Ever thought about taking your dog on your RV adventures with you? If so, you’re definitely not alone. In fact, an enormous number of campers enjoy taking their dogs with them on their travels.
That said, there are some things to consider before taking on RV travel with dogs. The logistics of a road trip with a dog are a bit more complicated, and figuring out exactly how you will take care of your furry friend’s needs before you ever hit the road will save you both a lot of stress.
In this article, we will dive into those logistics to help you prepare for your big trip with your pet. Use these tips and you’ll be all set for a successful and fun adventure with Fido or Spot.
Camping with Dogs: Ensuring You Have a Good Travel Companion
The first thing you must do is consider the personality of the dog in question. If you already have a dog, you likely know him or her pretty well by now. Before attempting to take your pet on the road, be sure to ask yourself if this is something they can handle. If you don’t have a dog yet, carefully consider the personality of any pup you plan to adopt before deciding that he or she is right for you.
Some questions to ask yourself include the following:
Does my dog bark often? If so, will the barking disturb other campers?
If the answer to these questions is yes, you will want to think about training your dog to be a bit less yappy before you take them out in the RV.
Does my pup handle car rides well? Will they get carsick?
If you’ve never taken your dog out on a car ride, it’s best to do so before your big trip. If your pup gets carsick, you will want to stock up on medicine such as this. If they are too nervous during the short trip, try taking them out in the car on shorter journeys more often until they become accustomed to the experience.
Is my pet aggressive toward other animals or people?
Obviously, you’d never want to hurt another camper. Therefore, it’s important to feel absolutely confident that your pup would never hurt anyone while out on a walk or hanging out at your campsite.
What breed is my dog?
Unfortunately, many campgrounds still judge dogs by their breed. Dog breeds that have traditionally been considered “aggressive” may not be allowed to stay in certain RV parks. For this reason, you will want to call ahead if you have a dog that falls into this category.
Top Tips for RVing with Dogs
Once you are certain your dog will be a good travel companion, the next step is to consider the logistics of RV travel with pets, as we’ll detail below.
Book Dog-Friendly Campgrounds
Obviously, you want your dog to be welcome wherever you happen to stay. As mentioned before, some campgrounds restrict which dog breeds they accept. However, there are also some campgrounds that won’t allow dogs at all.
In order to ensure you’re booking a campground that allows pets, use Go Pet Friendly to research campgrounds ahead of time, then call ahead to confirm that the location still allows dogs.
If you plan on traveling long distances, be sure to stop often for your pup to have a drink of water, relieve themselves, and run around a bit. Many rest stops (and even some truck stops) include pet areas, so watch for these during your travels in order to get the most out of your stops.
Always Clean Up After Your Pet
Just like the rest of us, dogs poop. It’s super important that you clean up after your dog when he or she does this. After all, we want campgrounds to continue to allow our pets, and cleaning up after them is a step in that direction.
Keep Tabs on the Temperature
During the summer months, it can super easy for your rig to get to dangerous temperatures. Always, always leave the A/C running for your pet, and use a tool such as this to keep tabs on the temperature while you’re gone. You never know when the power may go out, leaving your poor pup to overheat in the hot RV.
Carry Medical Records
Because some RV parks will require you to produce shot records, and because you never know when you may need to see a vet, it is important to always carry your dog’s medical records during your travels. We recommend keeping a copy in your RV at all times so you don’t forget to grab them when packing.
Buying a Dog Carrier and Other Accessories
Dogs don’t require much in the way of stuff. However, there are a few things you might want to consider investing in.
Dog Crate or Puppy Carrier
If your dog tends to get a bit out of hand while you’re away or during car travel, you will probably want to invest in a dog crate or puppy carrier for your RV trips. There are several types and sizes of these things. Make sure you get the correct size for your dog in order to ensure they are comfy in it.
Smaller pups may have trouble getting up and down steep RV steps. A dog ramp can help them out with this problem, saving you from needing to carry them in and out.
If you plan on leaving the RV for extended periods of time, you will probably want to put down a puppy pad in case your dog needs to go potty. This will keep your RV clean and reduce pet smells.
Dog Waste Bags
As mentioned before, you will need to clean up every time your dog goes potty outside. Therefore, dog waste bags are a must-have.
The temperature alarm mentioned earlier is another thing you will definitely want to consider if you plan to leave your dog home alone at all.
Don’t want the dog on your RV furniture? This is completely understandable. However, your furry friend will need someplace to sleep. Be sure to grab a dog bed for them so they can be comfortable in your home-on-wheels too.
The Best Dog-Friendly Vacations
Now that you’re all set up to have a great getaway with your pet, the next step is to figure out where to go. Honestly, dogs will enjoy any type of outdoor getaway you can give them. However, most pups especially enjoy the following options:
- Beach visits
- Long hikes
- Playing in the lake
- Open fields for running and playing fetch
Keep in mind that national parks and many state parks do not allow pets. Additionally, you will likely want to avoid places with steep cliffs if your dog is likely to run off the edge.