There is nothing like hitting the road in an RV! Now that things are opening back up and that road trip is happening, there are a few things we should all be aware of when traveling with our beloved pets. Due to the pandemic, things have changed a bit.
1. Bring your patience:
RV parks are full and lines are long. If you have not made reservations ahead of time, you could be out of luck finding a campground. There are lots of resources to help find pet-friendly RV camps other places to stay. A few to consider are Go RVing Pawsome Adventures, Harvest Hosts, Pet Friendly Road Trip Planner. We like Pet Friendly Road Trip Planner because it has a new feature, Emergency Trip Planner, for planning evacuation and escape routes if needed
2. Designate a place for your pet to travel when you’re on the road:
When you start your adventure make sure your pet has a designated place to ride in your RV. If you are towing a travel trailer or have a fifth wheel, your pet will need to ride inside the cab of your vehicle, as it’s never safe for anyone, person or pet, to ride in a trailer while being towed. Most pets like to stretch out on the back seat, cats sometimes like a window seat and some with anxiety prefer a crate. This should be decided before you leave. It’s never a bad idea to use a crate or buckle your pet in with a harness. This keeps them from moving around in the vehicle or getting thrown around in the event of an accident
3. Decide where your pet will sleep:
I don’t know about you but I have one dog that sleeps on top of me in bed and one that likes his crate. It’s his safe space. Your dog might be used to sleeping outside. Try to safely emulate the same sleeping habits when traveling. It will help both you and your pets to get some rest.
4. Bring plenty of food, water and toys:
Water is key for any pet, so bring plenty. You don’t want to run out of food or water, forcing you to make an extra trip to the store taking time away from your adventures. Also bring toys for your pets to play with to keep them amused and active.
5. Plan plenty of exercise and activities to do with your pets:
Speaking of exercise, it is so important for a happy and healthy pet. I always say a tired pet is a good pet. They will cause much less trouble and sleep better at night. Try to give your pet at least as much exercise as they get at home.
6. Decide where pets will stay when you engage in activities without them:
This is probably the most difficult of all your issues when RVing. What do I do with my dog when I want to go out to eat or go on an adventure that maybe doesn’t allow pets? My advice is to always give them exercise before you leave so they are good and tired. Make sure they have the opportunity to do their business. This should buy you at least a couple of hours. Try leaving a radio or TV on for noise. If your pet has separation anxiety or tends to destroy your RV you might need to crate them. If you have an all-day event, see if there is a local Doggie Day Care or boarding facility nearby. Also check with other RVs near you to see if they have someone that can pet sit for you.
7. Watch for dogs off-leash – Give them space:
We see this all the time. Someone running a dog off-leash approaching another dog that might be on-leash. The owner of the off-leash dog yells “Don’t worry, my dog is friendly”. Well, some dogs especially when on-leash can get aggressive or protective. Be respectful and keep your dogs on a leash. Watch out for other dogs if yours is running loose and tends to be aggressive.
8. Make an emergency plan:
Emergencies are going to happen; just like at home, they can happen when you’re on vacation. Don’t just make a plan for you and your family but make sure it includes your pets. Have local veterinary numbers handy just in case the worst happens but always have a pet first aid kit on board. Also make sure your pet has an ID attached to their collar and that they have been micro-chipped. Make sure you know alternate travel routes. This is where Pet Friendly Road Trip Planner can help. Also, a Pet Evac Pak in your RV is always handy to have. It comes with a first aid kit, collapsible water and food bowls, slip lead, LED night light and so much more. Make sure you check them out at www.petevacpak.com.
RVing with your pet can be a bit challenging. If you have done some basic training with your pet prior to your trip it can always make the adventure a little more positive and It’s a great way to bond with your pet.
We would love to hear about your adventures with your pups in the RV. I bet you have some great stories to share. Happy Tails!