on your dog.

You adore your new house, and it must be tempting to want to show your friends and family. However, part of the problem is that introducing a lot of people to your new house in the initial few months can cause a lot of stress for your dog. Guests should be kept to a minimum until your pup is comfortable enough. Do not force your dog to interact with your neighbor or their dog. Any introduction to new people should be gradual and take several months to complete. Even if your dog enjoys receiving visitors on a daily basis, the moving process will be extremely stressful for him.

Be patient and understanding.

The entire moving process is stressful and full of events that both you and your dog are concerned about. As dog owners, we must recognize that it takes time for our dogs to adjust to a new situation and feel at ease. Your dog may even develop some temporary problems such as:

  • They may develop separation anxiety.
  • They may not play as much as usual.
  • They may start barking unnecessarily. They may bark or make noises when they hear noises or see people they are unfamiliar with.
  • They may lose their appetite.

These are all symptoms that a dog is under a lot of stress and should be addressed right away. You can help your dog get used to his new environment by consulting the vet, playing with him more, and being more patient and understanding. Who knows, the whole process may create a way to bond better with your dog.