Dogs are a man’s (or woman’s) best friend and who doesn’t want to go on vacation with their favorite four-legged buddy! One of the benefits of RVing is being able to have your pet accompany you without having to worry about find a pet sitter or ‘pet-friendly’ hotel. That being said… there are still things to consider in order to ensure a good time is had by all.
- plan for periodic driving/potty breaks, this allows everyone including your pet, to stretch their legs and your pooch can do his/her business.
- always keep your dog under control.
- bring along a pet gate, it’s helpful for cording off an area in the RV and for entry/exit, especially if you will be getting in and out frequently.
- mind the noise level, be considerate of your neighbors.
- find a good comfortable spot in the RV for your dog’s bed and for their food/water.
- make sure you have enough dog food and/or a brand that is available on the road, because switching brands can cause digestive problems.
- store dog food in a sealed bin (in the basement storage compartment) so other creatures can’t get to it.
- consider purchasing purified water, to help eliminate potential digestive issues.
- feed the dog at the same time every day, it makes it easier to anticipate bowel movements.
- run the air conditioner on warm days, remember a dog’s normal body temperature is 2 degrees higher than humans. Besides it’s more energy efficient to run the A/C than to drive on the highway with the windows open.
- hang a thermometer so you can respond appropriately to weather conditions, especially if you plan on leaving your dog in the RV alone.
- be sure to have your contact details (including cell number) on the dog collar and consider having your dog ID chipped.
- keep a first aid kit handy with pet associated meds and bandages.
- bring along enough flea control and prescription medicine (if needed) for the whole trip.
- bathe your dog frequently, plan ahead, and decide how you will be able to accommodate his bathing routine and don’t forget a dog shammy.
- consider bringing a kennel for your dog, it makes it easier on the road or when left alone in the trailer. He/she will feel more secure and can’t get into trouble.
- assume everyone loves dogs, even if a campground is pet-friendly, some people are afraid of dogs, and others simply don’t like them!
- let your dog roam free, whether on the road at a pit stop or at campgrounds.
- let your dog move freely about in the RV, especially near the driver, it can be dangerous.
- let your dog bark or whine continuously, especially at night.
- take it for granted that you can keep your dog cool enough on a hot summer day at a campground, if the grid is overloaded from everyone running their units at once you may lose power and your dog will be stuck in a hot vehicle.
- forget your veterinary records and Vet’s phone number along with possible vets in case of emergency while traveling, you can do a Google search for local Vets.
- forget dog treats and bones, they are great for their teeth and it’s amazing how tired your dog will get after a good chew.
- forget pet smells and shedding; all dogs smell and some breeds are worse than others. So, don’t forget to bring along a porta-vac, vinegar, wire brush and other items to get rid of odors, urine stains and hair.
Remember dogs are creatures of habit, you will both benefit by establishing a routine with regular bathroom and feeding times along with plenty of exercise. Your dog will be much calmer if they know what to expect.
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