How Does a Dog Adapt to Its New Home?

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    Bringing the Dog Home

    • For any dog coming into a new home, there is a transition period. This process is usually easier for puppies because their memory span is rather short and so it's not as difficult for them to get over their old environment. Still, regardless of age, there is a period of the dogs adjusting to new people, smells, sights and possibly other pets. When they first arrive, they may whine and need constant attention, or else keep to themselves. In some extreme cases, dogs may even hide under furniture or beds, but this is usually seen in dogs that have been through some kind of trauma or abuse.

    Helping Puppies Adjust

    • Most puppies coming into a new home want to be with the new owner at all times. They are usually frightened or overwhelmed and tend to cling to the owners. Slowly, they will become more interested in exploring their new home, but there are ways to make the transition easier. Puppies should be given their own designated areas that are only for them to eat, sleep and play in. It may also be beneficial for the owners to give puppies pieces of clothing that have the scent of their new owners on it so that the puppies can become more comfortable with them. Above all else, puppies need a routine. Eating, naps, house-training and playtime should be part of a regular schedule. The dogs will thrive when they know what to expect each day.

    Helping Adult Dogs Adjust

    • Adult dogs can be more of a challenge when it comes to adjusting to a new home, and moving to a new home is a leading cause of dog depression. The dog may not eat, or may be lethargic. It's important to take dogs for walks around the neighborhood and in the yard so that they can become familiar with the scents of new neighbors and other animals. Dogs need a large amount of care and attention during this time. It is extremely helpful if the previous owners can provide the dogs' old beds or blankets. Having something familiar will help dogs feel safe and comforted.

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