Moving home can be a very exciting time in your life, especially if you’re moving abroad. However, it can also be a big change for you, your family, and your furry friends.

Whether you’re hopping the border to the next state or moving to Australia, you want the move to go smoothly for everyone involved. This includes your dog.

But as we know all too well, dogs are very perceptive, they like a routine, and they can become stressed when there are big changes or upheavals.

So what can you do to help them settle into their new home as quickly as possible?

Make the move as smooth as possible

First and foremost, you want to make the move as stress-free as possible for your dog. This can be tricky on longer journeys or if you’re flying to your new home. After all, the hold can be a loud and stressful place for dogs.

As such, it’s important to prepare as thoroughly as you can to make the journey easier for them. This could include booking a pet relocation service to make the journey more pleasant. Alternatively, if you’re driving or using other forms of public transport, make sure your dog is comfortable throughout the journey and has everything they need along the way.

Be sure to pack the essentials

When arriving at your new home, the last thing you want to do is run around trying to find the essentials. Therefore, it’s best to pack a bag or box for your fluffy friend that you have easy access to as soon as you arrive. Labeling this can be very helpful if you’re using a moving or shipping service.

This should include everything they’ll need in the first few days, such as food, bedding, water bowl, toys, treats, leads, etc. You’ll be glad you have everything you need to hand when it comes to settling your dog into its new home.

Set up your dog’s space

Even if your dog usually has free roam of the house, it’s a nice idea to give them a dedicated space where they can relax and unwind. Some dogs, particularly younger pups, are used to having a crate. This can be their safe space where they can feel comforted and at home, so in this instance, get this set up for them right away.

Even without a crate, it’s a good idea to choose a room where you can keep your dog’s belongings, including their bed, food, water, and toys. This way, they have a dedicated and special space to get away if they need to. This can be very important when establishing a new home.

Make sure your home is escape-proof

The last thing you need when you’re trying to unpack and get settled in is your dog disappearing in a new country. So before you let them roam completely free, check that your new home and garden are escape-proof.

If they’re not, you should consider keeping your dog on a lead until you’ve got fences, gates, hedges, etc., in place to protect them.

Stay home with them for a while

You may have a job lined up already, or you may be off meeting new people and getting to know the area, but it’s important that your dog doesn’t feel abandoned. They are adjusting to this new place just as much as you are.

So, wherever possible, you should spend at least the first few days at home with them. This will give them time to acclimatize to their new home with the security of having you by their side. This can be very comforting and can make the process of settling in much quicker.

Establish a routine

Dogs love a routine, and since their’s has been disrupted, it’s a good idea to establish a new one as quickly as possible. This can be largely based on the old one, feeding them at the same time, walking them in the morning and evening, playing with them in the garden at lunchtime, whatever it may be. Just get a routine in place that suits both of you.

This is vital because routines are important to how our dogs understand the world and make sense of their day. So don’t dismiss this part of the process, and be sure to stick to this routine even when things are tough.

Yes, you may have to unpack lots of boxes that day or start a new job, but your dog doesn’t understand that, and if they are left waiting for food or a walk, they could become distressed or confused.

Let them explore the space

They need to get used to their new surroundings, and walking can be a really fun way for both of you to get to know the new area. Take them out on walks around the local town and parks and let them have a good sniff along the way.

Dogs explore the world through their noses, and sniffing can be a very relaxing activity for them. It can help them to manage and relieve anxiety and get them used to the new local area.

Give them lots of attention and praise

Moving can take its toll on both of you, so don’t forget that your dog might need some extra love and attention at this time. Set aside five minutes during the day to have a quiet snuggle on the couch, and be sure to give them lots of fuss and praise throughout the day.

Being generous with your affection assures them that everything is OK and that while you might be busy moving about and establishing your new home, they are still your top priority.

Be patient

Last but not least, you need to be patient with your pup. This is the best thing you can do for them right now, especially if they are particularly old or nervous anyway. If they seem a little off or they are behaving strangely at first, don’t get stressed or shout at them. Remember, they are just trying to process what is going on.

It may take a few days; it could even take weeks for your dog to feel settled and comfortable in their new home, so don’t rush the process. Just enjoy spending time with them, giving them attention, and exploring the new area together.

Written by: Stuart Cooke (Guest Author)