Japanese Spitz and moving: how can we help our dog adapt to change?

Question from the dog owner

"Hi! I have a wonderful Japanese Spitz named Niobe who just loves her routine and her familiar surroundings. However, we are moving abroad soon for a new job opportunity. I fear that Niobe will have a difficult time. Japanese Spitz dogs are notorious for not being very flexible when it comes to change. Do you have any advice on how we can ease this process for her?"

Response from the vet

"Hi! You are right that Japanese Spitz love their daily routine and sometimes have a hard time adjusting to big changes.

But there are ways we can help them during this transition period.

One of the most important things you can do is to keep as much of your routine as possible!

If Niobe is used to going for walks or eating at the same time every day, try to keep these habits during and after the move. This will help her feel that the world hasn't changed completely.

Before the move, try to keep Niobe as stress-free as possible. Start packing early so you don't have to rush around at the last minute. Try to move at a time when Niobe is as calm as possible, for example when she is sleeping.

It's important to allow enough time for Niobe during and after the move. Play with her, cuddle her, reassure her that you love her and that her family is with her! This will reduce the stress and anxiety that the change causes the dog.

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If Niobe reacts very badly to the change – for example, with loss of appetite, diarrhoea, excessive drooling – then see a vet immediately!

I hope these tips help and that Niobe will take the move in her stride!"