RVs are among the most popular ways of traveling around. One of the best things about them is that they’re a really great way to include your pet in the plans. However, if you’re considering going on a fun RV trip and want to bring your dog along instead of leaving it at home or having to look for someone who can take care of it, there are a few things you learn about beforehand.
Truth be told, there’s quite a lot that needs to be done: from adjusting the size of your RV to all the preparations for the trip, which ideally would include dog training, a visit to the vet for a thorough health checkup, and getting prepared for an emergency. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
It all might seem a little overwhelming at first, but RVing with dogs can be one of the best experiences for a pet lover if you take the time to do this correctly. Here are a few tips that will help you figure out how to travel successfully with your dog in an RV. Read on!
Create Space for Your Dog
Dogs, just like people, should have their own safe and secure space in an RV where they can sit and rest when the RV is on the move. If you know that your pet likes riding in a regular car or truck, there might be no need to keep it in a crate, but it’s still a purchase that’s definitely worth your consideration. Most dogs prefer to lay comfortably on the backseat, where they can stretch or take space next to the driver because they love to enjoy the views or have the opportunity to sit next to the open window.
If your RV is a 5th wheel trailer, consider getting a fifth-wheel hitch that reduces sway more effectively than a typical ball and coupler hitch, making the journey more bearable for your pet. You can also lay the dog bed on furniture like a built-in couch, so it stays in place during the travel. It’s better to keep your pet from lying on the floor because something may fall from the counter and hit the pet, or they might get hurt if you hit the brakes suddenly.
Bring Toys, Extra Food, and Water
Make sure that you have enough food and water for your dog when traveling. If you’re making long trips, you want to have enough water and food to last your pet for the whole journey. Store the cans and bags of food in the cupboard where they’re safe and secure.
Bring along some treats and chew toys in case you have to calm your pet down. You can also bring some toys to play fetch or a ball or two, so your dog can get some exercise when you step outside of the RV. To avoid distractions when on the move, consider leaving the squeaky or noisy toys at home. You should also remember that your pet should have access to fresh drinking water at all times.
Don’t Forget About the Exercise
If you’re planning a longer trip, you’ll also need to add some exercise breaks to this plan. Let your dog get out of the RV and stretch the legs whenever possible. When staying in RV parks, it might be possible to let your dog run without a leash for a while, but usually, it’s better to have it on a leash. You don’t want your pet to run away or start chasing people or other animals.
During these stops, try to provide your dog with the same exercise time it usually gets at home. When staying on campgrounds, remember to always clean after your pet. If you haven’t already, add some sanitary bags to your RV packing list and keep them on hand when out and about with your dog.
Before RVing with a dog, you should take your pet to the vet for a thorough health check. It will help you ensure that your pet stays in its best health during the travels. You’ll also be able to check whether you’re up to date with all vaccines. Rabies vaccination is especially important because this disease is extremely dangerous to both animals and people and doesn’t only spread between dogs.
If your dog isn’t already microchipped, it’s something you should consider. Get the ID tags with the pet’s information (name, your phone number), so there’s something to identify your pet if it ever gets lost. RV owners who travel with their dogs usually prepare a first aid kit with their animals in mind. It should contain boots to protect their paws, mosquito and tick repellent, cotton balls, adhesive tape, gauze, and bandages. It will help you take care of your pet’s health and can be purchased online as a ready-to-use kit. If you want to bring along any medication, consult your veterinarian first.
Taking your dog along for the RV trip can be a great bonding experience that will also provide lots of fun. However, before you pack and leave, you should first take care of a few things that later will make the whole journey much easier and more enjoyable for both you and your pet.
Don’t forget to take your dog to the vet for a health check. Pack a first aid kit along with your dog’s favorite toys, food, and fresh drinking water. When not on the road, take breaks and let your dog have some fun and exercise outside. Try to make sure that your dog has its own space in the RV and can travel safely. Bon voyage!
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