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How to Introduce Your Dog to a New Apartment

December 13, 2023

Apartment Living


Moving is one of the most stressful experiences for anyone. Even if you’re excited about your new home, packing and unpacking is time-consuming, and learning where to find the essentials you need and enjoy is a process.

As a dog owner, you must also help your pup adjust to a new environment. Understanding how a move affects a dog and how to reduce their stress can help you take steps to ease your pup’s transition to your new apartment. 

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How long does it take for a dog to get used to a new apartment?

Transitioning to any new environment is a process. First, your pup’s dealing with new surroundings. Everything from their food bowl to their bed to your furniture sits in a different space, which can be confusing and disorienting. 

Your routine will also change. The time you get up in the morning and leave for work could change, depending on the distance between your new home and workplace. Your pup isn’t just adjusting to new surroundings; they’re adjusting to schedule changes affecting their daily routine.

You won’t wake up one day and discover your dog is perfectly content in your new home, but things should improve gradually. The first few days are the most stressful, but by the end of the first month, they’ll show signs they’re feeling more at home. Your dog needs approximately 90 days to settle in; however, if you adopted a shelter pup, it may take a little longer for them to adjust. 

How do I acclimate my dog to a new apartment?

Introduce your dog to your new Las Vegas home before moving in. Give them a chance to walk through each room and familiarize them with their new surroundings. Take this opportunity to inspect each space for potential hazards and things to avoid when setting up your dog’s areas. Suppose you’re considering where to put artificial turf for an indoor potty area; you’ll want to keep the turf away from hazards like electrical outlets.

You might think a move is the perfect time to invest in new dog bedding and essentials, but that could increase their stress levels. Familiar items and smells will help them adjust.

Show your dog where you’ve placed their food and water bowls so they know where to eat and drink. Choose a dedicated space for your dog’s bed and use special treats to reward your dog when they lie on their bed. 

Spend time introducing your dog to their new outdoor areas. You may have a balcony where you can sit outside with your dog so they can enjoy some fresh air. You’ll want to teach your pup to be safe on a balcony. If you have a patio, you’ll need to teach your dog their boundaries and ensure you keep them from running into common areas.

Dogs find familiar smells comforting, and paying attention to smells helps when settling into your new apartment. Look for ways to provide familiar smells your dog likes, such as leaving a shirt with your scent in their crate when you go to work. Perhaps your dog had favorite bushes at your old home. Include their scent in your new house to put your pup at ease.  

Should I leave my dog alone in my new apartment?

Most people have to leave their dog alone at some point. You may work long hours outside the home or from home and only need to step away to get the mail and buy groceries. In either case, gradually increasing your time away from your pup is ideal.

Try to crate-train your dog before you introduce them to apartment living. You can use the crate as a safe space to secure your pup when you need to step out. Start leaving your dog for a few minutes, even if you don’t need to leave. Step into the hall and walk to the stairs before returning. Staying away a little longer each time you do this helps your dog get used to being alone for longer periods and reassures them you’ll always come back, which reduces their stress.

How do I potty train my dog at my new apartment?

Teaching your dog to do their business outside during set times is ideal. Your dog will adapt to their schedule so they understand when and where to go to the bathroom. 

If you have a long work day and commute, consider hiring a dog walker to include a midday break. Giving your dog a safe way to exercise and do their business outside sets them up for success because they’ll be less likely to have accidents indoors. They’ll be tired and less likely to chew your possessions or bark because of stress.

Consider artificial turf or natural grass if you must opt for indoor potty options. Your dog won’t confuse these potty options with clothes or carpets, so it will be easier for your pup to identify where to do their business and avoid mistakes.

How do I get my dog used to apartment noises?

Living in Las Vegas has some great advantages. Apartment living is affordable, and you’ll be close to new neighbors, making it easy to meet new people. 

However, when you move into a new apartment with a dog, it’s natural for your dog to react to all the new noises. You and your dog will learn your neighbors’ schedules and habits during the transition period. Still, you don’t want your dog barking at every little sound from above, below, or beside your new home.

Use music to block out sounds. Music genres for dogs that are soothing include classical and soft rock. Creating playlists you can leave playing when you’re at work or running errands is a great way to put your pup at ease, and playing music or sound machines at home will block out sounds from your neighbors.

You can also train your dog to choose a toy to chew or hold in their mouth when they hear noises. This is an effective way to keep them from barking at every sound. 

Things to consider when choosing a new home

dog park

Consider your pup’s needs when exploring Las Vegas apartments. Prioritize luxury apartments with dog-friendly features like dog parks and walking parks. If you can’t find an apartment in your preferred Las Vegas neighborhood with a dog park, choose a new home near one of the city’s dog parks. Choosing a new home where your dog can get outside and enjoy fresh air and exercise will help them burn energy and enjoy their new home. 

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Enjoy Our Dog Parks. (2023). 

Madson, C. (2023). Bringing a New Dog Home: The Adjustment Period

Maharaj, N. (2023). Why Music is Therapeutic for Dogs.