When it comes to hitting the road for your next adventure, it should come as no surprise that you want to take your favorite people with you to share in the excitement. However, sometimes our favorite people are actually our pets. Yes, pets really are just like family. Man’s best friend? You bet. Our four-legged friends are our forever companions, so obviously we want to take them on the road with us when we’re RVing across the country to share in all the memory-making fun that happens along the way.
There are plenty of tips for RVing with your dog, but here are some of our tried and true rules for keeping Fido safe and happy whether you’re taking a long or short haul.
1. Get Daily Exercise
Just like us, our four-legged friends will need exercise. Depending on the size of your pet and RV, they may be able to get a healthy amount of running just playing a game of fetch inside. But for larger pets, finding a local pet-friendly park is a great option—especially one where they can socialize with other traveling animals. Additionally, the old saying that a tired puppy is a good puppy still rings true regardless of your pet’s age. Giving your pet a solid amount of exercise ensures they’re not itching to get out of the RV when you’re on the road. Instead, they’ll more than likely nap or at least relax in between stops.
2. Regular Health Checkups
On the off-chance that something happens to your pet while you’re on the road, it’s important to be able to find a local veterinarian. Smartphones can easily be your friend here, but some research into your destination and major places along the way can help make sure your best friend has a nearby doctor were something to arise. Your local vet may even be able to recommend a few along your route. Planning a few things in advance, such as where your pet will sleep in the RV and how to protect your pet from the heat, can go a long way in helping your pet enjoy the trip just as much as you.
3. Know Pet Policies
Campgrounds tend to have separate policies regarding animals versus human visitors. For example, some national parks don’t allow pets on the trails at all, while other campgrounds usually require that they be on a leash when outdoors and that owners clean up after them. Regardless of where you go, you should always clean up after your pet whether there’s a sign indicating to do so or not. Some places don’t allow pets to be left unattended, which can be a problem if you’re more of a park-and-explore type RVer. There may also be weight and breed restrictions for dogs at certain locations. Check out the campground’s policies before setting up camp with your pooch in tow to avoid any issues during your trip.
4. Be Prepared for Changing Weather Conditions
If you do plan to explore the area and leave your pet back at base, always consider the weather before doing so. In the heat of the summer, keeping your RV air conditioning on is a must when you’re not in the RV. For pets that get anxious during thunderstorms, a loud crack of thunder in an RV can be particularly scary especially if they’re alone when it happens. Packing comfortable objects for them—like blankets and toys that remind them of home—can help them feel more at ease. White noise machines may also keep them from barking at unfamiliar noises in the middle of the night. If you’re taking your pet on the road with you, it’s best to plan as many activities that involve them as possible so they’re not left unattended. After all, pets can become quite stressed when in unfamiliar surroundings. They want to spend as much time with us as they can. They’re our best friends for a reason!
5. Expect Unexpected Wildlife
No matter how domesticated they may be, the fact remains that your pets are still animals. When you’re traveling with them in wooded areas, you’re bound to come across some local wildlife, it’s inevitable—some as small as squirrels and raccoons, some as large as bison and moose. Your pet’s primitive instincts may surface and even win out as they get a sniff of these creatures, making it even more important to carefully watch the RV door as you’re going in and out at each location. It’s crucial that you remain aware of your surroundings at all times, but even more so when you have a pet along for the ride. As a bonus, always make sure your pet’s vaccines are up-to-date and you’re treating them with flea and tick prevention.
Following these rules can be the difference in the trip of a lifetime for your pet or one they’d rather have skipped. When it comes to our pets, we always hope for the former. At the end of the day, life is simply more fun when our pets are by our side for the ride. For more tips that will ensure your pet always enjoys the road as much as you do, check out the posts below.
- Practical Pet Tips for Part-Time RVers
- How to Plan a Dog-Friendly Road Trip
- Dog-Friendly RV Destinations in the West
- Dog-Friendly RV Destinations in the South
- How to Keep Your Dog Safe While Moving in a Motorhome
- RV Interior Updates Your Dog Will Love
- Ultimate Dog Lover Guide to RVing
Are you ready to take your pet on the road with you for your next adventure across the country? At Camping World, we will make sure you’ve got the right RV to fit both yours—and your furry friends’—needs. Check out Camping World’s pet gear and essentials, as well, to ensure your pet is as comfortable as you are during your travels. Have you already taken your pet along for the ride a time or two? Share your favorite tips in the comments below!