Rv Travel With Pets: Tips and Products That Will Make RV Life Easier
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Introduction to RV Travel With Pets
The joy of RV travel is undeniable. You can explore the country at your own pace, camping in scenic locations that you would never have found otherwise. The downside? Pets don’t always enjoy the same thing as their people and often need a little extra attention to make it through an extended vacation or adapting to full-time RV living.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the best ways pet owners can prepare for an RV trip or full-timing with pets, plus show you some fantastic products that will make life easier on everyone!
How Do You Travel With a Pet In An RV?
Traveling with a pet in an RV can feel like a daunting task. There is a lot more to do when it comes to RVing with pets than there is with other RV travels.
First of all, you’ll need the right size pet carrier that will fit in your vehicle and be able to hold up against wear and tear from being tossed around the back seat or trunk area. You may also want some extra storage for items like food, toys, medicines, and more.
These are all things to consider before venturing out on your travels with your furry loved ones. The RV life is great and it is completely possible to enjoy your wanderlust with your dog and/ or cat. A little preparation and forethought will make all of your travel dreams possible.
Can You Drive To Your Destination With Your Pet In The RV?
The quick and short answer to this is no. Unless you drive a class A motorhome, you will need to have a plan for the pets to ride in the tow vehicle with you.
There are many items that can make driving with your pets easier and more comfortable. These are some of the items that work for us while traveling.
Kurgo Car Seat
Portable water dish
When driving with your pets, you will need to make sure that you have all of the supplies with you. It helps to organize and have everything readily accessible.
Items that you need to carry with you include vet and shot records, microchip number, food, freshwater, toys, disposable bags for waste, and a cat box (if you are traveling with a cat).
Can You Travel Full Time With A Dog?
Living full time in an RV is improved with dogs (if you are a dog person). There is nothing better than setting up at a new campsite and exploring the area with your buddy. Believe it or not, your dog will also help you make new friends.
It takes a bit of special attention to planning on living full time with a dog. You won’t have a designated and fenced backyard for them to play at their leisure. You will need to take your pet outside every time they need to go to the bathroom. We remedied this situation with a bit of training.
Our dog, Dunkel, is trained to ring a bell whenever he needs to go outside. We hang a long bell from the front door. He hits it with a paw whenever he wants to alert us.
You can purchase a bell that affixes with a snap to your door on Amazon. This is one of our favorites.
Another thing to consider when full-timing with a dog is where they will sleep. Our dog is crate trained and spends nights in a fold up dog crate. The fold-up dog crate easily breaks down and can be put away to open up floor space when not in use. We all know that storage and space are hot commodities in any RV.
Can You Travel Full Time With A Cat?
If you are a cat owner, it is definitely possible to live full-time in an RV. With cats, you need to make sure that they have a happy and comfy place to rest. You will also need to make sure that they have enough stimulation to account for the lost roaming space.
Cats need to play, climb, scratch and run. With a little creativity and the help of some unique products, you can keep your cat healthy and entertained while traveling.
A window perch helps them to see the outside world, which is always changing and engaging in an RV. Scratching posts and items will assist in keeping your vehicle’s furniture out of harm’s way. Make sure that you set aside regular time to play with your kitty and have lots of toys for them to keep active.
A harness, with a little training, can be used to walk your cat. This is another way to spend time with kitty and keep them active.
Pet Supply Storage Ideas for RV Travel With Pets
Adding a pet to your household while living in an RV is great but also comes with some concerns. Where will you keep all of their supplies?
Pets need tons of things. With storage already being an issue for most full-timers, pet supplies add just another complication.
Supplies that you will need to keep your pets happy and healthy include food, meds, brushes, shampoos, toys, bags, treats and more. This list can go on and on.
There are many items created to assist in your RV storage needs. Here are a few ideas to help you make the best choices.
Keeping Pets Healthy While on The Road
Keeping your pets healthy while on the road can seem like an overwhelming task. Where do you take them for treatment? What is the best food? How do I make sure that they get enough exercise?
If your pet is on a special diet, this may become an issue to overcome. Ordering prescription foods from online sources is the best option for keeping this up. Have a designated mailing system in place to make sure that you receive your supplies on time to keep Fido and Buffy in tip-top shape.
If your pet eats non-prescription food, this option is a bit easier. Keep them on the food that they have been eating. It will provide comfort and keep them eating.
There are PetSmart and Petco locations all across the United States. This will ease your mind as you search to fill the supply demands of your household.
Do I have to find a new veterinarian in every place that I travel to? The short answer is yes. Most vets will be happy to schedule you as long as you have a comprehensive record with you. Make sure to always have this handy. You never know when you will need to grab it quickly.
Make sure that your pet is regularly vaccinated. This is important to their overall health. It will also be a requirement in many campgrounds and RV parks.
Vetco, which is a part of Petco, has vaccination clinics. Since Petco is all over the country, this is a great option for keeping pet records up to date. Banfield is another option. Banfield is a part of PetSmart. The difference is that Banfield is a complete veterinarian service provider. They even offer insurance plans.
Keeping your pet happy and healthy on the road includes keeping a regular exercise routine. Keeping your pet fit has a great impact on their health status.
Go for regular walks, set aside daily playtime, and make sure to watch your pets weight. Have desirable toys in the rig for them to play with when you are not available to entertain. The combination of these things will help keep your pet’s mind fresh and their bodies lean.
Tips For RV Pet Owners
Here are some great tips to help you transition or improve your life on the road with pets.
Keeping a routine with your pet is a great way to keep your pet content and well. This includes feeding, exercising, playtime, grooming, and training on a regular basis.
Keep a daily routine of feeding and walking your pet at certain times. Having a bedtime for Fido can also help with a sense of security and well-being.
If necessary set timers to help keep a schedule. Use a calendar for medicine reminders. You don’t want your dog outside with all of the critters if they haven’t been given flea and tick medicine on a regular basis.
Make sure to keep reminders set for scheduling routine vet visits and immunizations.
Owning a pet is a huge responsibility. Only the strong will survive. Just kidding. But, really, it is important to recognize that your pet has needs just like you do. Their needs should be met and you are the one that is responsible.
Don’t let your pet just run wild outside in the campground. They may be the most trained and well-behaved canine in existence. The problem is that other campground dwellers have pets as well and they might not be.
Your pet should also be wearing a collar with identification tags. This doesn’t mean that your dog needs to wear one of those ugly plastic ID tags that say “Please Return If Found.”
There are some really cool-looking collars and tag combos out there now made from silicone or leather. They can even have GPS chips embedded in them. This is just an addition to making sure your pet is microchipped. This is both for your benefit and your pet’s.
There are many products that you can place on your campground site to enjoy the outdoors with them. You can use a pen, a lead with a stake, or a tent (for cats). This will allow your pet to hang out with you outside while you read, have a campfire, or however you are enjoying your campsite.
Here are some products that we highly recommend for RV travel with pets:
Know The Campground Rules
Most campgrounds and RV parks allow pets (thank goodness). They do this with certain rules in place. These rules include having updated immunizations, using a leash, cleaning up after your pet, and making sure not to leave them unattended.
Your neighbors will thank you for minding and cleaning up after your cat and dog. They would also appreciate if you managed barking and kept it to a minimum.
Pay Attention to Weather and Temperatures
It is SUPER important to pay attention to weather and temperatures. Many animals are sensitive to heat. When you walk your dog and the temperature outside is high, you need to watch for heat stroke and other signs of weather intolerance.
The same is true for cold temperatures. There are many items available for purchase on amazon that can help you to keep your loved pet safe and comfortable in the face of extreme weather.
Frozen treats or frozen bandana wrapped around doggie’s neck can also help. The cost to use these techniques are minimal. Check out this frozen dog treat recipe.
Safety On The Road: RV travel with pets
Are my pets safe when I travel?
Some people might not know that they are required to have a pet restraint system in their vehicle. If you go for groceries or anywhere else and your dog is coming with, then he needs to be restrained as well when traveling outside the RV.
Most breeds of dogs can tolerate travel better than cats do but there are some precautions to take if you plan on traveling with your pet.
Making sure to secure your pet on travel day will also help the driver to keep his/ her attention where they need it to be. Nobody wants Kiki or Rex jumping on you while you are maneuvering a large vehicle. It just isn’t safe.
Check out the travel restraints listed above.
Can You Leave Your Pet In The RV All Day?
It is possible to leave your pet in the RV while you immerse yourself in outdoor adventures. If you are going to be out for only a few hours, then your pet will probably be fine.
Remember that it is possible for your dog or cat to get bored and destructive while inside the RV alone all day so make sure they have plenty of toys, food, water and potty breaks before leaving them behind .
If you plan on being on being away for more than a few hours, you should consider taking your pet with you.
This is not always possible. The main concern when leaving your pet or pets behind while you are out, is temperature control. One practical option to remedy this problem is purchasing a temperature monitoring system. This will allow you to make sure that your pet is safe from harsh temperature changes whilst away.
This monitor is popular with RV’ers and has a great rating. The best part about this system is that you can remotely monitor and make necessary changes to the RV climate.
It is always best to start out on short trips. See how your pet does and make necessary adjustments as you go.
If you are just not comfortable leaving your pet behind while you venture out, doggy day care is a fantastic option. This will give you the peace of mind that your Fido is well taken care of and safe. This will require a bit more research on your part and may not be available in all areas.
Another important thing to mention here is that owners should always be considerate of their campground neighbors. Attempt to keep barking to a minimum. Keep your pet off other people’s sites and always maintain cleanliness. Never let your dog off leash to roam at their will.
How To Introduce Your Pet/ Pets to The RV
It is super important to introduce your pets to their new homes. It will take a bit of time for them to adjust. The space is much smaller and change can be stressful on them.
The first step is to be patient. Let them explore and get a sense of their new digs. Let them smell everything and find “their” place.
Use food or treats to encourage good behavior during the introduction phase. Having a favorite bed, blanket, or food dish may help in making them feel more at home.
The more patient you are with this process, the more successful the experience will be. Your pets will feel at home before you know it.
One thing to be mindful of is that cats can fit into very small places. They like to hide. Be sure to check for their whereabouts before moving slides or anything can cause potential harm to your furry friends.
The best way to know if the RV lifestyle is right for your pet is to take a trial run.
Travel day can be the most stressful on your pets. If you own a Class A or motorhome, your cats may be safe to roam while on the road. Dogs should be secured with a harness for their safety.
It is never safe to leave a pet in a travel trailer while driving to a new location. Things can fall on them. Temperatures won’t be consistent. It is much safer to keep them in the tow vehicle with you.
RVing With Pets FAQ
Below, you will find common questions asked by people who are interested in RV travel with their pets.
What documentation do I need to have for my pets?
You will need to bring a copy of your pet’s medical record, including any and all health problems, concerns, and needs. You will need paperwork for their microchipping.
The most important document that you need to have with you is your pet’s immunization record.
Do all campgrounds allow pets?
Most campgrounds do allow pets. There are however, restrictions in many. These restrictions include how many pets you can bring and some breed limitations. Many campgrounds and RV parks do not allow “aggressive breeds.”
What supplies do I need for traveling with my pet?
Make sure that you bring a travel bowl for water and food. You will also need poop bags for a dog or cat box and supplies for a cat. Bring, as stated above, any and all medical records (these may be requested upon check in).
Make sure to keep any medications handy and don’t forget a leash and harness.
What other considerations are there when traveling with pets?
Pets can make messes. It is important to note that odors will need to be dealt with while living in an RV with any pet. Keep up on cleaning and this will greatly reduce any negative odors.
Many pets become car sick. They have a tendency to lean toward motion sickness. Make sure that they have plenty of fresh air and stop to walk them regularly. Bring extra supplies to clean up any messes in the car/ truck.
Benefits of Traveling With Your Pets
Now that you have an arsenal of information about RV’ing with your pets, you can relax and learn about why it is fantastic to share the RV life or travels with them.
Here are some common benefits of RV’ing with pets.
- Companionship: The greatest benefit of traveling with pets is companionship. Pets are loyal, comforting and loving. It is a wonderful opportunity to explore the country and be with your best friend.
- Exploration: The animals get to see new sights and explore interesting new places. Humans also get the benefit of being able to travel with the peace of mind that their furry friends are well taken care of.
- Meeting New Friends: Animals, especially dogs, help their owners to be more social and meet new people at each location. When you are out walking Rex, there is a huge possibility that they will draw the attention of other dogs and dog owners. It is a great way to stay social.
RV travel with pets is a unique experience for both you and your pet. They are able to see more than they could on a normal vacation, but the stress of being in an unfamiliar space can take its toll.
Use these tips and tricks to make traveling with your pets possible and you will be on the road before you know it. What are your favorite tips for RV pet owners? We would love to hear from you. Your perfectly optimized content goes here!
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Hello! My name is Cortney. I am 45 years old. I live full time in a 33 foot airstream trailer with my husband of 21 years. I run my own business out of my tin can and love living small. I have two grown kids and three pets. I have worn many hats including mental health counselor and truck driver. My husband is prepping for retiring from the Navy in the next five years. He has been serving for over 22 years faithfully.