How long does it take for a dog to adjust to a new home?

Posted by SWE Inc on 3rd Feb 2021

Relocation is a challenging and overwhelming process for people, but it's even more stressful for dogs. Since they can't ask questions, they struggle to understand the change that's going on. Some dogs may be able to adjust to the changes involved with relocation overnight, but for the majority of them, it may take longer to adapt to a new home, new yard, and a whole new environment. This article will reveal how long it takes for a dog to adjust to a new home.

Get used to the new place

Our pets are known as creatures of habit. When a dog suddenly finds himself in a new place, with not only new sights but also new sounds and smells, the experience can be challenging for him. They may feel anxious and insecure. Your dog probably felt like the king of the world in your previous home, and, understandably, they need some time to relax in a new, unfamiliar place. Then, eventually, they will be able to feel their previous confidence again.

Buying some useful gadgets for your pets can also prove helpful in this transition. However, don't be shocked if your dog seems a little strange right after your relocation. Changes aren't easy, so have patience with your dog.

Time Frame

Nobody knows in advance how long it takes for a dog to adjust to a new home because each dog is unique. Some dogs may bounce back within days, but others will need a lot more time than that. It depends on:

●The dog itself

●Their age

●Their history

●Many other factors, such as how much time you were able to devote to your pet in the moving process (amidst all the rush of packing and everything).

Try not to neglect your dog and their emotions. If your pet feels ignored, it may take more time for them to adjust. Some dogs are naturally very optimistic and resilient, while others are shy, reserved, or fearful - each dog is different and unique. Some dogs require few weeks to adjust appropriately to a new home, but that's all normal.

If your pet feels ignored, it may take more time for them to adjust to the new home.

Relocation with your pets and tips for the moving day

Try to organize a relocation process that is not too stressful for your dog. Luckily, most dogs settle down quickly, from the moment they are in a moving car. However, it will be much easier if you can ride in the back seat while holding the dog's leash and attention and letting someone else drive.

Dogs seem to adjust more easily if you move early in the day since all dogs feel more insecure at night. In the case of long-distance transport, like if the dog is traveling with you on the plane, try to time things so that you get to the new home while it's still daylight. If the moving distance is really long and takes more hours for transport, you should take a pet travel feeder with you. When you finally arrive, give the dog plenty of treats and play with them at least for a while. That's so important because it will help your dog feel more secure.

Take things slowly

As a dedicated pet owner, don't just watch helplessly as your dog struggles to adapt to new surroundings. Instead, offer your furry friend as much familiarity as possible. As soon as you enter the home, prepare everything for the dog- food and water dishes, their favorite food (or any familiar food), delicious treats that your pet loves, and their favorite toys. Ensure that they always have some old and comforting items within easy access. It can be a raggedy old blanket or a trusty chew toy. Get them a familiar comfy bed or safe spot where they can retreat when they feel tired or overwhelmed. The more familiarity your pet has, the better.

After moving, spend as much time with your dog as you can. You will have a lot to do, from unpacking to furnishing and decorating a new home, but try to take things slowly. Keep your initial walks short, and you'll minimize the chances of encountering too many new neighborhood dogs. That's something your pet doesn't need right after moving to a new place because they often find new dogs strange and menacing.

Get your dog a familiar bed or a safe spot where they can retreat to when they feel tired.

Few extra tips

Dogs can become confused in a new household, which is expected because they are upset or excited. Take your dog for a walk through the house with a no-pull leash. You should let them investigate, but also let them know what the new house rules are. Keep them closely supervised in the beginning and, if possible, in the same room as you. When leaving them in another room, stay close by at first, to be sure that they are not upset by the separation.

If not necessary, don't change your dog's diet for at least two weeks after moving. The schedule for walks, meals, and exercises should remain the same or as close as possible to what they were used to. Hold on to your dog's routine because consistency builds trust and security.

Carefully introduce your dog to other dogs in your new area, one at a time. Even social dogs will have to work out dominance issues. You'll probably need to supervise your dog's behavior and relationships for a first month or two.

When you should seek professional assistance?

How long it takes for a dog to adjust to a new home will vary from case to case. If your dog doesn't seem like he adapted to the new house and neighborhood even after a few weeks, consult with a vet or certified pet behavior professional. If your pet continues to act unusually after a few months, some health ailments may be the culprit. You shouldn't assume that your dog has prolonged moving stress due to their strange behavior, because they may actually suffer from a medical issue.

For example, dietary intolerance is a very common issue. Excessive barking, loss of appetite, and destructive furniture chewing are not always consequences of moving stress, and in some cases, your dog may need immediate assistance, so don't postpone seeing a vet. Schedule an appointment at the first sign of anything out of the ordinary in his behavior and health to avoid further problems.

If your dog hasn't adjusted to the new home after a few weeks and is behaving strangely, consult with a vet.


As you are already aware, how long it takes for a dog to adjust to a new home depends on many factors. Fortunately, you can do a lot to make the relocation process and the transition more comfortable. Love and cherish your dog, care for him well, and you will have a loyal, happy, loving companion for a long, long time.