'Round The Campfire

Tips for RV Travel with a Pet

More from Outdoor Living Newsletter August Outdoor Living Newsletter
Family with their dog leaving their Class A motorhome parked at a campsite
Camping with pets can be so much fun*

Many RVers love to go camping with their pets. However, staying in a new environment like a campground can be very stressful for pets and you want to avoid them becoming a nuisance to other RVers and campers in the area.

Preparation is the key to make your upcoming camping trip enjoyable and easier both for you and your pet. Here are some helpful tips for RV travel with a pet:

Before Going on a Camping Trip

Find a Pet Friendly Campground

Before heading out on your camping trip, check first with the campground about their rules and policies when it comes to pets as they tend to vary. Some campgrounds don't allow you to bring pets inside the campground, others have restrictions on breeds, whilst most welcome them.

Make sure you understand what pet facilities the campground offer. Does the campground have a facility like a pet day care center where you can leave your pets and come back for them after? If you have a large dog that requires regular exercise look out for campgrounds with enclosed dog runs that they can play in or offer great hiking trails. Here are some great pet friendly campgrounds.

Pay your Vet a Visit

It's always a good idea to bring your pet for a checkup before your camping trip, especially if you're planning to go camping in a different country. The veterinarian will be able to give your pet the vaccinations it needs to stay healthy on the trip. He or she will also be able to talk to you more about what to expect while traveling with your pet (e.g. motion sickness, bouts of anxiety, etc.) and how to properly deal with these based on your pet's breed.

Train your Pet with RV Travel

Make sure you give your pet time to get acquainted to your RV before the trip. Bring pets out for short rides. Let them roam around it and get used to the surroundings. Observe their favorite spot in your RV and keep note of it. This will make sure that they won't get anxious and jittery while you're on the road and at the campground.

Buy a Tag for your Pet

You would want to have a way for someone to reach you in case your pet wanders off while you're on your camping trip. Have a tag personalized with your contact information so that the person who finds your pet can easily get in touch with you.

Pack your Pets' Favorite Things

Whenever you go on a camping trip, you'd want to bring some things that will make you feel comfortable. The same thing is true with your pets. Along with the essentials (i.e. food and water dish, scratching post, and bed), make sure that you pack your pets' favorite toys, treats, and food to take with you on the trip.

While Traveling with Pets

Keep your RV Comfortable

RVs heat and cool down very quickly. While the change in temperature may not affect you, it does affect how your pet will feel while on the road. Make sure that the temperature is just right so that your pet won't feel too cold or warm. It's also a good idea to keep the vents open to help circulate the air inside your RV and keep the temperature constant.

Give your Pet Time to Exercise

Make it a point to stop every three hours on your way to the campground. This will give your pet not only a chance to relieve itself. It will also give you and your pet a chance to stretch your legs and exercise.

Equip your RV with Odor Repellants

Pet odors can easily cling to the interior of your RV, regardless on how long or short the trip. Keep a few odor repellants specifically designed to eliminate pet odors to keep your RV smelling fresh and clean.

At the Campground

Have your Pet's Papers Ready

This is another reason why you need to bring pets to see a veterinarian before your camping trip. Most government-owned pet-friendly campgrounds, and a few private ones, will require you to show a valid rabies certification certificate to make sure that they won't pose a threat to other wildlife and RVers in the area. If you're planning to go camping with pets to other countries like Mexico and Canada, they may require you to present a certification of good health coming from your pets' vet.

Keep your Pet Secured at the Campsite

Campgrounds require all RVers that bring pets with them to keep them secure at all times within the campsite, no matter how friendly they may be. Make sure that you have a leash with you to secure your pet while you're in the campsite so that it doesn't wander off and bother other RVers or cause some damage to the campground. Consider a pet crate that they can be comfortable in at the campsite so they are out in the fresh air, but cannot wonder off.

Don't Leave your Pet Unattended

Even though your pets may be very friendly, remember that they are in a new environment. This can easily make them become very defensive and easily agitated. If you need to leave your pet, make sure that you do so in the campground's pet care facility if they have one. Otherwise secure your pet in your RV. Make sure that you keep the vents and air conditioning open to regulate the temperature inside the RV so that they stay comfortable.

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