How Long Does It Take for a Dog To Adjust to a New Home?

This page may contain affiliate links. If you click and buy, we might get a small commission at no cost to you.

Moving homes can be stressful for anybody, and dogs are no exception. Whether you’re moving with your dog or bringing home a new rescue, there is bound to be an adjustment period. Every dog is different, but no matter what you should have some kind of plan in place to ease them into their new environment. By having a proper plan tailored to your dog and their needs, you can make adjusting easier and less stressful for both of you.

How long does it take for a dog to adjust to a new home?

When it comes to how long it will take your dog to adjust to its new home, it depends a lot on the dog. While most dogs don’t like change, especially a big change in an environment like moving, there are multiple factors that will contribute to how long it takes them to adjust. It could take anywhere from two days to three weeks for them to feel completely comfortable in a new home.

Are dogs sad when they move homes?

It’s normal to worry about how your dog will feel when you move with them, and a lot of people worry it could make their four-legged friend sad. Dogs typically feel stress and anxiety during a move, but there are ways to help with this.

Some dogs may experience depression, but with a good adjustment plan in place, you can help them through it. If you are bringing a dog home from a shelter they may be more prone to experience bouts of depression and may require more help to fully adjust.

If you are bringing home a dog that was recently re-homed by another family, they may miss their previous owners. These dogs are also more likely to experience sadness while adjusting and will need a plan more tailored to their needs.

How do you help a dog adjust to a new home?

There are a few ways that you can help your dog adjust to their new home, and help them feel more comfortable. Some dogs will respond better than others when put in a new environment, but following these few tips should help make the process a little easier.

Keep Your Routine

Dogs like routine and any disruption to that routine can cause them to become stressed out or anxious. Keeping a routine can be hard during a move, but it can tremendously help your furry friend. If you continue to feed and walk your dog at the same time every day it can ease them into feeling at home in a new place.

Set Up Their Space First

Image by Mat Coulton from Pixabay

One of the first things you should do when bringing your dog to a new home is set up their space first. You can set up any space in the new home with their blankets, bed, toys, and food.

This will give them a familiar and comfortable area for them to immediately enjoy. It by no means has to be their permanent space, but it can be a big help in making them feel secure in an unfamiliar home.

Give Them Attention

Some extra attention during an adjustment period can also go a long way in helping your dog feel safe and comfortable. It can be hard to remember this, especially during a big move, but your dog will definitely appreciate the extra love.

Just taking a few minutes to spend time with them can be extremely beneficial in helping them adjust.

Watch for anxiety

Dogs can definitely experience anxiety when moving to a new home, and most of them will. This anxiety can even lead to accidents in the house, whining more than usual, or chewing on stuff they aren’t supposed to.

There are several ways you can ease their anxiety, but especially anxious dogs may benefit from some kind of medicine. This can easily be obtained through your veterinarian’s office. If your dog is already pretty anxious, you might want to give them an anxiety aid before the move.

3-3-3 rule for bringing home a rescue dog

If you’re bringing home a rescue dog, their adjustment period will look different than if you were just moving homes with a dog you already own. Not only will a rescue be in a new environment, but they will also be around unfamiliar people. For these furry pals, there is a 3-3-3 rule you can follow.

3 Days

During the first three days that your rescue dog is home, being patient and giving them space is key. Forcing too much interaction can overwhelm them, and cause it to take even longer for them to feel comfortable. You should start your daily routine during this time, which includes feeding and walking. If you’re going to crate train them you should also start during this time.

3 Weeks

After three weeks your rescue dog should start to feel more comfortable, but make sure you stick to any boundaries you set during the first three days. This is a good time to work on teaching them commands and praise them for everything they do right.

3 Months

After three months your rescue dog should feel secure in its new home and will have established trust with you. They should be used to their routine, and you should continue training them with commands. It can be a long process to help your rescue dog adjust, but patience and consistency are key.

In Conclusion

Helping your dog adjust to a new home will be a process no matter what, but there are ways to make it easier. Understanding your dog’s needs and creating a plan tailored to them can go a long way in helping them feel safe and comfortable.