Dog is Good knows how much you love your dog and taking him/her along for a weekend adventure sounds like a blast. If RVing is a new activity, your dog may not be as enthusiastic. Before you pack the trailer up and strap in your co-pilot, consider the following: RVing with a dog can be a lot of fun, but it also requires a lot of work. Dog lovers who want to take their dog in the RV for the first time have a lot to learn about how to to care for their dog and keep him or her entertained on the road. These tips can help.
Remember… Never RV Alone!
Prepare Your Pup for the Long Trip
Dogs need a lot of accessories to be healthy and happy. Some pet owners keep dog items in their RV at all times so they can never forget something essential. Other dog owners prefer to bring their dog accessories from home. Either way, dog owners should never head out if they don’t have the basics with them basics with them, including:
- Water and food dish
- Collar with tags
- Grooming supplies
- Tote Bag for pet supplies
Many pet owners also find that it helps to bring something treasured to soothe their pet if they get stressed. A favorite blanket or toy can help a dog feel relaxed on a long journey.
For dogs who are crate trained, having the crate in the RV can be very helpful. Dogs left to wander may eat furniture or carpet, or may get into supplies and make a mess. Dogs can even lean out open windows, resulting in accidents. Putting the dog in the crate is the safest way to keep your dog from wandering, so dog owners are encouraged to keep their crate with them throughout the journey.
Start With the Small Trips First
Until the pet owner and dog have gone out on several trips together, it’s hard to know what to expect. To avoid problems and to help their dog adjust, pet owners are advised to start with short trips, close to home. With each journey, the pet owner will learn more about their pet’s needs and how their pet will behave. As these lessons are learned, the pet owner can make adjustments to his or her travel routines to accommodate the dog. As the dog and owner become more adjusted to life on the road together, they can take bigger and longer trips.
Make Time for Exercise
Dogs that don’t get enough exercise can become destructive and noisy. Dog owners who bring their dogs with them in the RV must remember to take time each day for exercise or play. This needs to be built into the daily routine of RV travel. Pet owners may want to do this first thing in the morning, or in the evening after a day of fun or driving.
Some RV facilities may have designated places for dogs to play and run, but many will not. When taking the dog outside, remember to use the leash to ensure you have the ability to control your dog.
Know Where to Go In Advance
Not all RV facilities allow dogs on site, and those that do may have strict rules for pets. Pet owners who want to bring their dogs with them must start by researching the rules of each facility they will stay at. Knowing this information in advance makes it possible to adjust the travel schedule or route based on the best facilities for dogs.
Be Aware of Weather
Weather can have a big impact on an RV trip. Under the certain weather conditions, RVs can quickly get very hot or cold. During storms, thunder and rain can be very loud. This can have a big impact on a dog’s emotional state. Dogs tend to be afraid of thunder, and can get overheated easily. Pet owners must be sensitive to these problems on the road, to help their dog stay calm and comfortable.
During times of hot weather, dogs in the RV should have the air conditioner running. Water must be in place so the dog can drink what they need to stay hydrated. For long winter road trips, dogs need to have consistent cold-weather routines.
If a thunderstorm pops up, having a treasured blanket or pillow from home can help a dog control his or her anxiety. Pet owners should avoid being gone during thunder storms until the dog’s reaction to thunderstorms can be anticipated.
Be Mindful of Neighbors
Loud dogs can be disturbing to neighbors. In an RV park, this can create very uncomfortable conditions for dog owners and their neighbors. Before a dog owner brings a dog on a trip, the dog should go through obedience training. Dogs who like to bark can be trained to contain their excitement. Obedience classes can help. If the dog barks while in the yard around the RV, pet owners can control this behavior by keeping the dog inside. Some dogs need the curtains drawn to prevent them from barking at neighbors they see.
Use Safety While Driving
Dogs should not be left alone in a camper while it drives down the road. Dogs need to be kept in the cab of the car with the rest of the travelers. To ensure the safety of the dog, dogs must be kept in a harness or crate that has been buckled down. Not only does this prevent the dog from being injured if there is a car accident, it also prevents the dog from distracting the driver.
Know When to Hire a Pet Sitter
Pet owners who need to leave their RV for a day trip or a short overnight stay should not leave their dog alone. If the dog cannot be brought with them on the day trip, then a pet sitter should be hired to watch the dog.
If accommodations cannot be made for the dog to have a sitter, then the dog may need to be brought along, or plans may need to be changed. A dog left alone in an RV for too long can become destructive or uncomfortable, and may even experience a medical emergency while their owner is away.
Following these tips can help RVers enjoy their time out with their dog. Through practice and trial and error, traveling with a dog can be fun and exciting for pet and owner. Remember… Never RV Alone!
Written by Jackie Shelton