How to Travel Safely in an RV with Your Dog
Traveling in an RV is a great way to see the country. Whether you are traveling near or far, it’s an adventure. However, if you have pets, there are some extra considerations. Here’s how to travel safely in an RV with your dog this summer.
This is the biggest risk to your dog while in your RV. RV’s are like cars. In the sun, they get hot. Really hot. Even if it’s only 70 degrees outside, an RV can reach temperatures upwards of 100 degrees. Be sure you don’t leave your dog in an RV alone without AC or temperature controls if the weather gets hot.
Loose Pets are at Risk
In the event of an accident, loose pets – both cats and dogs – are at risk of serious injury. Dogs that are allowed to roam and distract drivers is also a factor in your safety and the safety of your pets. If possible, your dog should be contained to one area of the RV or crated during driving times. There are even seat belts for your dog to keep them safe and restrained for your trip.
If you’re in for a long haul, be sure to take frequent breaks so your dog can get some exercise and playtime. Bored dogs are more likely to exhibit undesirable behaviors which will only add stress to what should be a relaxing trip.
Remember the Basics
Remember to bring along all the things your dog needs when they are at home. Here’s a quick list to remind of what you should have with you on a road trip in your RV:
- Non-slip food bowls
- Waste bags
- Accident clean-up supplies like enzyme spray
- Ramp for elderly dogs
We suggest making your own list and laminate it if traveling in an RV with your dog is something you plan to do regularly. If you do seasonal travel, having a laminated list will come in handy as you might not remember what you did the previous year to have a successful trip.
Have a Good Photo of Your Pet Handy & Update Tags
In the event of an emergency, like your dog going missing, you’ll want a current, high-resolution photo of your dog. That’s the first thing the authorities or someone helping to find your pet will ask for. You don’t want to be caught off guard. Along with this, make sure your pet is chipped before you head out on the road. Too many times, pets are not chipped and lost along the way. Lastly, provide your dog with an easy-to-read dog tag that includes their name and your contact information. Preferably, it should be the number of the phone you have access to while traveling.
Keep All Essential Documentation with You
The most important things you can keep with you for your pet are vaccination records, an updated photo (as we discussed before), and proof of ownership. Vaccination records are often required by RV parks and campgrounds. They want to make sure that they’re up-to-date, and most importantly, have their rabies shot.
Proof of ownership is important in disputes where someone tries to claim your dog is theirs. This is rare and scary, but it does happen. Don’t take a chance on this!
Find a Local Vet
In case of a medical emergency, you’ll want to have a local vet in mind. Even if your dog is updated on their shots, they could become ill or injured on your trip. In an emergency, you just don’t have time to lose. If you’re unsure where to go, ask your vet for recommendations of vets in the town you’ll be nearest to.
Use Your Dog as An Excuse to Exercise!
Don’t settle for sitting in your RV or under the canopy in your camp chair. Instead, make the most out of every destination. Find dog-friendly hiking trails, paths, and quaint downtown areas to get exercise and sight-see. Your dog doesn’t deserve being crated for hours while you’re off having fun. Be sure to make time for your dog and include them in the fun. During downtime near the RV, practice obedience skills that make them enjoyable to be around when you travel. It’ll provide them with much-needed stimulation and help you both bond during these excursions.
Have fun this summer!