Dogs are like most beings in that they crave routine and familiar surroundings. An abrupt change such as a move to a new residence will likely affect them, and they may start exhibiting signs of nervousness and fear. Here are a few tips for new homeowners looking to ease their pup into his new environment.

It’s normal for a dog to seem uneasy for a short period of time after a big move. To make the transition as smooth as possible, immediately put out his belongings so he knows he’s at home. Place his bedding, as well as food and water bowls, in similar places where they can easily be found. Don’t throw out any worn or smelly toys just yet, as your dog’s favorite familiar possessions will make him feel comforted and calm.

Let your pup explore inside and out of the new house on a leash first before setting him free, and try not to venture out too much for a while as it’s important to let this change soak in before introducing any others. Chances are your dog could need more supervision than you’re used to in this new space. It’s common for pets to revert back to how they were like before they were potty trained. They may even destroy objects out of stress and anxiety. If you must leave the house, be proactive by gating off rooms that you haven’t unpacked yet, and consider getting a webcam so you can check in while at work. BarkPost also recommends what is called a Thundershirt, “designed to wrap tightly around your dog’s chest, creating a physical sensation that is profoundly calming for many dogs.”

It’s possible your new home will have a yard that your dog can frolic and play in. While you’ll want your pup spending time outside exercising and sniffing to his heart’s desire, just make sure to update the address on his tags so that he can be returned to you if he gets out. Getting you dog microchipped is another way to ensure he is safe because you will be able to track his location if he gets loose.  

If you haven't already, spay and neuter your dog as he may interact or come in contact with other animals in the neighborhood. The Animal Humane Society points out that, “Studies have shown that sterilized animals are less likely to roam.” You can also install a fence around your property so he can play outside without you having to worry or provide supervision. According to HomeAdvisor, the average price to install a wood fence in Phoenix, AZ, ranges from $738 to $1,729.

You will, however, have to keep a closer eye on hazardous materials that are usually stored outside in a shed or garage, and watch for things he may lick up from the driveway. Beware of harmful plants like mushrooms, lilies, and daffodils that can be poisonous if consumed by a dog. Also be sure to use organic fertilizers and weed killers on your lawn or garden as they can otherwise be quite toxic.

By making your backyard a place your pup will love spending time in, you will lessen the chance he is tempted to hatch an escape plan. Provide a shelter and access to water as well as other activities to keep him occupied and protected from the elements. You should also clear clutter or debris where dangerous animals like to congregate and check around the fence to make sure there aren’t any areas where he could dig through or jump out.

Be patient with your pet during this transition and understand that it will take time for him to feel secure in the new home. Chances are he will adapt more quickly if kept to his previous schedule and routine. But if he doesn’t resume normal behavior in a reasonable amount of time, you will need to consult with a veterinarian.