Tips for RV-ing with Pets
Traveling with your best four-legged friend
Many people enjoy taking their dogs or cats on the road with them. Fortunately, most RV parks and government campgrounds allow you to bring your pets (although some will require an extra charge for your pet). However, there are some guidelines and suggestions to follow to make sure you and your pet have a good trip – not to mention those sharing the campground with you. To ensure that pets continue to be allowed in campgrounds, it’s important to practice good pet etiquette.
Preparing to travel
When you are preparing to travel with your pet, there are a few things to get in order.
- You will want to carry a valid rabies vaccination certificate with you. Many campgrounds require it. If you are traveling to Canada or Mexico you need a valid vet health certificate, which includes a proof of rabies vaccination.
- Make sure your pet has identification on their collar. In case your dog gets away from you, it’s wise to include the make of your RV and license plate, as well as a cell phone number.
- Ask your vet for preventative measures for fleas and ticks. Ticks in particular are bad this year, so it would be wise to get started on meds for your dog to avoid ticks on your trip.
- Start small. If it’s going to be your pet’s first trip in an RV, plan just a short jaunt not far from home. Some pets will adjust well to camping while others may struggle more. Before heading out on an epic journey you will want to learn which category your pet fits into!
- Gather necessary supplies. Make sure to pack a leash, waste bags, and enough food and treats for your time away. You will want to bring along a good brush that can get out leaves and sticks that may get matted in your pet’s fur. Many pet owners also like to bring a rope and tether to secure their pet to at the campground.
On the road & at the campground
Once you’ve hit the road with your pet, there are several suggestions to increase the enjoyment of your trip for all.
- Secure a protective travel case for your pet in the RV and have your pet ride in this when driving. This will both protect your pet from sudden stops, and yourself from becoming a distracted driver.
- When outside the RV, keep your pet on a leash or tethered on a rope. It doesn’t matter how well trained your dog is, for the courtesy of all those around you your dog needs to be restrained. Giving Fido free range of the campground is a big no no.
- Plan your activities with your pet in mind. During summer months it is not wise to leave your pet unattended for long times in the RV. Even if you plan to leave the AC running, you never know when there may be a power outage or some other issue causing a rise in temps. Plan activities where your pet can accompany you, or look for campgrounds that provide doggy day care boarding.
- Have a constant barker? Then a communal campground may just not be the place for you and your pooch. There is nothing worse than escaping to nature only to be bombarded by the constant barking of a dog. Training and bark collars are highly suggested for having a well-mannered pup at the campground.
- Always clean up after your pet. Nobody wants to step in what your pet has left behind.
Here’s to many great adventures with your entire family – including the four-legged members – this summer!