5 Ways To Calm an Anxious Pet While Moving to a New Place

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Moving to a new place can be an exciting yet fraught experience. While many new things are in store for you, there are also seemingly endless boxes and luggage to pack and carry, formalities to complete, documents to sign, and so on. 

Moving home with a dog can be even more stressful as you must also tend to its needs.

Dogs love routine and stability, and most hate traveling to new places. This can make them feel anxious and irritable when transitioning to an unfamiliar location.

Fortunately, there are ways to make the move easier for pets and their owners. This article outlines five simple ways to calm an anxious dog while moving to a new place. 

But first, let’s understand the signs of anxiety dogs generally exhibit.

Signs of Pet Anxiety

“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.”

                                                                             – Orhan Pamuk

Dogs cannot speak and tell owners what they feel at any given time. But looking for signs of anxiety in your pet will tell you about its mood. 

Here are some common signs of anxiety in dogs:

  • Restlessness
  • Barking
  • Whining
  • Panting
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Drooling
  • Ears flat on its head
  • Tucked tail 
  • Displaying a lack of interest in food or not eating
  • Urinating or defecating in places it should not
  • Hiding
  • Low activity levels
  • Biting
  • Destructive behavior
  • Escape behavior

Simple Ways To Calm Your Pet While Moving

1. Visit the New Home 

Once you sign the papers on your new house or apartment, ask your realtor or landlord if you can take your pet for a visit. If you can, and the place is close enough to your current home, spend a day exploring your new home and surrounding areas with your pet.

This simple exercise will help your dog adjust to the change of scenery and ease its anxiety when moving to a new place. A bit of familiarity should make the transition easier.

2. Carry Pet Essentials

Dogs are creatures of habit and prefer stability. Bringing your dog’s favorite things, like its toys, treats, food and water bowls, crate, and bed, will give it a sense of familiarity in its new home, which can help make it feel more comfortable. This should ease moving anxiety in dogs and help them stay calm.

If your dog loves other quirky things, such as raw and uncooked green beans, add them to your pet’s essentials bag. 

Can dogs eat green beans? Yes, absolutely!

3. Block off a Safe Space for Your Pet

Dogs are territorial creatures, and it is only natural that unfamiliar places, sights, and sounds can make your dog anxious in new places. Carving off a little space or nook where it can relax and be comfortable can ease.

Set up your dog’s favorite things, like its bed, food bowls, and toys, so it can retreat to this area when it is stressed and find comfort in its favorite belongings.

4. Maintain a Stable Routine

A lack of structure and routine can make your furry friend even more anxious in a new home. Maintain your regular routine with your pet even after you move to a new house. This will help it adjust to the new location and make sense of its surroundings. 

Establishing such a routine will ease dog anxiety in a new home.

5. Shower Your Pet With Care and Attention

“The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that you will not come back when you go out the door without them.” – Stanley Coren

There is no better stress-buster for your dog than love and attention. Dogs pretty much live for our love—besides food, of course. So, one of the ways to calm an anxious dog when you move to a new home is to spend as much time with it as possible and shower it with affection.

This can ease dog separation anxiety and give it time to adjust to its new home in the company of its best friend: you!

If you have to leave home for work, errands, or other reasons, try to link your departure with something positive for your dog. You could give it treats or toys before you go or give it some extra playtime and exercise right before you step out.

Exercise will expend your dog’s extra energy and alleviate its anxiety. Additionally, it will feel too tired to exhibit destructive behaviors that stem from stress. So, make sure your dog gets enough attention and exercise to ease the transition.

Is Moving House Stressful For Dogs?

Dogs are creatures of habit and are territorial by nature. So, a move can be hard on them as they have to adjust to an entirely unfamiliar location before they can be comfortable enough to call it home.

Moreover, the stress is heightened if its owners are anxious about the move. After all, dogs easily pick up on their owners’ moods and feelings. So, if you feel any anxiety regarding moving house, dog anxiety in new places will likely be heightened.

The Takeaway

Moving home is as stressful for dogs as their owners, if not more. So, during a house move, be compassionate toward your dog and do what you can to help it feel at ease. Make efforts to understand what it is going through and be patient during this stressful time.

If your pet is acting out and showing signs of anxiety mentioned above, follow our tips on how to calm an anxious dog to help it feel safe and acclimate to its new home.

If these simple ways to calm an anxious dog don’t help, you can also use anti-anxiety aids to offer relief to your pet. Some effective calming aids include zen collars, CBD treats, and music.

If nothing else works, consult your vet immediately for a treatment plan for your pet’s anxiety.

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