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How to Travel With A Pet That Has Medical Issues


A perk of RV travel is having the opportunity to bring your home with you wherever you go. Home is not merely defined by the things we own but the people and pets we spend our lives with. But what happens when your fur buddy is ill or needs medical attention? When your pet is family, it’s difficult and in most cases, impossible to leave them behind. While it can be done safely, there are numerous steps to consider before taking your four-legged companion on the road with you. In effort to create an easy transition to RV life for your sick pet, we’ve outlined some helpful tips to help you ensure your pets safety while on the road.


RVing with your dog, RVing with your cat
Photography: @loki


Before you take off on your road trip, make sure you consider the following:
– Know the potential medical needs/assistance your pet might encounter while on the road, as it pertains to their particular illness.
– Pack a copy of your pets medical records, vaccines, etc.
– Have a full supply of their medications and know what side effects come with their medical issues.
– Identify the health risks they may be exposed to (other dogs, heat, etc.) and avoid those situations if possible.
– Make sure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations.

If your pet is on medication for pain, infection, disease, and so forth, be sure to follow a strict schedule for administering medications. Read all labels fully. Consider your pets comfort and be sure to give medications that need food with food, water with water, etc. This simple task of following a schedule is imperative while RVing because road life is known to be unpredictable. A flat RV tire can completely throw off your schedule, so set your alarm for your pets medications as you would your own. Be sure to have enough of your pets prescription for the duration of your trip! Know the side effects of the medications your pet is on and have additional medicine on hand if need be (anti-nausea, anti-diarrhea, anxiety, etc.).

Traveling with a sick pet is similar to traveling with an ill person. Many medications have a side effect of nausea, and pets are not immune to car sickness. Schedule in rest area stops so your pet can get fresh air, use the restroom and enjoy solid ground. Keep an eye on your pets demeanor. Shaking, shivering and excessive panting are common for pets that have medical issues, making it hard for them to regulate their internal body temperature. Keep extra blankets on hand and be sure to give your pet lots of snuggles in times of distress to create a sense of security and well-being.


how to travel with a pet that has a medical condition
Photography: @kuma_thehuskybear


Before you head out on an RV adventure, make sure to locate the nearest vet, pet hospitals and emergency rooms along your route in the event your pet needs medical assistance. Be sure to have the numbers on hand, should you be in an area with spotty service. Don’t be afraid to tell strangers that your pet isn’t up for hugs and pats and know the warning signs/symptoms of your pets medical concerns so you know when or if it’s time to go to the emergency room. Keep your vets number on speed dial so that any questions concerning your pet can be answered in a timely and stress-less manner.

Your pet finds comfort in the routine of their home life. Bring along their crate if they enjoy sleeping or hanging out in it, as well as any toys, pillows or blankets they prefer to rest with. A pet with medical issues needs to feel a sense of security, so know your animal and create an environment that is as comfortable and stress free as it possibly can be while in an RV. This includes meals and snacks. Many pets with medical conditions have a new feeding schedule with adjusted portions. Keep snacks on hand should you find your pet stressed or in need of sustenance.

Don’t forget all the accessories that go along with your pet! Clean drinking water, food and water bowls, a leash, collar and tags, doggy bags, treats, toys, life vest, pillows, dog bed and whatever else your furry friend likes at home should be packed in your RV. Be sure to bring along a pet first aid kit for emergencies that include but are not limited to burns, sprains, tweezers for ticks, and so forth.

If you’re looking for RV events to enjoy the rest of the year check out our round up of The Top 2019-2020 RV Rallies and Caravans. Do you travel with your pet? Leave us a comment in the section below telling us your tips and tricks to making road life enjoyable for your furry friend for a chance to be featured on our La Mesa RV blog!


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