Whether you’re a full-time RVer or a weekend camper, traveling with a dog can be difficult at times. But then again, what isn’t difficult at times? We have a German Shepherd puppy named Maggie. She is 15 months old now, the pictures in this post she is only 3 months old. For us, the biggest obstacle is making your plans around your dog. Can you take them with you? If not, do you leave them in the RV? Will your dog bark when your away? How long will you be gone? What if it gets hot in your RV while you’re away? Many things to consider when traveling with a pet. In the end, they are so worth it!!
Below are 9 great tips that will help keep your dog happy and healthy
1. RVing with Your Dog During the Hot Summer Months
It’s never a good idea to leave your pets unattended in an RV during the summer months. Temperatures can change drastically within a few hours. Your RV can get hot quickly, as it would in a car without A/C. However, if you can’t take your dog or cat along, you have to leave the A/C on.
- You might want to consider getting a sensor which sends a notification to your phone whenever the temperatures escalate beyond a certain degree inside of your RV. Last year we stayed in Michigan at Haas Lake RV Campground for the entire summer and into the fall. During the month of July, the temperature stayed in the high 80’s and into the ’90s. You just can’t leave your pets in an RV without the A/C in those temperatures! This summer I plan on purchasing Temperature Monitoring System. Our RV neighbor at Haas RV Campground owned one and was happy with it. I’ll do a review and let you know how it works out.
- We purchased a small plastic swimming pool for Maggie. It only cost about $7.00 and Maggie loved it. I use a quick drying microfiber towel to dry her off. We gave the pool to another RVer before leaving the park. Since we probably wouldn’t use it again until the next summer.
- Another way of keeping your dog cool, I use an old beach towel or any old towel, lay it on the floor of the RV (not on carpeting) pour a cold glass of water on it, just enough to get it wet, not drenched. The minute Maggie sees me pour the water she’s right there waiting to lay on it!
2. Do Not Switch Waters
When moving from one RV park to another, our veterinarian advised us to avoid giving our dog water from every different location. This could cause problems (diarrhea) for your dog due to the changing of PH levels. We always drink bottled water anyway and most of the time Maggie does too. On travel days, we carry extra water bottles in the truck for us & Maggie.
- Taking care of your dog’s health while RVing entails a lot. To avoid any medical complications with your dog, it’s a good idea to clean your dog’s paws whenever you take them for a walk before they enter your Rv. It really depends on the RV park, if it’s well-maintained you won’t need to. We have been to a few parks that it was necessary to clean her paws.
Keep your dog from licking any form of stagnant water since it could be from someone’s leaking sewer or fuel, this could get the really sick.
- Haas Lake RV Park in Michigan has goose poop everywhere! Maggie was always trying to eat it. It became very difficult to take her on walks. She would then get diarrhea from it. I discovered the solution, we put a Velcro nose harness on her nose! You know, the nose-wrap that keeps a dog from biting!? It also keeps them from eating goose poop!
- Also, if an RV park has a dog park or one nearby, I suggest you bring their own water and water bowl. This will help prevent your dog from contracting a disease. Which I know might not be possible, but worth a try? Remember that the park isn’t the cleanest place to be. Maggie just loves going and playing with all the dogs at the dog parks. I also carry scented doggy wipes that we use to wipe her down after leaving the dog park. Exercise is a must for your dog when living the RV lifestyle.
- Installing carpet on your RV steps to prevent your dog from slipping or getting his paws caught on the metal steps. We installed ours after hearing about an accident an RVer had with his dog. It also makes it safer for us humans too! Click here for the current price.
- Even though you might enjoy traveling in an RV, your pet might not (luckily Maggie loves traveling). If your dog or cat is prone to anxiety, tell your vet, he can prescribe anxiety medicine for them. It can also help during thunderstorms, lighting, and 4th of July. Which can be a little scarier in an RV. Routine exercise can also help reduce anxiety.
5. ID Tags and Records
- If you’re at an RV park or maybe you’re taking your dogs for a walk or something, make sure that they have their dog tags on their harnesses or leashes. The dog tag should have their names, their proof of rabies vaccination, and your phone number. Some RV parks will want to see this before allowing you to have access to their park.
I keep a copy of our dog and cat’s veterinarian records in our truck, along with our insurance and registration.
By the way, don’t forget to have your pets treated for fleas. We spent our last two winters in Florida, where fleas were a problem. Even though Maggie had been treated, she still got flea bites.
- You can get the proof of rabies vaccination from the vet, and for the tag that has the dog’s name and your contact information Click to order.
When you plan to stay at an RV park for a while, ensure to scope out where the nearest vet is, so that, should you have an emergency situation, you could know where to go to. Usually, the RV park can recommend a good veterinarian in the area.
When switching from a house to RVing full-time, it is important that you bring along toys and beds your dogs are familiar with. It will also help reduce stress and anxiety.
Having a crate keeps them out of trouble and makes them feel safe. Especially if you have a younger dog. It’s essential for puppies being potty trained.
8. RV Park Pet Rules
When making reservations, be sure to ask about the pet rules and restrictions.
- The first rule– whether you’re in an RV park, or wherever you are, pick up your dog’s poop and dispose of it properly! Please! First of all, it is good park etiquette and secondly, you will avoid the case of your stepping on your dog’s waste, and even getting it inside your RV. I recycle plastic grocery bags for picking up doggy dodo. I hang them by the door so it’s handy to grab before walking out the door.
- Second Rule- do not allow your dog bark all night and day when you have neighbors so close. This can be extremely annoying, and make your neighbors angry.
- Third Rule – ALWAYS keep your dog on a lease! Always! For the safety of your dog and others.
- Most RV Parks require that you keep your dog on a leash at ALL TIMES. Never leave your dog outside unattended.
- Some Campgrounds won’t accept certain breeds, like Dobermans, Pitbull’s and Rottweilers. Be sure to ask when making reservations
If your dog requires special dog food, or a hard to find brand, make sure that you have more than enough when traveling. Because plans may change which might cause you to stay a little longer than expected and you might not be able to get to the store. And ordering online might not be an option if you don’t plan on staying long enough in one place. Be prepared, make lists and enjoy the journey!
Romeo passed in 2018, he was a sweetheart.
Maggie’s Favorite Cheap Toys
- An Empty Simple Orange Juice Container (without the lid) – Maggie will play with this for hours, chasing and chewing. I save these for rainy days when she can’t go to the dog park.
- We buy water in the gallon jugs for cooking and coffee. Maggie likes to chase these too, they just don’t last as long as the orange juice container.
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