How to Get Your Dog Used to a New Apartment

How to Get Your Dog Used to a New Apartment

If you’re a dog owner, you know that canines are creatures of habit. From their favorite places to nap to where they go potty, they want what they want. And if anything changes, even little things, it can mess them up for days.

So imagine your pup’s anxiety level when you move to a new apartment. There are thousands of new sights, sounds, and smells to get used to, and all their old stuff is gone!
Even though you know the move was necessary, your dog doesn’t understand. But there are some ways you can make the transition easier on both of you.

Whether you’re headed to a new place soon, or you’ve already moved, these tips can help your dog get used to their new home with minimal stress.

1. Be Patient

You might have the most well-behaved and trained dog ever, but don’t be surprised if Fido backslides.

In new surroundings, dogs often get anxious. This anxiety manifests as bad behavior. Your pup may go to the bathroom in the house, bark for no reason, or regress to destroying things.
Yelling at them, though, will make their anxiety worse. The best thing you can do is be patient through their tantrums. You don’t have to tell them it’s okay to be destructive, but make sure they know you are their safe place.

Keep in mind all the benefits of living with a pet and how your dog loves you unconditionally. This season of bad behavior will pass!

2. Let Your Dog Be Part of the Move

If you haven’t gotten into your new place yet, make Fido an important part of the moving process. A lot of what causes their anxiety is all the new sensations at once. By bringing your dog with you as you begin moving in, they can absorb everything in smaller doses.

For instance, take them to check out the different apartments you’re interested in before you rent. This gets them used to dealing with unusual sights and smells, and they won't be so nervous when the actual move happens. 

When you decide on a place, bring your pup with you while you do your initial deep clean. Let them ride along as you start moving your stuff in. Fido loves to be your shotgun rider anyway!

3. Keep a Set Routine

Although dogs are habitual creatures, they can be trained to adjust to changes in routines. Contrary to the popular saying, you can teach an old dog new tricks. You just have to make sure you train yourself to be consistent first!

The first few walks are going to be full of exploring. Give Fido time to check out their new surroundings. After those initial periods of “getting to know you” walks, set a routine for playtime and exercise.

Sticking to a bedtime and wake-up routine is good for your health and your pup’s. In fact, you’ll probably notice they’re better about telling time than you are. If you’re a few minutes late with dinner, they’ll let you know!

4. Give Your Dog Their Own Space

One of the first things you should do when you move into your new place is set up your dog’s area. Put their favorite toys, their bed, and some treats where you want them to feel comfortable.

Remember, your pup is going to pick its own favorite spots. But you can help the process along by making suggestions. 

Dogs need a place where they feel safe, especially in a new environment. Having their toys and bed can help calm them down as they get used to everything. 

5. Give Them Extra Love

Reward your pup with treats when they follow the new routines. It’s also a good idea to distract them with cuddles, games, or treats when there are new noises.

If you have to be gone for an extended period, don’t leave Fido home alone for the first time for hours. Work up to this long absence if you can. Go to the grocery store or run errands a few times. 

Otherwise, your dog may think you abandoned them in a strange place. A scared, anxious dog can be a destructive one.

Eventually, with extra love and patience, your pup will get used to all of the smells and sounds they’re not familiar with. Slowly, you’ll both be retrained in the best ways to live in your new apartment!



Getting used to a new place is hard for most of us. For dogs, who thrive on routine and habit, moving can be a time to panic and stress.

You can make this transition easier on your pup by using these tips during and after the move.

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