When the time comes to move, many dog owners understandably worry about how their pets will react. It’s a natural concern- after all, it can be stressful for humans to move too!
But don’t panic, there are ways to make your pet’s transition as smooth and easy as possible. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the most common concerns that arise when moving with a canine companion and provide you with tips on how best to address them.
Do Dogs Get Depressed After Moving Home?
In many ways, dogs are just like humans and they can be greatly affected by a move to a new home. Many people have reported that their pets were very anxious in the days or weeks leading up to a big relocation.
This is because they notice all of the changes happening around them: all of their stuff being moved around, new people, a new home, and often a new environment. Dogs can become agitated and restless when their routine is disrupted.
They may express this by whining, barking incessantly, or trying to escape from the new home. Some dogs may even refuse to eat or drink and become very lethargic.
If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to be patient and understanding. Try not to add more stress by scolding them; instead, focus on creating a calm and reassuring environment.
It’s okay to allow your pet time to adjust and try not to rush them into any new situations until they have had a chance to settle in. This could mean taking some time off from work, getting familiar with the surroundings before walking outside, or even waiting a week or two before enrolling them in a new obedience class.
How Long Does It Take for a Dog to Get Used to a New Home?
The length of time it takes for a dog to adjust depends largely on the individual pup. It can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks for them to feel comfortable in their new surroundings.
The best way to determine how long a dog will be upset or depressed by a move is by reflecting on your dog’s temperament and how it has acted in similar situations in the past.
Does your dog usually take a while to get comfortable in new environments or do they usually adjust fairly quickly? Is your pup prone to anxiety or are they more resilient?
All of these factors will play into how long it takes for them to feel at home in their new surroundings.
How to Get a Dog to Adjust to Its New Home Faster?
There are some things you can do to help the process along. With a little effort, you can help your dog to feel at home in your new abode as soon as possible.
Stick To Your Dog’s Familiar Routines
Try to keep your dog’s feeding, walking, and playtime schedules as consistent as possible. This will help them feel more comfortable and relaxed in their new environment.
In addition to keeping their routines the same, make sure not to change your dog’s food, treats, or toys abruptly. This could also lead to digestive problems or anxiety.
Make Sure There’s a Place for Them to Hide
Dogs often feel more secure when they have a safe place to retreat to, especially if it’s an area that smells like them. Make sure your new home has plenty of nooks and crannies where your pup can hide, such as under furniture or in a closed-off room.
Set Up an Area for Your Dog to Relax
If you have a dog bed or crate, this is the perfect place for your pet to sleep and relax. You can also set it up with some of their favorite toys so they feel like they’re home.
Providing them with familiar things will help make them comfortable in the new environment much faster. Make sure nothing has been changed in the layout of the home. Dogs are very particular about their surroundings and any change, even if it’s minor, can be unsettling.
Spend a Lot of Time With Your Pup
If you can, try to take some days off of work after the move to spend extra time with your pet. They’ll need all the love and attention they can get to make up for the disruption in their life. Go on long walks, play fetch in the yard, or just cuddle up on the couch- whatever makes your dog happy!
Above all, be patient with your pup during this time. They might be scared of the new surroundings and it can take some time for them to adjust. It’s important that you give your dog all the love, attention, and reassurance they need during this hard transition period.
Don’t rush things along. Instead, try to focus on providing comfort by sticking with their familiar routines and spending lots of quality time together.
Introduce Them to New People and Pets Gradually
When you first move in, make sure that your dog is only introduced to new people or pets one at a time. This will help them feel more comfortable and safe. Allow plenty of time for them to get used to each new person or animal, and never leave them unsupervised.
You may want to place them in another room if many people are coming in and out to work on the house or do yard work. This will help them get used to the new sounds and smells without feeling overwhelmed by a lot of unfamiliar people at once.
How Can You Tell if a Dog Is Sad or Depressed?
Since dogs can’t speak, it can be hard to tell if they’re feeling sad or depressed. However, there are a few signs that your dog may be suffering from depression:
Loss of Appetite
If your dog has suddenly stopped eating, this could be a sign that it’s not feeling well. Depression can often lead to a loss of appetite as dogs stop enjoying the things they used to love.
They may graze their food slowly, or may completely stop eating altogether. While this is ok for a day or two, if this behavior continues for more than a week, it’s best to take them to the vet.
Dogs often shed more when they’re feeling stressed or anxious. If your dog is shedding excessively, this could be another sign that it’s depressed.
In addition to extra shedding, you might also notice that their coat isn’t as shiny and healthy as it used to be. This is especially true if they aren’t eating well or are stressed out in general.
Dogs who are depressed may also sleep more than usual. This is their way of trying to cope with the stress and anxiety they’re feeling.
You may find them curled up in a corner or under furniture, taking naps all day long. If this is unusual for your dog, it’s a good idea to try to engage them in activities or take them to the vet if the behavior doesn’t stop.
Lack of Interest in Activities
If your dog usually loves going for walks or playing fetch but has suddenly lost interest, this could be another sign that it’s feeling depressed. Dogs who are sad or depressed may not want to do anything at all and will just lie around the house all day.
If your dog has suddenly stopped engaging in their favorite activities, it’s important to try and get them interested again by taking them on walks or playing fetch with a toy they love. Getting out of the house will also help minimize signs of depression due to isolation from other people and animals.
Your Pup Stops Listening to Commands
If your dog usually listens to your commands but has suddenly stopped obeying, this is a major sign that it’s not feeling well. Dogs who are depressed may not respond to their owner’s voice or commands as they once did.
This could be because they are too distracted or stressed, or maybe they just don’t feel like obeying. Focus on calming them down and getting them to listen to you again.
A Change in Body Language
If your dog is struggling with making eye contact, flattening its ears, or walking around with its tail between its legs, it may be depressed.
These signs are usually indicative of a dog who is feeling scared, anxious, or sad. Pay attention to your pup’s body language and see if they’re exhibiting any of these signs.
Your dog may also become avoidant of touch and affection. If you notice your pup shying away when you reach out to pet them, there is likely a problem.
How to Deal with Depression in Dogs
If you notice any of these symptoms of depression in dogs, it’s important that you take action as soon as possible. You can’t force your dog out of their state if they’re having trouble getting through the tough times on their own. However, there are a few things you can do to help them:
First and foremost, take your dog to the vet. There could be an underlying physical cause for their depression that needs to be addressed.
If your vet rules out any physical problems, try engaging in activities with your pup that they used to love. Going on walks, playing fetch, and visiting the park can all help get them out of their funk.
If your dog is avoiding interaction, start by petting it slowly and calmly. This will show them that you’re there for them and they won’t feel alone.
Make sure to provide a calm and stable environment for your pup. Don’t make any sudden or drastic changes to the household, such as bringing in a new pet.
If you notice your pup is depressed for long periods of time without showing signs of improvement, it’s recommended that you speak with a professional about treatment options. Some dogs may benefit from training sessions and anti-depressant medications.
Is Moving Stressful for Dogs?
As mentioned above, moving may be stressful for dogs since they’re leaving behind the familiar. If your dog has never been through a move before, it can be difficult to tell if they are depressed or just stressed out from all of the changes in their life.
Dogs express their stress by barking and whining, so listen for these signs. They may also try to engage in destructive behavior such as chewing furniture or urinating indoors when they’re stressed out from the move.
Try to keep your dog’s routine as normal as possible during the move. This will help them feel more comfortable and less stressed out. Be sure to take frequent breaks when packing or unpacking so you can spend time with your pup and give them some love.
A dog’s mood is directly tied to its health, so it’s important that they are able to express themselves when something is bothering them. If you notice your pup displaying any of these signs of depression in dogs, it’s important that you take action as soon as possible.