As we mentioned in our last post, Travel Savings Contributing to the Growth of RV Ownership, 54% of RVers bring pets on the road with them*. With this in mind, we wanted to share some tips and advice to help you and your four-legged companions better experience the RV lifestyle together. So whether you’re a dog lover or more of a cat person, you’ll find information that will ensure you and your furry friends safely enjoy your next journey together.
Before You Depart
- If in the past – such as on short trips to the vet – your pet acted frightened, got sick or was very loud or vocal, these could be signs that your pet may not enjoy a long voyage. Before heading out, you’ll want to determine whether or not your pet is “road ready,” which includes taking health, age and personality into consideration.
- When it comes to planning, the internet can be your greatest ally. Sites like gopetfriendly.com can help you locate pet-friendly accommodations, parks – even veterinarians and pet supply stores – based on where you’ll be traveling.
- Plan to visit your veterinarian before your trip, especially if you’re unsure whether or not your pet is current on all vaccinations or will be visiting campgrounds and similar sites where other animals are likely to be present.
- Contact any resorts or campgrounds you intend to visit ahead of time so that you are aware of any pet policies or restrictions.
- Be sure to bring all vaccination records and other health-related documents, as many campgrounds and RV resorts require them. It also helps to have your vet’s phone number written down or stored in your mobile phone, just in case.
- Bring more than enough food and treats – especially if your travel plans will take you far from a pet or grocery store. And you’ll want to pack food and water bowls that are “no-slip” or “no-spill” in order to avoid frequent messes.
- Pack cleanup items like paper towels, bath towels, disinfecting wipes and carpet cleaner just in case your pet gets wet or dirty exploring the outdoors or has an accident while on the road.
- If your pet has a favorite bed or toy(s), make sure to bring them along as these items can help your pet feel more comfortable inside of your coach.
- Insect repellents and sunscreens formulated specifically for pets can turn out to be wise purchases, especially if you plan to explore hiking trails or other wilderness environments with your pet.
Once you hit the road
- It is almost always a good idea to secure your pet inside of a crate or large carrier while your motorhome is in motion. Not only will this keep your pet from climbing in your lap while driving, it provides a level of protection in the event of a sudden slowdown or accident.
- Make sure your pet is always wearing a collar, complete with an identification tag labeled with a phone number where you can be reached immediately, such as your mobile phone number. It is also wise to consider micro-chipping in case your pet runs off and loses his collar and identification tag in the process.
- If you’re traveling with a dog, make sure you to walk him or her as often as possible, as dogs tend to get as restless as their owners after spending hours upon hours on the road. And don’t forget plenty of plastic bags for cleaning up after your pooch.
- Make sure your dog (or cat) is always kept on a leash when outside of your RV. This not only helps you comply with the rules in place at many campsites, campgrounds and resorts, it helps to maintain a safe environment for others and their furry companions.
- For times when you’re looking to setup camp and relax outside of your coach, a portable fence is a great way to allow your pet to enjoy the same luxury without forcing you to hold onto to a leash all night.
* According to the RVIA (Recreation Vehicle Industry Association)