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How to Help Your Dog Adjust to a New Town

Moving to a new town is a big, exciting part of life. At the very least, it’s a momentous occasion just because of all the planning and preparation that goes into a move. Whether you’re loading and unloading your stuff by yourself or hiring a moving team to help get the job done, you’ve got a million things on your mind. While you’re tying up loose ends at your soon-to-be old home, don’t forget that you’re not in this alone.

While you’re getting things packed up, your dog is watching you run around with the packing tape. She’s ready to help you have fun when you have a free minute and remind you that life is full of joy. Dogs are so supportive that it’s easy to forget how much a move affects them, too. Your home is your dog’s whole life, and that’s going to change. Get yourself ready to adjust you and your dog to a new town with just a few easy tips so you can both settle in as soon as you arrive.

Have a Schedule in Mind

Just like you, your dog has a daily schedule. Traveling to a new home is going to completely uproot and disorient her, even if she’s going to love the new, bigger backyard. Have a schedule in mind for your dog during your move.

Think about stopping regularly for bathroom breaks and maybe even a walk or two while you’re at rest stops on the road, and then get your dog comfortable in your new home. Break out dinner a little early and let her run around the empty rooms. Let her get familiar with the place and then start up her old routine the very next day. Keep meals at the same times and take walks often so they know they’re in a fun, safe place with you.

Know the Laws in Your Area

It’s easy to think about researching rules about pet restrictions if you’re going to be flying, but communities pass restriction rules too. Contact your local government or look around online for anything that might apply to your dog. You may not be able to visit the dog parks you’d like, and your furry companion may not be welcome in certain parts of town. Try not to take it too personally. The laws might not be fair, but you still need to respect them.

Ask Around for Recommendations

After you finish your move, you’re going to have to find a vet and a groomer for your dog. Even if she doesn’t need to go to either of those places any time soon, start asking around. Look for local Facebook groups or community apps where you can ask locals for their recommendations. You can also use an online locator to find the best vendors if you take a minute to read and compare reviews. It won’t be hard to find a good place, and keep in mind that you may have to try out more than one location.

Start Making Memories

Ultimately, how you help your dog adjust to your move depends on the kind of dog you have. Moving has been proven to increase stress and anxiety in dogs, so if your pet is more prone to those feelings, she willl be affected even more. Start making memories to combat heightened dog anxiety. Explore new dog parks or even just spend time with your dog outside in your yard. If she sees you having fun, she’ll start to enjoy the new place, too.

If your moving process has already begun, you know how busy you are with keeping up with everything. Try not to overlook how your dog is coping with the move while you take care of everything else. She is not going to understand why you’re moving or where you’re going, so give her extra love and attention during the whole process. Once you’re in your new space, transition her into it with lots of yummy food and treats, and then start making memories so that she will love your new town as much as you do.


Emily is a freelance wildlife conservation and pet blogger. To check out more of her work, see her blog, Conservation Folks, or follow her Twitter account @emilysfolk.

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