By Barbara Martorelli

How to Help You and Your Dog Adjust When Leaving the City for Your Summer Vacation Home

How to Help You and Your Dog Adjust When Leaving the City for Your Summer Vacation Home

The excitement of escaping the bustling city for a relaxing summer vacation home is undeniable. However, this transition can be a significant change for both you and your dog. Adjusting to a new environment, different routines, and unfamiliar surroundings can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you and your furry friend make a smooth adjustment when moving from the city to your summer retreat.

1. Prepare Ahead of Time

Pack Familiar Items

Bringing along your dog's favorite toys, bed, and blankets can provide a sense of comfort and familiarity. These items carry the scent of home, which can help ease anxiety in a new environment.

Update Identification

Ensure your dog’s ID tags and microchip information are up to date with your vacation home address and contact details. This is crucial in case your dog gets lost in the unfamiliar area.

Research Local Services

Before you leave, research nearby veterinary clinics, emergency pet services, and pet-friendly establishments - like Pawcasso Art Studio and Pet Boutique!!! Ok, so not every town is going to have an pet friendly art studio where you can paint with your bestie AND let your bestie paint for you BUT knowing where to go in case of an emergency, for routine care, of just for FUN can give you peace of mind.

2. Create a Safe and Comfortable Space

Set up a designated area in your vacation home where your dog can retreat and feel safe. This could be a quiet corner with their bed, toys, and water bowl. A familiar, cozy spot can help reduce stress and make the transition smoother.

3. Maintain a Routine

Dogs thrive on routine, so try to keep their feeding, walking, and playtime schedules consistent with what they are used to in the city. Familiar routines can provide a sense of stability and security in a new environment.

4. Explore Gradually

When you arrive at your vacation home, allow your dog to explore the new surroundings gradually. Start with the house and yard before venturing out to the neighborhood and local parks. This gradual introduction helps prevent overwhelming your dog with too many new stimuli at once.

5. Keep Them Active

A tired dog is a happy dog. Engage your dog in physical activities and mental stimulation to keep them occupied and content. Long walks, hikes, and play sessions can help burn off excess energy and reduce anxiety.  Check out Bring Fido for ideas on pet-friendly venues.

6. Socialize Safely

If your vacation home is in a more rural or less populated area, your dog may encounter different types of animals and people. Supervise initial interactions and keep a close eye on your dog's body language to ensure they are comfortable and not stressed.

7. Monitor Health and Behavior

Keep an eye on your dog’s health and behavior during the transition. Changes in appetite, energy levels, or bathroom habits can indicate stress or health issues. If you notice any concerning signs, consult a local veterinarian.

8. Stay Calm and Patient

Your dog can pick up on your emotions, so staying calm and patient during the adjustment period is essential. Provide plenty of positive reinforcement, affection, and reassurance to help your dog feel secure.

9. Plan for Alone Time

If you plan to leave your dog alone in the vacation home, make sure they are comfortable with being left in the new environment. Gradually increase the time they spend alone and provide engaging toys or treat puzzles to keep them occupied.


Adjusting to a new environment can be challenging, but with a little preparation and patience, both you and your dog can enjoy a smooth transition from the city to your summer vacation home. By creating a familiar and safe space, maintaining routines, and providing plenty of activity and reassurance, you can ensure a relaxing and enjoyable summer getaway for you and your furry friend.

Remember, the key to a successful transition is making your dog feel as comfortable and secure as possible. Happy travels and enjoy your summer retreat!