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As an RVer, you are probably already planning your summer trips. You are probably also making plans to take your favorite 4-legged friend with you. Dogs are very special and no one wants to leave them behind. Follow along as we discuss RVing with your dog.
If you use just a little advance planning, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t go RVing with your dog, like any other part of the family. We have accumulated some of the best tips from dog owners when RVing with your best friend. Follow some of these tips and have a great summer planned for all of you, including your dog.
The Key Is To Plan Ahead
Take your time and carefully plan out your route and when you should embark. It’s usually a good idea to get started early in the morning. Planning carefully will take some time and effort on your part, but in the long run, it will be well worth it.
Make a list of the campgrounds where you want to stay at the end of the day. Check with each place to ensure they will welcome your dog. You should also check with national parks and attractions and also find out what their rules and regulations are.
There are several sites where you can get great information for planning your summer trips while bringing your dog along. Gopetfriendly.com is one such site you should look into. It has a lot of great advice and information to help you plan. They can help you find pet-friendly campgrounds (on their homepage select “Search by Categories”, then “Campgrounds”), restaurants, attractions, and national parks. They will also advise you to call ahead of time to ensure these places have not changed their rules.
There are campgrounds that are pet-friendly but will not allow your dog to be left in the RV or on a site alone. If you will be visiting an attraction that does not allow pets, you should look into kennels in the area to ensure which ones will take good care of your best friend while you are away.
Even in places that welcome pets, they do not allow owners to leave their pets alone in RVs, especially in the summer heat. If you must leave your dog in the RV, Kim Campbell Thornton of vetstreet.com advises using a little technology to keep your dog safe and cool. One device is a remote temperature sensor that monitors the heat inside the RV and will notify you on your cell phone if it gets too hot. Again, plan ahead and be prepared tor hot weather.
Packing Necessities For Your Dog
Of course, you must pack your dog’s food, water bowls, their bedding, and toys. On top of that, make sure you get a copy of your dog’s health records from your vet along with proof of vaccinations. Many pet-friendly places are going to need this information and campgrounds will want to see a valid rabies certification. If your pet is on medications, make sure you pack them as well including their flea protection medications. Here is a more complete list:
- Food and Treats – (don’t forget the can opener if you need one) Find treats on Amazon
- All medications, vitamins, and supplements
- Drinking Water – Consider taking some drinking water from home; especially if your dog’s stomach is sensitive.
- Food and Water Bowls – Collapsible Dog Bowl
- Current Identification Tag – Include your cell phone number, or other phone number where you can be reached while you are away. Personalized Stainless Steel Pet ID Tag
- Leash – Many places require your pet be on a leash no longer than six feet. Strong Dog Leash with Comfortable Padded Handle
- Proof of vaccinations
- Medical records – Take these along in case of an injury or illness. Scan the documents to a SanDisk USB drive.
- Your dog’s bed and a couple of toys – find your best friend’s perfect bed on Amazon
- Waste bags – (yes, you know why ????) Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags, Extra Thick and Strong
- A roll of paper towels – for pet messes such as muddy paws
- An old towel – for drying after being in the rain or after swimming
- First aid kit – RC Pet Products First Aid Kit
- Photo of your pet – In case you get separated, have a current photo handy so you can create posters quickly.
- Portable dog pen – if in a crowded campground, you may want a pen of the appropriate size for your dog. Shop Dog Pens Here
- Journal/logbook – Log those great memories. Happiness is camping with my dog – Campsite Journal & Logbook
You might also consider having your best friend microchipped.
While On The Road
As I am sure you know, you should never let your dog ride without restraints in your RV. There are many different harnesses, carriers, and crates to make their trip safe and comfortable. Also, if your dog sets in a seat, you should deactivate the airbag.
While RVing with your dog, your dog seats or crates should be secured with seat belts or by using tie-downs. Never let your dog ride in a trailer you might be towing with your RV. Your dog should be in the same space you are in. While traveling, make sure to keep your dog’s routine as normal as possible. Offer regular food times, exercise, and of course for relieving themselves. All these steps will help him or her to stay stress-free from new surroundings. Your dog will enjoy walks probably even more than at home because it’s all new territory for him to explore.
While On A Site
Make sure you have a decent size lead or leash to give him a little more freedom to move about, when it’s appropriate. You might want to purchase a zip line that is available on Amazon or you can make one yourself.
Another important tip, before you hit the road, make sure you have plenty of waste bags to clean up after your dog, it’s being a good neighbor. You should also inspect his bedding regularly to make sure it’s clean and there are no mishaps. You will also have to do what you can to keep your dog from barking, you might be able to pacify him with dog chews. Keep in mind, if other campers complain you will be asked to leave.
Please be sure and watch out for any restricted areas where pets are not allowed and abide. Always ensure your dog is on a leash when out in public. You do not want him or her chasing squirrels, rabbits, or chipmunks.
In A Nutshell
Have a great summer and make sure your dog does too! RVing with your dog should be a lot of fun for both of you and your other family members. Also, you will enjoy your time a lot more if you do not have to worry about Fido back home in some kennel.
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