It is that wonderful time of year again…vacation time!! It’s time to load up the family and see the country, go to the beach, or spend long overdue time catching up with beloved distant relatives.
When going on a family vacation or just out of town for the weekend, the trip is so much more fun and relaxing when you can bring your JRT along.
Training your JRT to travel, whether by car, plane, or other means of transportation is best started at a young age, preferably when they are a puppy. They will learn early not to be so nervous, anxious, and scared when introduced to this new situation and new surroundings.
When traveling with your JRT, there are a few helpful tips to keep in mind that will make the trip easier and less stressful on both you and your companion.
First off, make a list of items that may be needed on the trip. Try to make sure to include anything and everything that you might need for your JRT, so there will be no unexpected surprises along the way. A few of the suggested items for that list may include:
Start out with a relaxed and positive attitude. Your JRT will pick up on your moods, and having an anxious or even irritated vibe about you will do neither of you any good.
Make sure you pack any medications that your JRT may currently be taking. I know with most of my girl’s meds, they are prescribed, and filled by their veterinarian. So, if something was to happen, and I didn’t have one with me, it would not be possible to pick them up along the way. So, make sure you pack all of your JRT’s essential medication, plus any added extra items that may be needed, such as pepto-bismol for any upset stomach and benadryl in case of any allergic reactions. It is better to be prepared when it comes to your traveling companion.
Next you will need to make sure you have their leash, collar, and a recommended ID tag. Your JRT may not be chipped, so in this case an ID tag is a must when going out of town. Heaven forbid that your JRT gets away from you and your family. But if it does happen, whoever finds them will need to know how to contact you, to help reunite you with your companion.
Water, food and bowls are a must. As with humans, the very act of traveling can cause gastrointestinal changes in your JRT as well. And, changes in something as simple as the local water their system is used to can play havoc on them, and your trip. Their regular food is a must as well, as changing their diets from their usual cuisine will upset their systems, whether they are traveling or at home. So, be safe, and make sure they have a great a time on your trip as you do.
Blankets and toys are a good idea to bring along. If the weather is cooler then the blankets will provide extra needed warmth. When a JRT gets nervous, the comfort of a blanket, from home, with a familiar smell or feel, can sometimes be just what the doctor ordered. If your JRT has a favorite toy, or toys, makes sure to bring them along as well. Not only will they provide an extra layer of comfort, they will also help to alleviate boredom from long periods of travel time.
Plastic bags for rest stops along the way are a must have. Most people, when thinking of what is needed for their JRT on a trip, totally forget this one crucial item. I mean, we take multiple pit stops on a trip, why wouldn’t our companions? And to be honest, do you really think it is good manners to leave “that” behind for someone else to deal with, or even heaven forbid step in?
Baby wipes or washcloths, for incidental cleanups as they occur. Whether they are needed after a pit stop, or after meal time, or even after the occasional dilly dally in a stray water puddle, wipes are a must have on the list. You do not want to have to travel in a car, soiled or dirtied by your JRT, for any amount of time. So, make sure to include one or both of these on your must have list.
Pre-trip veterinarian visit
Before heading out on any trip, be sure to have your veterinarian give your JRT a quick check up.
This step is a preventative measure, because traveling with a sick JRT can be stressful with all concerned. Also make sure that your JRT is up to date on all boosters and rabies inoculations, as well as any additional ones needed for the trip.
Depending on how you chose to travel, to how your companion may be handled. If you are traveling with your JRT by airplane, there are rules and regulations for their travel that must be strictly adhered to. Check with your travel airline for these rules and regulations.
Securing your JRT for the trip
If you are traveling by car, then it is now time to make sure that your JRT is properly secured for the trip. The best method for this is a crate. Your JRT should not be able to roam the car, or stick its head outside the window while the car is in motion. In the event of an accident, a roaming JRT could sustain injuries of a life threatening nature, could be the cause of the accident.
When choosing a crate, make sure that your JRT has ample room to stand up, turn around, and move so that they may remain comfortable. Also, make sure that the crate is well ventilated on as many sides as possible, so as not to become stuffy and stifling for your companion. Then, make sure that the crate itself is secured adequately. Because, let’s be honest, if the crate is not properly secured, it can be just as dangerous, if not more of a hazardous than a freely roaming JRT in the instance of an accident.
If you do not like the idea of a crate, a barrier that sections off a back part of the vehicle will work just as well. Granted, it allows the JRT more room to move, but it is not as safe as a crate would be in an accident.
Lastly, you can use a seat belt harness for your JRT. This will provide them with less ease of movement as a crate, but at the same time they may sit closer to you or your children during the trip, and that might aid in reducing their stress and anxiety levels. If this is the method you choose make sure that the harness you use is one that is specifically engineered for this purpose.
Plan for frequent pit stops
Just as when traveling with children, you JRT will need frequent pit stops. The thrill alone of traveling in the car will help make for a nervous bladder, and frequent stops will ensure both the deterring of accidents, as well as the comfort of your JRT.
Plus, if it is a particularly long trip, then your JRT will need frequent opportunities to stretch their legs. If they are made to stay pent up for extended periods of time, with no opportunity to relieve themselves or some of their anxious energy, then you will be setting yourself and them up for problems, and unwanted situations. So, when planning your trip, make sure to include pit stops for your JRT.
Okay, you have everything you need packed, you have your JRT secured in the car, and have plenty of pit stops planned. It is time for you and your family to hit the wide open road, and enjoy your vacation time together. Remember, with a little planning, your JRT can be included in all your family vacations, as they should be.