If RVing is going to be a part of your life, and you have dogs this is a must read for you. Nobody wants to leave their 4 legged friends at home so here are some things you need to know before RVing with Dogs.
One might think RVing with dogs is just as simple as, hop in the RV and go. Well, it’s not that simple. Know the in’s and out’s before loading the RV and hitting the road.
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RVing with Dogs
In order to keep your dogs safe and happy, and you stress free there are many things you need to know about traveling with dogs. RV parks have rules and they vary from park to park. Not checking before booking is a common mistake.
Packing all their daily necessities, and being well prepared with vet records. Researching your travel destinations so you know if there are vets in the area.
There are many things we weren’t aware of until we started planning our retirement travels. Now that we have 3 years under our belt, here are all the much needed tips for RVing with Dogs we’ve learned and now sharing with you.
RV Parks and Campground Rules
Every single RV park or campground has their own set of rules when it comes to pets. Many have a limit of how many dogs they allow. It’s usually 2 or 3 depending on size and some places have size restrictions. Most places have rules on certain breeds as well. Breeds that are sometimes considered dangerous. We won’t get into if that’s right or wrong, just letting you know what to be aware of. Some places don’t allow pets at all, so make sure before booking you read every rule.
It would be really sad if you booked a stay at an RV park only to arrive and be turned away. I’ve also encountered RV parks asking for pictures of my dogs. Just be sure before you travel.
In order to help your dogs feel safe in the RV it’s a good idea to bring their things from home they are used to. Dog beds, dishes, toys, treats, food, etc. If you travel a lot you might have RV stuff and home stuff and that is ok too, as they will be used to both. But, sometimes dogs that are a bit anxious might need their smells, so bring a few of their things with each time.
You could also grab a dog travel kit and keep it in the RV. Or just bring your other dog necessities like any meds they are on, or doggie care items. Grooming stuff, ear cleaner, eye wash, bathing items, etc.
Bring their vet papers with you. Some RV parks ask for proof of breed, vaccines, age, etc. It’s just a good idea to have a file folder with all that in a safe place in the RV. This is also a good idea incase your dog is ill and you need to visit a vet away from home. That way the vet you are seeing knows exactly what they need to know about your dog.
Dog Food and Treats
It’s stressful enough for our babies to be taken from their home. They don’t understand, they just want to be with their humans. So, because they will be stressed already it’s a good idea to bring their normal food and treats. Changing up what they eat isn’t a good idea even when conditions are normal, so don’t do it when you travel. I make sure I have enough of my dogs food and treats with me. This way I don’t have to worry about being able to find the brands I buy, when traveling.
One of my biggest pet peeves (pun intended) is those who don’t clean up after their dogs. I will never wrap my head around the inconsiderate people who travel with dogs. Nobody wants to step in dog poo when you are walking around your RV or camping spot. Plus, poop transmits disease and if we are stepping in it, so are our dogs. Then, our dogs are going in and out of the RV and spreading that ick all over.
Please be smart and considerate and always have a good supply of dog poop bags. My favorite brand is Earth Rated, but here are some others you might like.
There is no reason why someone can’t be responsible and clean up after their dog. If a person is going to own dogs, it’s part of the package. You can also grab a dooloop that attaches to your leash to hold your poo bag when it’s full.
Follow Leash Rules
Most RV parks or campgrounds have leash rules. It’s very important to follow those for your dogs safety and yours. While you might think you have a well behaved dog or that your dog isn’t aggressive, stress can make dogs do things they normally wouldn’t. Being in new places with new smells and other dogs can be a huge stress factor. Keeping your dog on a leash means you have control of your dog. If another dog comes at you or your dog, you can either pick up your dog or pull your dog away from a bad situation.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, for all involved. So please do follow leash rules wherever you stay. When you are on the road and stop for potty breaks, always leash your dog as well. And, clean up after your dog no matter where you are.
Leaving Your Pet in the RV Alone
Traveling generally means you plan to sight see and explore new places. That is what life is all about and how memories are made. There are places you can take your dogs, like hiking and some beaches. But, there are places you will want to go without the dogs. It’s totally fine to leave your dogs alone in the RV for a while. You know your dogs best and know how long they can go between potty breaks or their food schedule.
While it’s fine to leave your dogs alone for a while, keep in mind the RV park or campground rules on barking. Many places will ask you to leave if your dogs are barking and disturbing others. If you have windows in your RV that your dogs can see out of, close curtains. It’s a good idea to turn the radio on or TV and make sure they have plenty of fresh water. If it’s warm, turn the air on. RVing in the winter, make sure they are kept warm.
A person can also buy pet monitors which help you keep an eye on what your dog is doing while you are away from the RV. They have ones like the Furbo 360 dog camera where you can see your pet and even give them a treat while you are gone. Not looking to spend a lot of money, check out the indoor wifi dog camera. While you need power to operate a camera, chances are when you are RVing you will be hooked up to power.
It’s also a good idea to put a sign in your front window alerting others that there are dogs in the RV. Putting your phone number on the paper incase of an emergency. This is just a precautionary option.
Take Breaks when RVing with Dogs
Sometimes when people travel in an RV, the only time they stop is to fuel up or grab a quick bite to eat. Getting to a destination is always the goal. Keeping in mind when traveling that dogs need breaks. RVing with dogs is great but they need to go potty, eat, take walks and play.
Stop at wayside rests, take the dogs for a nice walk, give them treats and water and let them be outside the RV for a bit with you.
Stick to a Schedule when RVing with Dogs
Dogs like to eat at the same time every day, and they will let you know that. If you have a set feeding schedule, try your best to stick to that when traveling. Take into account time zone changes as well. While potty breaks can be altered some, many times dogs get into a routine at home and like to stick to that.
Even things like treats or playtime are routine things dogs get used to doing at certain times. It’s stressful for them to travel away from home so stick to a schedule when RVing with dogs.
Giving Your Dog Space
If you have a dog that likes their own space it good to give them the proper space in an RV. Some dogs have a bed they like, or even a kennel they sleep in. If you can, make room for their “space” in the RV. For us, our big dog Gunner has his bed in a corner and our little guy Poika sleeps with us. When traveling down the road, Poika is on my lap and Gunner sits on the floor between our seats.
If your dogs travel best in kennels, that is probably the safest way to go. However, my dogs don’t kennel. They will kennel, but have never been made to when we travel. Poika has a touch of anxiety and needs to be by mommy. Gunner likes to look out the front window when we travel so that is his space, between our seats.
However, both dogs have free roam of the RV when we are parked. See Poika being a little brat, staring at me while I work while Gunner just chills on the floor.
Final Thoughts on RVing withDogs
Traveling is fun, and when you have your dogs with it can be even more fun if things are done right. Making sure you follow the few simple and easy rules I shared above.
If you travel from a cold state, like me, to a warmer state, chances are you will need to stay in a hotel a night or two. If you need to find a hotel that allows dogs you can always check out BringFido. Dogs are family and they want to be with us. However, that isn’t always doable so if you need to leave them behind, check out TrustedHousesitters. If you must leave your babies home, at least find a qualified person to care for them and your home.
Safe travels wherever you go and have fun making memories.