Pets are pretty similar to humans, and like you, your dog can find it a little challenging to get familiar with the unknown places you get to while traveling. However, you want to share the joys of traveling with your doggy, so how can your dog adapt to new places while traveling?
You can get your dog to adapt to new places while traveling by training them before you set off on your journey and even training them during the trip. You can teach them to expect positive things from new places and be calm as long as they are with you.
This article provides information on how to help a dog adjust to a new place while traveling. I also explore how long it takes for a dog to adjust to a new place and how you settle a dog into a new home at night. In conclusion, I offer tips on what you can do if a dog won’t settle in a home.
How to Help a Dog Adjust to a New Place While Traveling?
As you travel, you make rest stops on the road, camp outside, or spend time in hotels. Your dog might take some time to get comfortable in the different environments you encounter on your journey. For example, your dog might experience altitude sickness like you if you visit a mountain hotel.
Even if your dog cannot complain of a headache or articulate what it’s feeling with words, you can tell from some behaviors. It would be best to be patient with your dog and give it time and space to adapt. Besides patience and time, you can also do the following:
- Allow plenty of rest and give your dog a lot of water. Increase your activity levels only when your dog shows signs of feeling better.
- Do not leave your dog alone.
Try to remain with your dog for 24 to 48 hours in a new place. Spend the first 24 hours unpacking, arranging, and just being with your dog. Doing this reinforces the idea of home to your dog and helps it settle in.
- Carry your dog’s safe space with you
One way to help dogs settle in a new environment is by crate-training them before you travel. A crate or dog carrier can become a safe space for them in your home. This way, they can retreat to their safe corner if they feel unsettled in an unfamiliar environment.
- Encourage positive and prevent negative associations
Let your dog explore, smell fresh smells, and walk around the new space. Give it snuggles and treats when it behaves well, and if there is anything or anyone that will scare your dog in the new environment, try to eliminate it before your dog encounters it, e.g., someone picking up your dog roughly.
- Keep your dog occupied with toys to focus on something else instead of all the new stimuli in the environment.
- Start small
Before your first or next vacation, slowly introduce your dog to the sights, sounds, and experiences you may encounter while traveling. Take your dog to spend a night at a pet-friendly hotel, go on short car rides, etc., and it will help prepare your dog for the more extensive trips.
With good pre-conditioning and on-site training, your dog can easily adapt to any new place you encounter while traveling.
How Long Does It Take for a Dog to Adjust to a New Place?
No two dogs are alike, so how long they take to settle in a new place will differ depending on their temperament and training. It can take a few days, several weeks, or even months for a dog to feel at home in a new location.
Regardless of how long it takes, you have to be patient and help your dog adjust as much as possible. Things will go faster if you are patient than impatient and frustrated with your dog’s behavior.
How to Settle a Dog into a New Home at Night?
If you have a dog and have moved houses with it, you know dogs can stress over change. Your dog’s security is in its environment and its people, and any disruption to this security can distress your dog.
Pets rarely handle change well, and your dog is no different. Your dog might mark all corners of your new home or tear up furniture in its distress. Remember to be understanding and patient. You can help your dog settle into your new home by doing these:
- Plan ahead
It helps if you have already dog-proofed your house before bringing your dog in. your dog may try to escape if it feels uncomfortable or trapped. You should also have the contact information of a vet in the area if you have an emergency at night.
- Set up your dog’s area
Do this immediately when you arrive with your dog. Place your dog’s bed in a cozy corner of the house along with its food and water bowl. If your dog has a safe space to relax when things get overwhelming, it will go a long way into easing night settlement.
- Maintain a routine
Try to keep up with your dog’s regular feeding, walking, and sleeping times. A new home is not an excuse to be lax and allow anything to go. When your dog sees its activities are the same, a sense of normalcy is restored, and it helps to settle any anxiety.
Stay close to your dog during the day to reassure it of your presence in the vicinity. Remember that patience and determination are vital in helping your dog settle in a new environment. If the night is hard, try the following day again.
What Can You Do If a Dog Won’t Settle in a New Home?
If a dog doesn’t settle in a new home, find out what the problem may be to address it. Dogs often suffer from mental and emotional illnesses, and separation anxiety might make your dog feel and act the way it’s doing. You can also talk to a vet to get help.
Animals often adapt quickly to new environments once you recreate their comfortable spaces. You are the most important “space” to your dog, so try to stay glued to its side when in a new place.