RV’ING WITH PETS: TIPS
We love new adventures, but most importantly we love bringing our pets along for the adventure. We take them on a monthly basis and we have discovered a few tricks along the way. Keep scrolling to learn some of the main things to consider when RVing with Dogs.
Tips & Tricks for RV’ing with Pets: Happily and Safely.
Food and Water: Picky Necessities
Similar to the “bring things that smell like home” tip, also make sure you bring an adequate amount of food to last the whole trip, especially if your pet prefers a specific brand that is not easily found in stores. Changes in a pet’s diet can lead to stomach aches, which will be uncomfortable trip for your pet. Or even worse, it can cause messy digestive problems, not something you want on your road trip! Make sure your pets are only drinking purified water as well.
Pets, in particularly dogs, appreciate a consistent routine. They will also be much calmer when knowing what to expect. Establish routines from day one. For example, try to give them their meals, and exercise at similar times each day follow this with a walk. Walks can also help them to sleep regularly, and potty on a schedule which will make your trip run much more smoothly. Make sure you take them on a nice, good old walk; unless your pet is very old or fragile, a short walk up and down the RV will do wonders.
Getting From Point A to Point B, Safely
While you are driving from point A to point B, keep your pets in the tow vehicle. If you’re pulling a travel trailer, toy hauler, or fifth wheel, your pets should still ride with you, never in the RV by themselves. Not only is this a matter of helping your pet feel secure, it’s also a safety issue. It can get too hot or cold at times. If you leave your pets in the RV alone while you’re going down the road and you suddenly have to stop, there will be no one to keep them from tumbling, unrestrained, through the RV. Some pets are kennel or crate trained. If training is done properly, this is where they will feel the safest on the road. Plus this keeps your pets safely in one spot and can ease both your stress and theirs. Make sure to keep crates or kennels in the the same vehicle that you’re traveling in, not alone in the RV.
We fold down the seats, and lay a large dog bed down for our dogs to lay on. Along with their blankets, few chewing toys it makes it into a large comfortable flat dog bed. I normally will keep dog treats, extra water bottle for the dogs and dog food up front with me. I bought the Martha Stewart Pets Zip Up Travel Bowls, but any portable dog bowl would do. It helps for those in between rest stop moments where a monsoon has mysteriously headed your way.
Leaving Your Pets Alone In Your RV While You’re Away
It is not a good idea to leave your pets unattended in the RV for too long of time, but we understand that sometimes you really don’t have a choice. For crated or kenneled trained pets; it can help them feel secure and safe while you’re gone. Luckily, our dogs are pretty well behave and enjoy to roam around so we don’t kennel them up. They will normally play with their toys until they tire themselves out; we normally walk in and find them laying on the couch taking a nap. We pull all the blinds down so they don’t look out the window and worry about protecting the campsite. We also turn on Netflix or the radio for them.
This is a no-brainer… but if you are going to leave your pet alone in the RV (Even if you think it’ll only be a few minutes) make sure they have plenty of water, food, a place to go potty (we use doggy pads). Make sure it isn’t too cold nor too hot while you are gone. We normally leave it set to where it will hold a certain temperature in the RV. We never really trust the AC to work perfectly without any complications in a campground, if something goes wrong and if you’re not there to monitor the temperature of your RV, your pets can be at real risk. Our pet grew up running through Washington snow, so our biggest worry is it getting to hot. If it is going to be an extremely hot day(Above average) or below zero weather we will do our exploring another day and we keep the dogs with us.
Sometimes we take our dogs for a long walk before we leave. This helps them fall asleep while we’re gone.
Our dogs are older and so well behaved, they stay right by our side without any hassles. If your dogs are like ours, I’m happy for you! However, my brother has a chihuahua, he gets pretty excited about being in new places, and all the possibilities for new smells, food and friends. His excitement gets to him… Once, when he was a puppy he wiggled his way out of my arms and explored someone else’s RV. Luckily, they loved puppies. But it’s still a big no-no!
Just like your kids, it’s your responsibility to have well behaved pets. Do not allow your pets to roam unattended, because he may not be welcome in someone else’s camping area. Try bringing a long leash so that your pets can investigate their new surroundings without being invasive. I’ve also seen people bring a playpen with them, so they can contain their pets in one spot.
If your dog barks or howls when you’re away, then he shouldn’t be life alone at camp. The polite thing to do would be to either bring your dog with you, or have someone stay at camp with your dog. Don’t think that only because you’re not there to hear it, that no one else can hear it. Your dog shouldn’t be barking non-stop while you’re gone.
And please, alway clean up after your pets. If you can, do so immediately! I once had a RVer neighbor that cleaned after his pet only once, on his way out of camp. It was a hot humid day, and I would occasionally get a whiff of poop. Also, watch where you walk your dog to go potty, never allow them to go potty at another persons camp area. Don’t be that forgetful, careless person who isn’t respectful of other fellow RVers.
Pet Emergency Kit and Safety
You should always keep an emergency kit in the RV for both yourself and others, including one for your pets. Make sure to check the supplies in your kit regularly, replace items you end up using or those that expire with time. Bring any medication, even if your pet only needs to take it rarely. One of our pets is old and fragile, she has prescribed pain pills and inflammation pills that we give her for those off days. Check out RV’ing With Pets: A Guide to First Aid for Dog Owners.
As we said in RV’ing With Pets: Planning Ahead, you should always have your veterinarian’s phone number saved somewhere. A good number to also save is to the ASPCA Poison Control Center: (800) 426-4435. The poison control center is open 24/7. (Note: They might charge you a consultation fee.)
We love RVing with our dogs, and I think they love it more than we do. We’ve found that the best thing to do is to always be polite and kind and we try to have our pets reflect that too.