RVing with dogs has become more popular than ever. More than 65 percent of RV owners who are also pet owners are fond of their furry friends and would rather not leave them at home. Fortunately, many RV resorts are pet-friendly, offering fenced dog parks and plenty of walking paths.
Before you head out with Fido, here are nine tips for RVing with dogs that’ll help you on your journey:
- VISIT THE VET
Schedule a vet appointment before your next RV road trip. Make sure that your pet is up to date on vaccinations and is treated for fleas and ticks. Be sure to bring documentation on your trip, as some RV resorts require proof of current vaccinations for pets.
Bring along food and water bowls, leashes, toys, plastic bags (for cleaning up pet waste), medication, and a first aid kit. You may also want to consider bringing a pet carrier and a jug of water for keeping your pet hydrated while traveling.
- TAKE YOUR PET FOR A LONG WALK BEFORE HITTING THE ROAD
If you’re planning to drive, take your dog out for a nice walk before you head out. If you have a fenced area where your dog can run, that’s even better. This helps wear down their energy before a long, often cramped journey in the car.
- DESIGNATE A PLACE FOR YOUR DOG TO TRAVEL.
When you are moving your RV from one place to another, you will need to choose a location for your dog to ride. If you are towing a fifth wheel or travel trailer, your dog will need to ride in your truck with you, as it is never safe for anyone to ride in the trailer while towing. Many dogs prefer to stretch out on the back seat, but some dogs may need to be crated due to travel anxiety. Since most dogs tend to enjoy riding in the car, this shouldn’t be too much different from any other time you take your pup for a rude.
If your RV is a motorhome, your dog may initially be nervous. After all, the feeling of being inside a moving motorhome is fairly different from being inside a moving car. Your dog may need some time to adjust. Consider laying his bed somewhere near where you will be riding or encouraging him to rest on the couch. This will ensure he is relaxed and less anxious during travel.
No matter where you choose for your dog to ride, be sure that he is comfortable when driving long hours, and plan to stop every few hours for bathroom breaks and water.
- DECIDE WHERE YOUR DOG(S) WILL SLEEP
Your dog may not be accustomed to sleeping outside of your house. In this case, be sure to emulate a similar scenario to his sleeping situation at home. If he typically sleeps in your bed, allow the same in the RV. If he has his own dog bed, be sure to bring it along for your trip. This will ensure that your dog is comfortable and receives a good night’s sleep, which will also allow you and the rest of your family to rest as well.
- CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR PET
Both at your destination and on the road, be sure to always clean up after your pet. Many resorts with dog parks will have complimentary waste-pickup bags, but it’s a good idea to come prepared with your own bags while traveling.
- DECIDE WHERE TO LEAVE YOUR PUP WHEN ENGAGING IN ACTIVITIES THAT ARE NOT DOG-FRIENDLY.
This tends to be one of the biggest factors when bringing your dog along on an RV trip. Perhaps you want to check out a local restaurant without a dog-friendly patio, or maybe you want to take a hike in a national park that does not allow dogs. This may require you to leave your dog alone for a few hours at a time.
RVs tend to have ample space for your dog to wander, and most dogs should be fine with being left behind for a little while. After all, most dog owners leave their dog alone at home whenever they are working or running errands, so this is something your dog should be accustomed to. Draw the blinds and play some soothing music to block out extra light and sound. This will encourage your dog to spend more time snoozing and less time barking while you are away.
If you are truly uncomfortable with leaving your dog alone for a few hours, try to plan only dog-friendly activities. If this is not possible, seek out a local pet-sitter or dog-walker to spend time with your dog while you are away.
- WRITE YOUR CAMPGROUND SPACE NUMBER ON TAPE AND ATTACH IT TO YOUR DOG’S COLLAR AT EACH STOP.
This way if your dog decides to go on an adventure alone, someone else in the park will know where to find you. All too often, lost dogs only have their home address on their collars, which is no help while you’re on the road. Plus, also make sure to have an active cell phone number listed on their ID tags.
- CALL AHEAD, WHEREVER YOU GO
While many resorts are pet-friendly, some may not be. Be sure to call ahead before visiting national and state parks, beaches, and any other attractions where you might want bring your pet.
Going on vacation doesn’t have to mean leaving your pets behind — especially when you own an RV. Instead, follow these tips and you can enjoy a grand adventure while RVing with your four-legged family members. We can recommend the perfect RV to make sure you’re all comfortably traveling in style. Click here to view our hand-picked and ever-changing selection of gently used RVs.