Helping Your Puppy Make the Transition to a New Home - by Jessica Brody

Living with Pets, Pet HealthJanet BreyComment
Moving can be disruptive to your pup. Here are some tips to help ease the transition. Photo is courtesy of

Moving can be disruptive to your pup. Here are some tips to help ease the transition. Photo is courtesy of

If you’re contemplating buying a new house, you’ll naturally take into account the needs of everyone in your family. That could mean giving each of your kids their own room or providing larger closets for you and your significant other. Those are all excellent reasons for moving, but it’s important to make sure you consider everyone in your family, and that includes your pets. It’s especially important if you have a puppy who needs extra care and consideration during what’s sure to be an anxious time. Think carefully about whether the house you’re considering is in a pet-friendly area, and whether it’s suitable for your pooch.

Get familiar with the area

Especially if you’re moving to a brand new city or state, it’s important to get a feel for the area where you’ll be settling down. Take a broad look at the city, but also look closely at any neighborhoods that have piqued your interest. One helpful strategy is to spend a weekend in a rental in the area you’re considering buying a home. This will help you decide whether the home’s amenities and neighborhood are a good fit for your family (including its furry members).

Parks or no parks

It’s always nice to have a park nearby. Being near a park makes your property more appealing, and they’re a great way for kids and dogs to get some exercise. Many cities have fully-equipped dog parks, a useful amenity if you’re a little short on square footage in the backyard. If you’re not able to book a rental home before your move, at least spend a few hours in the area, and be observant when checking out how your prospective new neighborhood welcomes pets. Do you see other homeowners walking dogs? Do people appear to be receptive to furry companions?

Know the local laws

If you’re a pet owner, it can be hard to believe there are places where cute little dogs aren’t welcome, but it’s true. You could run into community statutes or homeowners association rules governing dogs, so err on the side of caution and check out neighborhood rules thoroughly before even putting an offer in on a property. Some places also have restrictions on the kinds of breeds you can bring into a community based on size, aggressiveness and barking (a notable annoyance among many homeowners). 

Yard compatibility

Whether a yard is big or small, it’s important to have some means of keeping your dog from getting away. That usually requires a fence of some kind, which could mean you’ll need to install one. Depending on your budget and the material you wish to use, you’ll want to account for the costs associated with installing a fence. This calculator from Homewyse can help you gauge the price of what a new fence will cost.

Your best-case scenario will be to find a house with a fenced-in yard big enough for your puppy to run and exercise. Check the fence line for any gaps or space underneath where a dog could dig his way through, and make repairs as necessary. If your intention is to have a fence installed, don’t forget to check local rules and regulations for doing so. Some communities will allow underground electric fencing but not a traditional barrier fence, while other places may restrict the kind of material you can use.

Easing the transition

Moving can make a puppy anxious, so don’t be too hard on your friend if all that excitement and activity leads to an accident now and then. Make time to play with your pooch while preparing to move. Puppies need plenty of reassurance when things get topsy turvy at home, so work in extra playtime. Consider hiring a moving company to pack and transport your stuff for you, so that you can spend more time with your pup. You can easily search for a local moving service online, which will help relieve some of the stress.

Make sure to keep some of your puppies used toys and their bed. It is tempting to think moving is a good time to get a new bed or toys, but those treasured items can bring comfort to your puppy. Adding a clean cover to a dog bed can give it a clean, new look while keeping your puppy’s scent in the bed.

Once you’ve made the decision and the big move, be prepared to help your pooch settle into his new surroundings smoothly and comfortably. After all, it’s his new home too.

About the Author

Jessica Brody created so others could find a place to share stories and photos of their beloved animal companions.