6 Tips for RVing with Your Dog
RVING WITH YOUR BEST CANINE BUDDY? READ THESE RV TRAVEL TIPS!
Summer is just around the corner and now is the perfect time to review the do’s and don’ts of successful RVing with your dogs. Most of us would never want to leave our beloved pooch behind when traveling in our RV, so it's best to be well prepared before you hit the open road. Make sure your dog (and you) are up for your RV adventures on the open road. Here are six easy travel tips to consider when RVing with dogs:
- FOOD & WATER: Make sure you have an ample supply of your dog’s brand of food on hand. Switching dog food can cause digestive issues and that’s not something you want to deal with on a road trip! If you will be traveling for an extended amount of time, be sure that this brand is available at the most popular pet stores across the country. Another option is to purchase dog food online and have it shipped to a location you will be staying at.
Be sure to always have a fresh source of water available that’s easily accessible. If your dog is sensitive to changes in water, use filtered or bottled water for continued consistency.
- PACKING LIST: Make a packing list of all the things your dog will need and be sure to check off on all the items!
- Dog food. As noted above, make sure you have enough of your dog’s brand of food to last for the short or long haul.
- Water bowls. Bring along bowls with non-slip bottoms!
- Leashes and collars. Bring more than one. Plan on hiking with your dog and perhaps going through some water or mud? Packing a neoprene dog collar and leash in addition to your regular collar, harness and leash makes cleaning so much easier!
- Dog tags and other identification. Don’t take the chance that your best buddy will get lost. Make sure your dog always wears a collar with identification tags, dog licenses (where applicable), and microchip ID if your dog has been chipped. Also, make sure these tags are up to date with your current contact info.
- Medications and Flea/Tick treatments. Be prepared and keep your dog healthy. Have a list of recent vaccinations in case you need to provide this information.
- “Poopy” bags. Avoid the situation where you need to pick up poop and you have forgotten to bring a waste bag. Save money and buy packs or rolls in bulk quantities, either online or at Costco, or another wholesale store.
- Toys and treats. Be sure to pack dog toys and don’t forget healthy treats. Believe us, your dog will be very pleased with you!
- DESTINATION PREPARDNESS: Does the campground or RV site you have reserved or traveling to allow dogs? What about restrictions? Are there restrictions on dog breeds or the number of dogs allowed? Are there additional fees? Will the national or state park you are visiting allow dogs on trails, waterfronts, or in the backcountry? These are questions you need to know well before you pull into your RV destination. Just like the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared.
For more information on rules and regulations in the National Park Service, use their "Find a Park" Advanced Search to learn more about a particular park.
- SAFETY TIPS WHILE TRAVELING INSIDE YOUR RV: While most dogs love to travel in motorhomes (usually laying on the wide dashboard looking out the windshield), some pooches are nervous and are a bit traumatized by the experience. Having a collapsible metal dog crate appropriately sized for your dog is a good idea. This helps to confine your dog inside the cabin while you travel, as well as other times when you need to restrict their movements.
- BE MINDFUL OF TEMPERATURES OUTSIDE YOUR RV: While the temperature inside your motorhome, travel trailer, fifth wheel, or toy hauler is most likely climate controlled, the temperature outside is not. In the summer months, outside temperatures can quickly become too dangerous to be in. Some dog breeds, like the short-nosed brachycephalic breeds (pugs, boxers, mastiff, Pekinese, Lhasa Apso, and Boston terriers are some examples), are extremely sensitive to high temperature and humidity. Smaller, short hair (or hairless) breeds like Chihuahuas, dachshunds and Chinese crested, are the most sensitive to the cold. Untreated heat stress and cold stress is dangerous and can be fatal.
- EXERCISE: It is very important that you take your pooch out for a walk during rest stops and when filling up. Hours of traveling not only take their toll on us, but they also do on dogs. Planning on being away from your RV for more than a few hours? Be sure to exercise your dog until it is “too pooped to pop.” In our experience, a tired dog is a happy dog!