Deciding to adopt an RV lifestyle does not mean you have to leave behind your beloved pets. Whether you’re living in your RV full-time or part-time, or are just taking a short vacation, traveling with dogs can make your adventures even more enjoyable. Here are some of our top tips for keeping your dog happy and healthy while on the road.
What to Pack for Your Pet
Before heading out on an RV trip with your dog, make sure you are bringing everything they need. Many issues with pets while traveling in an RV can be avoided by simply having the right equipment.
A hard or soft carrier for small dogs - one made of hard plastic is durable and will keep your pet more stable while your RV is in motion. Some other things you should bring for your dog on an RV trip include:
- Bring airtight food storage for dry food. Airtight containers keep dry food fresh and protect it from hungry critters and wildlife.
- Register your pet with a microchip. If your pet does get lost in a new environment, animal shelters can check the microchip to access your number and a permanent address. If your pet is already registered, be sure your information on the microchip is up-to-date with your latest contact information, address, and so on.
- Bring paperwork from your home veterinarian. Taking an animal across state or national borders can get tricky if you are unable to prove that your pet has had all its shots. Keep veterinary records in the RV, at a permanent address, and digitally.
- Pack prescriptions and medicine. If your pet is on a prescription be sure to pack enough for the entire journey. Backup medicines for fleas, worms, and other common illnesses are also good to have on hand.
- Take toys and comfort items with you. Favorite toys, blankets, beds, and so on are very important for your pet’s happiness on the road. Travel can be stressful and having some comforts of home is calming for pets.
Tips for RVing With Dogs
RVing with dogs is much the same as living with them at home, with a few notable adjustments. Most dogs feel happiest when they have a routine, which can be hard to create while on the road. Keep your dogs happy and healthy while by:
- Stopping for bathroom breaks. Do this as often as you would let them out at home, so plan some pit stops along the way.
- Feeding your dogs around the same time each day. This, along with regular bathroom breaks, helps mirror the relaxed environment they enjoy at home.
- Exercising regularly. Not only does exercise keep them healthy, it prevents bad behavior stemming from boredom or anxiety. Plan for at least an hour pit stop for each day of driving so that your dog can get out some energy
- Being mindful of their safety. If it is a very hot day, do not leave your dog in your RV. Even if the AC or a temperature monitor is on, the generator or battery can fail and the connection you use for the temperature monitor may be unreliable. If you are RVing in the winter, it is usually safe to leave your dog in your RV. A space heater, booties, and warm blankets can all help keep your dog warm in your RV.
- Securing your dog when the RV is in motion. For some dogs, being secured in a kennel is most calming, while others feel more at ease being buckled in a harness out of their carrier. The important thing is that your dog is secured in some way to protect them in the event of an accident, and to prevent them from distracting the driver.
Advice for Camping with Dogs
Camping with dogs can be a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of work. If you are wondering what to do once you reach your destination, whether it’s an RV resort, established campground or spot out in the wildernes, follow these tips:
- Before arriving at any RV resort, campground, or national/state park do some research. First and foremost, check to see if dogs are allowed. The Lazydays Resort and many national and state parks allow dogs, but with certain conditons. Other RV resorts and campgrounds have strict “no-pet” policies while some may not allow certain breeds.
- If dogs are allowed, make sure to check if any restrictions or conditions apply. This includes where they are allowed on the grounds and whether your dog must be on a leash. Your fellow RVers should also be considered if you are bringing your dog to an RV resort or campground.
- Keep your dog on a leash. Unless your dog is very well-behaved, and you are not worried about them running off, you should keep them on a leash whenever they are outside. Not only will this prevent them from running off and getting lost, but it can protect them from things like poisonous plants, sharp bushes, and wild animals.
- Have fun! Enjoy this special time outdoors and let your dog indulge some of their wilder instincts (within reason of course). Whether it’s swimming in a lake or pond, running around an open field, or sleeping under the stars, your dogs are sure to have as much as you will.
Dogs can enjoy travel just as much as humans once they’ve adjusted to the RV lifestyle. Join Lazydays RV at our pet-friendly resort and meet the other furry friends that are a part of the incredible RVing community.