Guide to RVing with Your Pet Dog
Did you know that more than 60% of people consider their pets part of the family? Well, they do! You can even rent a pet friendly RV and take your dog on a road trip.
So it’s no surprise that when folks are ready to hit the road, they want to take their animals with them. RVing with pets can come with some unique challenges, but it also comes with a ton of unique and fun ways to travel with your best furry friends by your side.
Rod and Amy Burkert of GoPetFriendly.com have spent the last 15 years traveling the country with their dogs, Ty and Buster, making them experts on how to make the most of RVing with Pets.
That’s How We Roll: 8 Tips for RVing with Dogs
1. Plan the perfect itinerary.
Traveling with pets means you have to do a little more planning before you leave.
You’ll want to make sure your destination has a lot of options for pet friendly campgrounds or RV parks, restaurants andactivities, plus, you’ll want to plan pet friendly stops along your route for when you and your pets need a road break. There’s nothing worse than arriving somewhere and realizing that your pet friendly vacation spot isn’t all that pet friendly.
Using a travel planning site like GoPetFriendly.com can help you find the best pet friendly places in your chosen vacation spot and the pet friendly destination guides share a firsthand reviews of the best each locale has to offer.
2. Practice, practice, practice.
If your pet is unfamiliar with your RV, allow them some time to explore and get acquainted at their own pace. If possible, take your pet for a few pre-trip drives to get used to the movement and make sure they aren’t prone to motion sickness.
Think about basic training commands that will make life on the road easier: sit, stay, and quiet are essential. If you plan to let you pet off leash (where permitted) a rock solid recall is also an absolute must.
3. Pack the essentials
It might be hard to find your pet’s regular food and treats on the road, and inside your RV is the last place you want to deal with gastrointestinal upset, so make sure you pack enough of your pet’s food to last your trip – or use the brand’s store finder to locate shops along the way where you can restock. You’ll also want to pack your pet’s vaccination records, identification tags with your cell number, plus leashes and collars.
4. Make your pet comfortable.
Many pets aren’t used to travel, so making an extra effort to ensure they are comfortable can be the difference between a great trip and a terrible one. Bring their favorite toy, plus their bed or blanket and anything else that will help put them at ease. If your dog is crate trained, bringing their crate can give them a safe space to retreat to when they feel anxious or when you have the RV doors open.
5. Keep your pets safe.
Pets should be restrained using a car harness or a crate when they’re in any moving vehicle. Not only does this keep them from distracting the driver, it can also protect them from injury or getting lost in case of a crash. Consider a crash rated safety harness for dogs, rather than an older style tether.
Keep a close eye on the RV temperature to make sure your dog doesn’t overheat. It’s very easy for a small space to heat up fast. If you’re planning to leave your pet unattended in your RV, make sure it is climate controlled and that it is safe to leave them.
Injuries can happen when you’re having fun, so you’ll want to keep a pet first aid kit on hand, as well as the address of the nearest emergency vet – just in case.
6. Stop to smell the roses.
When you’re on the road, it can be so tempting to just get where you’re going. However, planning frequent stops for potty breaks and walks can make traveling with pets much more pleasant.
The GoPetFriendly Road Trip planner can help you discover dog parks, hiking trails, dog friendly attractions and other fun places to stop along your travel route. A well exercised dog is a tired dog, and tired dogs make great travelers.
7. Be a good neighbor
More and more places are becoming pet friendly and providing us with the privilege of traveling with our pets – but it’s just that, a privilege that can be easily revoked. Bad behavior by one person has a detrimental impact on us all! We need to be sure we’re being great examples of our community when we travel with our pets by keeping barking and noise to a minimum, obeying leash laws and pet guidelines, and always picking up after our pets.
Most importantly, RVing with your pet should be fun! The whole point of a vacation is to kick back and relax with your best friends. Staying calm, cool and relaxed will help you and your pets enjoy your RV trip to the fullest.
Author bio: Amy Burkert runs the award-winning pet travel website, GoPetFriendly.com, which makes it easy to plan a trip with your entire family. Her blog, Take Paws, is an encyclopedia of pet travel tips, pet friendly destination advice, and stories of the adventures she and her husband share as they travel full-time in their motorhome with their dogs, Ty and Buster.
Editor’s Note: Many RV rental companies located in the USA and Canada are pet friendly. Please review their policies and discuss your situation with the them prior to making a reservation. Special thanks to Amy Burkert for her excellent contribution.