RV’ing is very popular in North America and around the world. Many of us love to take our pets with us. There is just something about having the furry members of our family along with us. That said, I would pass along some of my top tips for RV’ing with our pets.
My wife and I have been RV’ing with our pets ever since we got our first trailer, a tent trailer. At first, we used to leave our cat at home because WE didn’t think she would like it very much. You know, cats are cats and most seem indifferent to what’s going on.
After we bought our first travel trailer, (pictured above), we decided to take her along and just see what would happen. We were amazed at how well she adjusted to the RV environment. In some ways, I think she adjusted better than our two dogs. She became a regular member of our camping family until she was 16+ yrs. Old.
We have since, lost one of our other RV buddies, (Peanut, The black and white), and the other one has assumed his position as head of the RV family.
You know, I tend to take a lot of pictures when we are away but, I don’t seem to take any of our best buddies. I will update when I have more.
Let’s Start With Camping Etiquette.
No matter where you set up your home away from home there are going to be a lot of other people with pets in there RV’s. Right now we only have one small dog. We used to have all three with us at the same time.
I have seen some people come to a campsite with up to three animals and most of the time they are all dogs.
Anyone who has been at a campsite has seen some people that don’t have much control over their animals. There is always someone who thinks they have enough control of their pets that they don’t need to obey the pet rules. We all know how that turns out.
So… here are some tips we think will be helpful when camping in close quarters with other campers. These are just common courtesy and will go a long way to keeping the peace between you and your neighbors.
- Collars and ID tags and SHOTS – Make sure that these are all up to date. This is very important because you never know what can happen. Your pet might get lose or get a bite from another dog. If you have a cell phone, it might be a good idea to have a tag with your first name, the mane of your pet and phone number attached to the collar so someone can contact of you encase you get separated from your pet. You could even think about having your pet micro-chipped. If that is something that you do, make sure you update the information with the company you have registered the chip with.
- Leashes – Please keep your pets on a leash when at the campsite. If you have a good enclosure that might be an alternative to the leash but, always be aware of your surroundings and what is going on.
- Noise – Make sure your pet (dog) doesn’t disturb other campers around you. If your dog has a tendency to bark if you are not at the site for any length of time, this can be especially annoying to other campers in the area especially if you are gone for a couple of hours. Take them with you if this is a potential problem. They are your responsibility and really aren’t any different than children that make a lot of noise. Some resorts will issue warnings and fines if the noise continues.
- POOOOP – This is a big one folks. No one likes to see a big dump in the middle of the path. Stepping in it is gross. So, always carry a poop bag with you even if you are only out walking for a few minutes. Sometimes it happens that fast. And… if you should come across something that someone didn’t pick up, be a good neighbor and pick it up. I just think it’s the right thing to do.
- Unattended Pets – WE all know that it can get pretty hot inside a vehicle in the summer when the sun is shining. Even on a cloudy day, if it’s warm, so is the inside of the car. The same is true for a trailer or motor home. If you have to leave your pets alone in the RV for any length of time PLEASE turn on the air conditioner. If they could, your pets would thank you. Temperatures can balloon by 20+ degrees inside of half an hour so it’s important to remember this.
The first section concerned etiquette, general information about behaviors that are greatly appreciated by other campers. They also show that one cares about the well being of others. I know It sounds a bit holistic but, really, don’t you want to see other people having a great time as well?
In this section, I want to give you a list of stuff your pet/s will need while away with you.
These items would include things like, (I know, you wouldn’t forget any of these… right?),
- A leash and collar or halter. (I know, who would forget those? Just covering my but,).
- Litter for the feline? (That’s French for Cat)
- Medications, if they have them. Take enough for the whole trip plus a few extra encase you decide to stay longer?
- Rain gear. We take ours so, why not some for the dog/s. It makes for less work when cleaning them up.
- Don’t forget the crate, if you use one at home.
- POOP BAGS. You could actually keep some rolls of these in the trailer at all times.
- Does your pet have a favorite toy/s? Take them along too and their favorite blanket or bed if they have one. It will help make their new surroundings more familiar.
- Food and some treats. You may not be able to get the food or treats your pet is used to so, pack enough for the whole trip. This is especially important if you furry buddy is on a prescription diet.
- Drinking Water. Most pets will be alright with whatever water you might give them but, some pets may have sensitive stomachs. In that case, it may be a good idea to take along some water from home.
- Photos. This is one that I would not have thought of if I had not done some research on this subject. Take hard copy photos of your pets with you so you will have something for people to look at if a pet goes missing. Yes, you may have them on your phone but, hard copies are a good idea just in case you lose your phone.
- Old towels. We take along a few old towels to wipe down or dog if he gets wet which will, for sure, happen in the rain or at the beach.
- Check Park pet policies. This is something else that hit a spark with me. Yeah, if you plan to be at a certain park or campsite check the policies. These are usually included on the park websites or you can call.
- If you keep records of your pet’s visits to the vet, you should take them with you as well for reference if you have to visit a vet away from home.
- If your pet is not allergic to pet bug sprays take some of that too.
- Last but, not least, be mindful of your pets routine and schedule. Once you are on the road remember to stop every couple of hours so they can relieve themselves and give them a drink and a chance to stretch their legs, (and yours as well).
I hope that all of us would agree that, even though our pets are animals they are still part of our family and should be treated as such. Anything we can do to make them more comfortable and at ease will go far in assuring us of an adventure we will not soon forget.
For me and my wife, there is nothing like have our little furry buddy curled up next to us or between us on the couch when we are out touring in our RV. It’s only 24 feet long but, it’s our home on wheels and we want our pet to feel at home with us.
I hope you have found this post to be informative and enjoyable to read. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comment space provided below. I will be more than happy to respond to any and all comments.
In the meantime, I hope you have a great and safe camping experience with your pets and, who knows, maybe we will cross paths out there somewhere.
Keep Moving Forward,
Owner of rvsafetytipsandtricks.com