• Alex Berger

How To Help Your Pets Adjust To A New Home


When my husband and I first moved into our house, I was very nervous about how my dogs were going to react to the huge life change that they were going through. Luckily, my smaller dog, Payton, is pretty adaptable for the most part and just goes with the flow, but my lab, Dakota, is pretty timid around new people and things, so I was very nervous that it would be a hard transition for her. When it came down to it, she did fine with the transition into our new home, but I think a few things that I did definitely helped her out with the transition and I wanted to share them with you all. Here are a few things that you can do to help your pets adjust to a new home:

Find A House That Accommodates Your Needs

First and foremost, you need to find a house that accommodates your needs as a person and as a pet owner. For me, this meant that I needed a house with a fenced in backyard, but it looks different for each person and each pet owner. For example, when my parents were searching for their new home, they were moving from Georgia to Florida and it made it pretty hard for them since they could not be in Florida the entire time during the house hunt + closing process. They had to rely on their Jacksonville-based realtor, Erin King Jax Historic Realty, to help them out. They had to tell him exactly what they were looking for and then they just trusted him to pull good house options within the Jacksonville area.

For them, they were looking for a house with a backyard, a mudroom to make bathing their standard poodle easy for them (especially since they are a bit older), and a house close to the beach, but not right on the beach. Erin made the process easy on them and once they moved in, their dog took to the house immediately. Long story short - do what you need to do to find a home that suits your needs, even if that means trusting your realtor 100%, like my parents did. But, if you do this, make sure to find one who really knows his or her stuff. My parents chose Erin King because he is a Best of Zillow® REALTOR® who specializes in Jacksonville’s historic neighborhoods. He also holds an MBA with an economics focus and brings a deep understanding of buying and selling historic homes. Check out his about me page for more information on him so that you know what to look for when choosing a real estate agent.

Pay Attention To Their Mood

If you are a pet owner, specifically a dog owner, then you know that dogs definitely have moods and opinions about situations. Most of the time, they will let you know, too! Your animals have the potential to become anxious, depressed, or stressed during or even after a move, so keep an eye out for any changes. Most of the time, it just takes a bit of an adjustment period before your pets feel more at ease, but if your pet is not adjusting, you may want to consider talking with your vet or finding another way to help them settle in.

Keep Their Old Bed

Make sure you keep some of their old things such as an old bed, toys, and even treats to show them that not everything is new. Bringing a lot familiar items will help them adjust compared to buying everything new. I know this is hard, though, because who wants to take an old bed along with them to a new house, but give it a good wash and your pup will be happy as a clam!

Give A Lot Of Attention

You need to show your animals that the move is a positive thing, so make sure to give them plenty of reassurance by showing them attention. Lots of pets, playtime, and walks always seems to do the trick. A few treats definitely does not hurt anything, either! "One of the things that helps dogs to feel at home someplace new is familiar smells. You can add those familiar smells to your house faster by spending time on the floor with your dog," says Karen B. London, Ph.D., a certified applied animal behaviorist and certified professional dog trainer. "Being on the floor together also adds to the time you spend giving him the loving that he needs during this stressful time."

Let Them Explore

Last but not least, just let them explore their new home! They will become familiar with it in no time and I am sure they will love it. With my dogs, it took a couple of weeks for them to get fully familiar with the house, but after the first day or two, they were already settling in.

Moving can be tolling on both you and your animals, but adjusting to a new home just takes a bit of time and effort. Follow these tips if your animals are struggling when it comes to adjusting to a new home and you should be good to go!

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