A Guide to RVing With Your Dog

Want to know the secret to making your next RV vacation even better? Bringing your dog along with you! When you have an RV with all the comforts of home, traveling without your furry four-legged friend just doesn’t seem right. Before you load up the family dog and hit the road, there are some precautions and travel tips that you should follow to ensure that you and Fido have the best camping experience possible. Here are our top tips for RVing with your dog!

Pack for Your Pup

Just like packing for yourself, you will want to make sure that you bring all the necessary items to ensure that your pet has a comfortable vacation with you. What you need to pack for your dog can vary depending on your dog’s favorite things and their unique care needs, but here is a look at some important things to pack:
– Leash and Collar
– Favorite Toys
– Bed
– Food
– No-spill food bowl
– Any necessary medications
– Proof of vaccination

Designate Your Dogs Travel Spot

When bringing your RV from one adventure spot to the next, it is essential that you choose a spot for your dog to ride. If you are towing a fifth wheel or trailer, you will need to have your dog ride in the truck with you because it is not safe for anyone to ride in the trailer when it’s being towed. If your RV is a motorhome, then your dog may have some initial anxiety when riding since the feeling of being inside a motorhome is much different from a car. Try considering putting their bed close to you or try to have them rest on the couch. It’s important to travel safely in your RV with your pet!

Be a Good Neighbor

It is essential to be a good neighbor when bringing your dog with you so that you can ensure that you will always have the privilege of having them accompany you. To do this make sure you keep your dogs barking to a minimum and that you clean up after them.

Start Slow

It is a huge adjustment for your dog to go from being home the majority of the time to being on the road in your RV. Having their first excursion be an extended RV stay might not be the best idea. It’s smart to start out with small trips so that your pup can gain comfortability while traveling in an RV. During these short trips, you can also establish a permanent spot for their food and water as well as where they will be sleeping to establish a routine.

Stay at a Dog-Friendly Campground

Pet policies exist at nearly every campground across the U.S. and they are something you must follow. Some National Parks don’t allow any pets and some just require that they be on a leash while outdoors. Check out some dog-friendly national parks! To make things simple and easy, call the campgrounds ahead of time to make sure that they allow dogs. At KOA Campgrounds you will find Kamp K9 where your dogs are given a fenced area to be free from their leash and left to run around. They also include clean-up stations which make things even simpler for you.

Locate a Local Vet

Even if your furry friend is up to date on all their shots and seems to be in perfect health, unexpected things can happen while out on the road. Although you can search for a vet easily from your phone, it’s smart to do some research before you embark on your adventure so that you can find the best vet for you. You will also want to be mindful of your RV route so that it isn’t too far away from towns if you need to quickly get to a vet in instances of an emergency.

Exercise Daily

Dogs are active animals and need daily exercise. Having them sit in the car for hours without the chance to run around and exert energy can be unhealthy. If your furry friend can’t comfortably run around the RV, head outside and play fetch with them! You can also find dog-friendly parks along your route so that your dog can get out and stretch their four legs. You might even meet other
pet parents and their pups!

Be Prepared to Run Into Wildlife

It is a given that you will run into wildlife when traveling. No matter the size of the animal you encounter, make sure that you know how to keep control over your pet. This includes being careful about what they are sniffing out because you don’t want to have a run-in with a mountain lion or bear! You will also want to make sure that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date and that you have the medications necessary to keep from flea and tick problems.

Decide Where to Leave Your Pet

When you are engaging in activities that aren’t pet friendly, such as dining at a local restaurant, it is important to plan where you are going to leave Fido. RV’s tend to have plenty of space for your dog to wander, and the majority of dogs will be okay if you leave for a little while. To help your dog stay calm and comfortable, consider closing the blinds and playing some soothing music to drown out any extra noises or light. This will also help encourage them to spend more time sleeping than barking.

For more tips and tricks for traveling with your pet, the ROUTE 66 RV Network was proud to contribute to RVing With Pets: What You Need to Know-Tips from the Experts.