It may not always be possible to take your pet on vacation with you but if you plan on going RVing then bringing your dogs along can not only be possible, but even more fun for all of you.
Of course, traveling with a pet requires additional planning and preparation but you and your dogs or cats will certainly enjoy the trip if you follow these 6 tips for safe RVing in summer.
Should You Take Your Pet RVing?
Not all pets are fit to go RVing with you. For example, dogs are more likely to enjoy this type of adventure than cats. Of course, some cats may find it enjoyable but that’s for you to decide.
Basically, you need to take your pet’s temperament and physical condition into account before you decide to take him on the road.
Other factors to consider include the type of activities you have planned. For example, your cat may enjoy riding around the country for a while but she may not be too thrilled about hiking or camping.
Take all these things into consideration to determine whether your pet would enjoy RVing with you.
Tips for Pet-Friendly RVing
Once you decide to take your pet RVing, you need to consider his comfort and safety, along with a few other things. So, here are 6 tips to help you enjoy RVing with your pet.
1) Pack the Essentials
To ensure a comfortable and safe trip for your pet, pack all the necessary gear. Some of the basic stuff you need includes:
- Non-spill food and water bowls
- Medication (Including Flea and Tick Prevention)
- First Aid Kit for Pets
If you are taking a dog with you, you will also need waste pick-up bags but if you are RVing with your cat then you need to bring her litter box.
Grooming products like brushes, shampoos, nail clippers, etc. also need to be on your list, as well as cleaning supplies for any accidents that may occur.
Pet clothes may be more necessary in cold weather but having summer clothes is also a good idea, especially if you have a dog with extremely thin fur. Sun protective clothing can protect him from UV rays. If you plan to go hiking with your pet, then you should also consider getting him a cooling vest or jacket to prevent overheating.
Of course, you must have food and water supplies for your pet in abundance, especially if you want to go camping.
2) Prepare an Itinerary and Plan Ahead
Before you even start your adventure, you need to ensure that you have a well-developed itinerary. That means finding pet-friendly RV parks or camps to stay, as well as pet-friendly pit stops like restaurants and coffee shops. You can find a lot of pet-friendly establishments on GoPetFriendly.com, but call ahead to make sure that their policies haven’t changed in the meantime.
Another part of planning ahead for RVing with pets is updating their ID. Ensure that your pet’s tags are up to date and that they include your address, landline number, and your cell phone number. You might also consider microchipping as well since tags can fall off.
Your pet’s information should be with you at all times, including his vaccination records, proof of ownership and a few photos of your pet in case he runs away.
Make sure that you have the contact info of local vets wherever you stay so you can react quickly in case of an emergency. Also, take your pet to the vet before the trip to ensure that his vaccinations are up to date and to get some advice on potential health problems that are more common on the road.
3) Start Off Slowly
Pets are like human babies. If your pet is not used to being on the road and if he spent most of his life at home so far, RVing for the entire summer or longer may not be the best idea.
Start with small trips to get your pet accustomed to traveling before you take him for a long trip across the country.
You will be able to see how well your pet reacts to being on the road and give him time to get accustomed to his crate or carrier or to wearing a seatbelt, as well as his new sleeping arrangements.
This will also give you a chance to find a permanent location for your pet’s water and food bowls, as well as the litter box if you have a cat.
Once you are sure that your pet is comfortable in your RV, you can take him on a longer trip.
4) Safety First!
To ensure your pet’s protection, you need to buckle him up, be mindful of the weather conditions and be prepared for wildlife run-ins.
Letting your pet roam freely in the RV while you drive, or even letting him sit in your lap, can be dangerous for both of you.
You never know what can happen, so make sure that your pet is secured either in his special travel crate or carrier, or by putting him in a seat belt harness, or using a dog booster seat with straps. Of course, don’t forget to buckle up yourself!
RVing in summer with your pet often means dealing with high temperatures. Leave your air conditioner On when the weather is hot and try not to leave your pet unattended, either in the RV or outdoors.
If you have to leave your pet alone in the RV for a while, have a backup plan in case your air conditioner fails. Most RVs have generators you can set to start automatically if there is some problem with the power supply and the temperature on the interior thermostat reaches a predetermined limit.
Thunderstorms are also more common in summer and pets are often afraid of thunder. Have some toys or blankets from home with you to remind your pet that he is safe if this happens. Most RV parks and campgrounds have storm shelters, so try to locate them as soon as you get there and take your dog with you if an emergency occurs.
Beware of Wild Animals
Wildlife run-ins are somewhat expected when you are camping, so be prepared for these encounters. First of all, you should always have control of your pet when you go to explore the wilderness.
Always have a close eye on your pet and make sure that you can call him back if he runs off. If your dog is not well-trained, keep him on the leash when you walk outdoors.
5) Don’t Forget to Exercise
RVing itself is not a very active lifestyle. It involves a lot of driving and sitting, so your pet may feel cooped up and even bored at times.
Of course, frequent bathroom breaks can help a bit and they are absolutely necessary but that won’t be enough to keep your pet entertained and healthy.
So, if you want to have a content pet as your traveling partner, make sure to include plenty of exercise and playtime in your itinerary. Take your pet walking or hiking daily, let him play with other pets when you are camping and make sure that he has plenty of toys to keep him occupied.
6) Have Fun but Be Considerate of Others
Since you will be spending a lot of time in RV parks or campgrounds, try to be a considerate neighbor. If you are traveling with your dog, try to keep his barking to a minimum so you don’t disturb other people.
Also, make sure that you always clean up after your pet and obey the rules and laws of the campground, particularly those related to pets. Be aware of the local leash laws as well.