What’s a little adventure without man’s best friend? Dogs can make great travel buddies, so it’s only natural to bring them along during an RV road trip. Our loyal companions love to explore almost as much as they love to poke their head out the window during long car rides. Plus, today’s RVs are decked out from floor to ceiling in conveniences that make your dog feel like they’re in a home away from home. Still, traveling with a dog is no walk in the park. RVing with a pet brings a new set of challenges and rules that you should be aware of. Check out this helpful list for the perfect dog-friendly road trip.
5. Give Them Plenty of Opportunities For Exercise
Are we there yet? We’ve all heard these words coming from the back seat during long road trips. Even the most epic road trips are filled with boring lulls and seemingly endless roads. If you think you’re bored, imagine how bad your dog must feel.
You have to make it a priority to give your dog exercise, even after a long day of driving. Be sure to take your dog on morning and evening walks to let their energy out. Fortunately, it’s not hard to find a good running or hiking trail near campsites. You can also take extra bathroom breaks during long drives. Stretch your legs and make sure your dog is getting plenty of opportunities to potty and explore some newfound smells.
4. Bring Doggie Documents
Word to the wise: pack proof of immunizations. Many dog-friendly campgrounds won’t let you in without proof of current immunizations. Ask your vet for an extra copy and keep it in your glove box along with your vet’s phone number in case of emergencies.
But that’s not all. There are several other doggie documents and identifiers you should pack. Accidents happen and dogs can get lost while traveling. Make sure your dog is microchipped so you can track them in case of emergency. You should also update your dog’s tags with your cell phone number instead of your landline. Want to be extra safe? Pack up proof of ownership documents and photos of your dog in case they go missing. It’s always best to prepare for the worst.
3. Take Precautions When Leaving Them Alone
You don’t think twice about leaving your dog at home. After all, they have plenty of toys, water, air conditioning and even DOGTV to keep them occupied. Leaving them alone on the road? That’s a different story.
If you’re leaving your dog in your RV for long stretches of time, make sure you’re staying at a campground with an electric hookup. Temperature control is important, especially because vehicles can get unbearably hot in even mild climates.
If you don’t have a hookup, park in the shade, crack some windows and keep your adventures short. Of course, you’ll also want to provide them with some water, toys and a pee pad in case of emergency. You may also want to consider purchasing a dog monitor. These nifty devices will let you keep an eye on your pup while you’re away so you can enjoy your adventures stress-free.
2. Plan Ahead
What’s on your doggie checklist? When camping, you need to pack up more than your standard food, bone, ball and leash.
It’s wise to write out a list of essentials before packing. Your checklist should include those standard items in addition to things like a kennel or crate, brush, first-aid kit, waste pick-up bags, treats, blankets and more. Planning ahead also means mapping out your camp spots well in advance. Though most national parks allow dogs, others have breed and size restrictions. They also have strict rules that prohibit dogs from being on trails.
Regardless, always read and abide by the campground rules. Keep your dog on the leash when required and pick up after them. Calling ahead and planning your itinerary will help you prevent a mishap down the road. Looking for a pet-friendly place to stay? Check out GoPetFriendly.com for pet travel tips & resources.
1. Buckle Up
Okay, you may not need a car seat for your fur baby. But did you know that class A motorhomes can weigh 30,000 pounds? The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Driving an RV is already a challenge so you need to buckle up your dog in case of a large-scale collision. Consider purchasing a car seat harness for your dog. You can buckle it in, adjust it to your dog’s size and voila! You’ve got a makeshift seatbelt. You can also put them in a secured carrier while driving. Not only will these keep them safe, but it will help keep your coach distraction-free for a safe and fun journey.