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6 Tips For Traveling With Pets
September 26, 2020
So, you want to go RVing. You have picked out a rig, you have a dream destination in mind and you are all ready to roll out, except for one thing: you want to bring your pet along for the ride, but you are concerned that it will be hard or that they will be stressed. Can you bring your pet on an RV trip?
The answer is a resounding yes! It is also a lot easier than you think. Like anything worth doing, bringing your pet on the road takes some preparation.
Here are our tips on how to travel with pets in an RV!
It is a good idea to get your pet a checkup with your veterinarian before hitting the road. During this visit, get your dog or cat a microchip. This way if they get lost while on the road without their collar, whoever finds them will be able to contact you. For both the collar and microchip, have both your number where you can be reached while traveling, and the number of a trusted friend or family member who is not traveling with you. This way, spotty cell service will not get in the way of you reuniting with your pet.
Train Your Dog:
Specifically, make sure your dog is leash trained and knows how to come when you call them. Any time you stop along the road, you should keep your dog on a leash, suggests the American Kennel Club. There may be hazards like other cars driving by, and the unfamiliar environment, smells and sounds could cause your dog to take off. Despite adhering to that advice, there is always the risk your dog could get away from you, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have a “recall” for your dog. Here are 6 Foolproof Ways to Get Your Dog to Come When Called.
Pack for Your Pet
There are the obvious things you should pack for your pet however there are some less obvious items you should be sure to pack too, like bringing your pet’s veterinary records in case you have to make an unplanned vet visit.
Here’s a helpful list:
- Vet records
- Vaccination records
- Spay/neuter certificate
- Printed picture of your pet (if they get lost, you can show others their picture to help find them)
- Litter and litterbox
- Waste pick-up bags
- Booties to protect paws in rocky or icy conditions
- Dog towels for drying off after a bath
- Shade umbrella
- Collar/harness and leash
Driving With Your Pet
Leaving your pet loose in the RV while on the road is dangerous for you, them, and other drivers. Driving such a big vehicle requires your full attention. Your pet could distract you and cause an accident. In the event of an accident, even a small one, your pet could be seriously injured without safety restraints.
Your pet should always be in the same vehicle as you are. Do not keep your pet in the camper if you are pulling one. It may get filled with exhaust and get too hot for them, according to Sara Ochoa, DVM, a veterinary consultant for Doglab.
If your dog is crate trained, we recommend having them snuggled up in their little den anytime you are on the road. Make sure the crate is secured in place as well. Using a folding crate is perfect for RV trips because the crate easily folds down to maximize your space when it is not needed. For more tips on maximizing space, check out our article on Smart Storage Solutions for RV Living.
For the couch potato pooches out there, try a seatbelt harness. These harnesses attach to the built-in seatbelt, allowing your pet to stay comfortable on the couch but secure. You can use your usual harness and purchase a specialized clip; just be sure you use a harness not a collar so your pet does not injure its neck.
For cats, find a cat carrier that is big enough to keep a litter box inside. This one from Amazon actually includes a matching litter box.
Setting Up Camp
Here at Waggin’ Tail Ranch RV Resort, some of our RV sites are fenced with your dog in mind. At other pet-friendly campsites, you may not be so lucky. It’s a good idea to use an X-pen or two in order to enclose the “patio” area outside your RV’s front door. That way you can easily move in and out of the RV without risking an escape, and your dog can get some fresh air while staying safe.
You can leave your pet unattended in your RV when at a campground. However, it is best to keep that time to a minimum for your dog. Your cat, however, may enjoy a little alone time! Always make sure that the temperature in the RV does not get too hot for your pet. Leave the AC on, and invest in a temperature tracker that will alert you if the temperature rises above a chosen threshold to make sure that your pet is safe even if the AC fails for some reason. Check out our article on keeping your pet safe in heat for more tips on keeping your pets cool.
Traveling with your pet in an RV is not just a pipe dream; it can be your reality. With a little planning, your pet will be comfortable and safe hitching a ride! Next time you head out on the road, you will not have to call a pet sitter because your cat or dog will be riding in style on your rig!