It can often take a while to get used to a new environment, whether a new job or a move across the country. As a pet owner, it’s important to realize that your furry friends can feel the same way. It may take your dog or cat some time to get used to new surroundings, and you should be there to support them. The best solution is to be proactive and be aware of the signs of discomfort or stress so you can take the proper actions to quell their anxiety. 

This guide will provide advice and signs to watch out for so you and your pet can be happy in your new home.

Be Proactive

While it’s great to recognize the signs that your pet is struggling, ideally, you should try to make the proper arrangements during a move so the transition isn’t as jarring. You should take several steps to make moving across the country easier

One of them is determining a moving date. You should set it far enough in the future so you can pack and ensure that everything is ready to go. During that time, you can bring your pet to the vet, especially if they are prone to car sickness, so you can get the necessary medications.

Another key to cross-country moving is decluttering your current home while you pack. When you’re boxing up your belongings, your pet will likely realize that something is up, so create a safe space in your house where your dog or cat can go, lay in their bed, and play with their favorite toys.

Once you arrive at your new home, keep an eye out for these signs that your pet may be struggling:

1. Fatigue

Many of the signs of anxiety revolve around your pet not acting like normal. If your pet typically moves around and plays, but now they’re lying around and not interacting, it may be a sign of depression. 

The best way to help your pet find its energy is to get them excited about the things they used to love. You could bring in your dog’s favorite toy or go out in the yard and play fetch. Make it a habit to take the dog to the local dog park every few days so your pooch can get used to all the ins and outs and find true happiness. Home remedies for lethargy and fatigue include raw milk and organ meats that provide vitamin B.

2. Changes In Appetite

Another sign of depression or anxiety is when your pet refuses to drink or eat. Really, any change in appetite may be a sign of not feeling quite right. The first step is to visit the vet and see if there’s anything medically wrong. 

Your pet may also be avoiding food because they’re still getting used to their new home. Try solidifying a routine by placing their food and water bowl in the same place, keeping the feeding area away from distractions, and providing food at the same time every day so your pet can get more comfortable.

3. Hiding

A dog that’s truly rattled after a big move may start hiding and spending time in odd places around the home. Just like humans, many pets can withdraw when they’re feeling depressed. 

Part of the reason may be that your pet isn’t sure where to go. Just like in your old house, set up a special spot in the house that’s just for them. Find space or a corner of a room with a comfortable bed and some of their favorite toys. Ensure the space is large enough for your pet to stretch and truly relax.

You can also draw your pet out of their hiding place by offering some of its toys or favorite treats. When your pet comes out, play around and show them that life is better with you than in their hiding spot.

4. Whining Or Irritation

Just like how we air our grievances when we’re upset, your pet may also start whining or showing signs of irritation, like changes in behavior and excessive drooling. If your dog is whining after a move, you can try to provide toys or play outside so your pup is more comfortable with the new area. They may not stop whining right away, but they may over time.

Another reason why your pet may be whining is because they may be in pain. If you’re unsure, you can bring your pet to the vet or try some at-home checkup steps. Try asking your dog to sit, stand, and lay, and see if there is more whining. Also, touch their paws and ears and see if you notice any cuts or injuries.

Sometimes, there can be unique health risks where you live, and pests can often be the culprit. You may now live near a wooded area where ticks may be more of a problem, so check your dog carefully. 

Certain pests can also be an issue during different seasons. Summer can be particularly brutal as you deal with ticks, fleas, and biting flies. Make it a habit to use a flea comb, brush back to the front, and look for small red bugs. Flea-specific shampoos can help. Ants can be an issue during spring, and they’re known to bite dogs and cats. If your dog is bitten, apply an ice pack to the area and try to prevent your pet from licking or scratching the area.


These are the four big signs that your pet is struggling with a new environment. However, any new or unusual actions may warrant a closer look. Try to make your move as easy and seamless as possible, and over time, your pet will likely love their new home.