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Moving to a new home is stressful for people and dogs alike. You’re essentially taking away everything your dog is familiar with, so you need to be understanding and willing to work with your pooch through the entire process.

Your dog is a creature of habit, so when you change something, it might have difficulty adapting. Here are six ways to help your pup adjust to your new home.

1. Establish Your Dog’s Space

If you have an area in mind you want to set up for your dog, do so immediately, as it will help your pooch gain back some comfort. This area doesn’t have to be permanent. A temporary spot can ease your pup’s anxiety just as well.

Make a bed with its favorite blankets, stuffed animals and toys. If you have a crate your dog uses, set it up so your pup can go in and feel safe. Also, make sure you put out food and water because your pup might be thirsty or hungry after the stressful move.

If you are moving to a house with a yard, make sure to let your dog sniff the perimeter of the property as well as outside the outside of the house. Animals get familiar with predators and encroaching creatures through use of scent and boundaries. Make sure you allow your pet to establish and get familiar with the sights, sounds and smells that will help him/her calm down and communicate in their new environment outside the home.

If you intend on relocating again in the near future, keep in mind just how draining a move is on you and your dog. It’s worth staying in the same location if possible. If you can’t afford your monthly payments, look into mortgage refinance rates, as you may be able to find a plan that fits your budget, ultimately allowing you to stay at your current residence.

2. Stick to a Routine

Most dogs follow a routine – they eat and sleep at the same times daily. If your dog is used to doing tasks at specified times, try to stick with this schedule. It’s easier for your pup to make sense of the day when everything flows normally. A steady routine will help your dog adjust to being in a new place.

3. Take a Vacation Week

If you can, take some time off work as soon as you move in. You’ll require it to unpack boxes and organize your house. Most importantly, however, your dog needs you to be by its side for the first few days. New surroundings are nerve-wracking and scary. Sticking around while your pup acclimates to the house will help immensely. If you have to go somewhere, either take your pooch with you or have a trusted friend or family member come over while you’re out.

4. Encourage Exercise

Allow your dog to sniff around the backyard or new neighborhood to get acclimated more quickly.

Too much energy can lead to even more stress. To keep your dog as calm as possible, consider taking it for a walk or run. A game of fetch can also do the trick. Additionally, keeping your dog active will help it sleep easier.

5. Try Medication

Your vet can prescribe a medication to help your dog get through the most challenging parts of the move. Make sure you schedule an appointment far enough in advance so you have the medicine on hand before you start packing.

6. Show Patience

Although it may be difficult, you need to be patient with your pooch. Realize that your pup is going through many changes, which may cause it to engage in unusual or undesirable behaviors, such as urinating in the house. While you would typically reprimand this poor conduct, you shouldn’t be stern with your pup in this case. There’s a good chance your dog didn’t mean to behave poorly, and it shouldn’t be punished for being fearful and anxious. These undesired actions should lessen as your pup gets used to its new abode.

Your dog is part of your family, so you should keep its feelings in mind before, during and after the big move. These tips will help your pup get comfortable in its new home in no time at all.

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