Vacationing With Your Dogs in an RV
This is a guest post from RVshare with some wonderful tips, and advice on vacationing with your dogs in an RV.
Summertime is right around the corner, and most of us have stockpiled our vacation time so we can get away for a few weeks. For those of us with pets, planning a vacation can be an elaborate dance of finding pet-friendly locales and figuring out travel schedules. In fact, in can be downright discouraging for some. Thankfully, traveling with a dog in an RV offers much more flexibility, and can actually be one of the best ways to travel for both you and your four-legged companion.
Ditch the Flights and Book an RV Instead
Our pets are part of our families. Many a pet owner can’t bear the thought of leaving their pet behind while they’re on vacation. Flying with dogs can be a nightmare, and pet-friendly hotels can be hard to find, expensive, and well, full of other pets. Naturally, RVs have quickly become a popular alternative for traveling with pets. In many ways, RVing with dogs is a far better experience than other modes of travel. Here’s why:
- It’s less stressful for everyone involved. Most dogs hate flying just as much as most people do. It’s disorienting, overstimulating, and unnatural – all the things that none of us want our pets to experience. Couple that with the ruckus of staying in a hotel with a dozen other pets or so, and you can see why conventional travel can be a strain on your pup. When traveling, it’s good to surround your dog with familiar smells and faces. It gives them an anchor and a sense of comfort when the other changes around them get to be overwhelming. RVing not only helps your dog stay calm; it also saves you having to worry about their wellbeing.
It’s convenient. Even if you’re not flying, planning a travel schedule can be tricky once you add dogs into the equation. An RV takes all the guesswork out of traveling. A walk and a bathroom break are just as far away as the next rest stop.
- Your dogs have access to food and water at all times of the day. And best of all, no more searching for pet-friendly hotels. It’s just you, your dog, and a few quality hours on the road. All that’s left to do is roll down the window and let them stick their head out.
- It’s good for you and your dog. We don’t call dogs “man’s best friend” for nothing. Our pets mean more to us than they will ever know. It’s common knowledge that pets have a slew of beneficial effects on our mental health. In fact, just thinking about your pet triggers an oxytocin release, much like thinking about your child does. The amazing thing is, our pets get the same satisfaction from hanging out with us, too. Dogs also have a way of motivating us to get out and explore, which is one of the best parts of RVing! There’s nothing like hiking a trail with your furry friend – and that’s exactly what you’ll be doing a lot of if you bring your dog on the trip.
- It’s easy. RVing was made for people with pets, and as such, finding a pet-friendly RV park is a lot easier than finding a hotel. A few major RV rental companies offer pet-friendly rigs for a deposit, but our advice is to use a peer-to-peer service like RVshare. Most RV owners are also pet owners, so finding a pet-friendly rental shouldn’t be hard at all. Be sure to check the listing for pet deposits, if applicable.
Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe on the Road
Of course, for all the benefits of traveling with your dog, there are also a few concerns. We make a promise to our pets to always protect them; so of course you want to be prepared for everything RV life can throw at you. Here are a few tips for traveling safely with dogs:
- Dogs are usually content to sit on the couch or in the passenger seat while the RV is moving, but it really depends on their disposition. If your dog is like a bull in a china shop, you might run into problems on the road. A folding metal dog crate will keep your dog from going wild in a moving RV. It also serves as a safe space for them should they get scared or stressed during your trip.
- Keep your dog’s ID and health information handy, and always know where the closest vet is. A good general rule is to search for nearby emergency vet hospitals as you’re planning your campground stays. Keep each vet’s contact information alongside your dog’s paperwork. That way, you won’t be scrambling to look for a vet if something happens.
- Don’t forget to pack a doggy first aid kit and ample supply of food and medication. Include things like bandages, gauze, hydrogen peroxide, styptic powder, and a calming aid. This page from the Humane Society has a complete list of what should go into your dog’s first aid kit.
- Always, always keep your dog on a leash or in a pen when you’re outside. Excited dogs tend to run off and explore, no matter how well-trained they are. Unfortunately, their eagerness can sometimes lead them straight to danger, whether getting lost, trapped, or attacked by another animal.
- There may be a handful of times that you have to leave your dog in the RV for a few hours, like if you’re going to town for a grocery run, or if you want to explore an area that doesn’t allow pets. This is where the crate comes in handy again – it’ll keep your dog out of trouble and will help them stay calm while you’re gone. RV’s get hot quickly, so always have your AC set to come on if it starts getting warm. If you’re friends with your campground neighbors, you should ask them to check on the RV every few hours – don’t forget to repay the favor!
A Pet-Friendly Vacation You’ll Both Enjoy
Traveling with your dog in an RV is a fun way for both of you to explore and take a break from the routine. You’ll be a lot more relaxed knowing that your best friend is with you and you don’t have to worry about planning accommodations. Plus, you’ll both get plenty of exercise running around outside, which is always a good thing. Have you gone RVing with your dog? Tell us how it went in the comments below!