Why is My Dog Acting Different After Moving?

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Moving is a stressful situation that can affect everyone in your home, including your dog. Unfortunately, with all the work that goes into the moving process, we often overlook the importance of our pet’s mental health.

This can leave your dog acting differently after moving. Thankfully, there are things you can do to help make the transition to their new home less stressful. Let’s delve a little deeper into why your dog may be acting differently after moving to a new house.

Why your dog may be acting different after moving

There are an abundance of stressful activities that occur during a move that can leave your pooch feeling scared and unsure. You can’t really explain the concept of a move to your dog, so all he knows is that he’s been uprooted from a familiar place and thrown into an unfamiliar one.

The general stress of a move often cause a dog to act differently until they get used to their new surroundings. How long that period will be depends on how quickly the particular dog adapts to a new environment.

This stress can cause dogs to become depressed, lethargic, experience bouts of depression, vomiting, diarrhea, and even show signs of aggression. Other times a dog is merely cautious of the new surroundings for a while and that’s it. They just accept that this is their new home right away.

While it is alarming when your dog isn’t acting himself, there are things you can do to help them feel safer and less stressed.

How can I help my dog after moving?

Even if you didn’t take the necessary steps to reduce your pet’s stress during the move, there are still things you can do to help them adjust to the new home quickly. Here are 5 tips to get your dog used to a new house.

Image by Amit Karkare from Pixabay

1. Bring Their Old Stuff And Put It In The New House

Make sure you bring their items along as well. While it may seem like a good idea to toss out old toys or old torn beds for new ones, especially when you’re moving and clearing out clutter, this can actually cause additional stress.

Your pet needs their old familiar items that have their scent on them. This helps them adjust quicker to the new home since they have familiar items to make them feel safe and at home.

2. Keep Up Their Routine

Try to maintain the same routine they had at the previous house. For example, if you fed them at 8 am and then walked them at 10 am, keep that feeding and walking time at your new home.

This helps make the transition to the new home easier on them. That doesn’t mean you have to continue this routine forever. Once they have adjusted to the new house, you can change the times to better fit your current situation.

3. Give Them Lots Of Love And Attention

Love and attention is one of the best ways to help calm and reassure than that everything will be okay. Make sure to give them an abundance of love and attention. Play with them, cuddle with them, give them praise. All of these can make this scary situation feel much less scary.

4. Don’t Leave Them Alone

Leaving your dog alone in their new home can quickly cause them to stress out. Even if they had no problems being left alone in their old house, doing so in their new home can leave them scared and stressed.

Image by LauraTara from Pixabay

Plan on taking your dog everywhere with you for several days after moving into your new home. If you cannot take them with you, make sure someone is always home with them. Once they adjust to their new home, you can start leaving them home alone.

5. Give Them Time

Try not to rush your dog or get frustrated with them if they are not adjusting to the new home as quickly as you would like. Remember that they cannot understand what is going on.

Their old and safe home is gone and they have been thrust into this new place with new smells, new sights, and new sounds. Getting upset with them and yelling at them will only increase their stress level and set them back even further.

Things you can do to help your dog before moving

The best thing to do is to act before the move to help reduce stress on your pooch.

  • Have boxes, packing paper, tape, and other packing supplies sitting out in your living room well ahead of your move. This helps your dog get used to the sights and sounds of these items.
  • Try to associate the packing supplies with positive actions, such as belly rubs or treats.
  • Avoid leaving your dog alone with packing supplies, since they can quickly damage boxes and packing tape.
  • Make sure to make time for your dog during the packing process. Merely just providing your dog with some one on one time or family time during the packing process will go a long way to reducing their stress.
  • Try to maintain their normal routine even during the packing and moving process. This means feeding and walking them at their normal times.
  • Wait until the last day to pack up their items. Removing their items too soon can quickly make them feel uncertain and stressed.
  • Keep them away from the actual packing process. Seeing items being moved in and out of the home can quickly cause stress in your pooch. Try to keep them away from this. You could even ask a friend or relative whom your dog is comfortable with to take them for a few hours while you pack.


Dogs can become stressed just like humans, and a move can cause an abundance of stress on them. The best way to help prevent stress is to take precautions before you start packing.

The precautions, however, don’t stop when you move into your new home, and your job as a dog owner is to ensure they feel safe in their new house.

While there isn’t a timeframe for how long it takes for a dog to become used to a new house, if your dog has been acting differently for several weeks, reach out to a trusted veterinarian.

They can examine your dog to ensure they don’t have an underlying condition, causing them to act differently. The veterinarian can even provide other solutions to help your dog readjust to their new home.