7 Ways to Help Your Pet Adjust to a New Home

by Dusty Rhodes on Jan 17, 2024  in 
  • Moving
  • affordable moving
  • Packing Tips
pug stress


Moving is one of the most stressful life events for people, but we often forget that it can be just as challenging for our pets. For some animals, the loss of their familiar home and routine can be upsetting, and settling into a new home can take some time. Moving with pets can add an additional layer of complication to an already stressful process. Your new home is more than just a change of scenery for your furry friend. Dogs are creatures of habit and a change in their environment can cause some understandable anxiety. We can’t exactly explain to them what is happening, but there are things we can do as their owners to mitigate their anxiety. Here are some helpful tips for moving with pets and helping them adjust to their new home.

1. Maintain a Routine

As mentioned before, your pets have a regular routine that is generally predictable. They eat at the same time each day, go for a walk at the same time, and enjoy snuggles with you around the same time. While this may sound mundane to us humans, these routines are what keep your pet secure, allowing them to navigate their day. During the moving process, these daily routines can be interrupted, making the process stressful for your pet. One of the best ways to help minimize your pet’s anxiety and help them adjust is to maintain your routine as much as possible. The more you stick to your pet’s routine, the better they will handle all of the changes around them.

2. Keep Their Old Things

You may feel inspired to buy new furniture and accessories for your new home but your furry friend prefers their old belongings. Avoid buying all new beds, toys, food bowls, etc. and keep their familiar comforts around for a while until they adjust. Then, you can slowly begin replacing items one at a time if needed.

3. Let Out Their Energy

Too much energy can heighten a dog’s sense of anxiety and stress so exercise is critical during times of change. Take your dog for an extra walk or play a few games of fetch with them in the yard to help them release as much energy as possible. A tired dog will remain much calmer during this adjustment period.

4. Create a Sanctuary for Them

Where did your dog or cat like to retreat in your old home? Can you create a similar space for them in the new home? Cats especially enjoy alone time and having a safe space where they can escape the stress. Even social dogs also need a quiet sanctuary at times. Set up a familiar bed, rug, blanket, or toy that smells like their previous home and place it in a quiet place where they can relax.

5. Set Up Their Things Right Away

Just like you would pack an essentials bag for yourself, you should also pack an essentials bag for your pet. As soon as you arrive in your new home, you want to set up their things right away. Set up their food and water bowls, beds, blankets, litter box for cats, and play toys. This allows them to have some familiarity right away in their new space.

6. Give Lots of Attention

Moving is hectic and it’s easy to get preoccupied with other tasks. Therefore, don’t forget that your pet needs a little extra TLC during this stressful time. Be generous with affection and make a little extra time for your pet to reassure them and provide security during these times of uncertainty. Taking a few extra minutes to toss a ball, go for a walk, or snuggle on the couch can reassure your pet that everything is ok.

7. Use Treats and Rewards to Create Positive Experiences

You can always use treats, toys, and affection to reward your pup and create positive reinforcement around your new home and neighborhood. Toss or hide treats around their new home for them to find, as this game will also help familiarize them with their new space.

Dusty Rhodes