The only thing better than life on the open road is life on the open road with your best friend. And who could be a better friend than the canine companion in your life? Besides, that way you don’t have to spend your traveling days hoping your dog’s OK at home.
But traveling with a dog comes with its own challenges. If you want to make the most out of your and Fido’s next trip, here are some key tips for taking your dog with you in your RV.
The last thing you want is for your dog to be hurt, and there’s a lot that can potentially go wrong when you’re driving an animal around in a 10,000-pound hunk of metal and upholstery. Here are a few safety tips to remember when you’re traveling in an RV with your dog:
- Never leave your dog alone in the camper while you’re toting it.
- Keep dogs in a safety harness or secured crate while in transit.
- If you’re leaving your dog in the RV while you’re away, lower the shades to make sure it doesn’t get too hot.
- Invest in a tracking collar and chip for your pet.
- Keep your pet leashed at campgrounds and be aware of other pets on the premises.
Keeping an eye on safety is especially important in the first few months of travel. Remember, even if your dog loves car rides, they probably aren’t used to living in a moving house. The idea may spook them, which can lead to some dangerous situations. It’s good to start slow to keep them happy and safe.
Create a dog “home base”
A good way to help your dog get accustomed to that RV life is to give them their own cozy canine nook in the rig. This includes a tucked-away spot where your dog’s crate is, but it also includes a spot with all the little things that make your dog happy, like your dog’s bed or toys. This will help your dog see the RV as “home.”
Keep on top of vet care
Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you should skip crucial steps in pet health care. This is especially true if you have a puppy or young dog. Make sure you’re aware of whether your dog needs a yearly vaccine and if they’re up-to-date on any medications.
Always check ahead for pet-friendly options
The one thing about having your dog with you in the RV is the fact that, in most cases, you’ll want to keep them with you. This can make it tricky if you want to go out to dinner or visit an attraction that isn’t dog-friendly.
You can leave your dog unattended sometimes, of course. But this may stress out your dog (and you if you get complaints about your dog barking in your absence.) One solution is to call ahead and find go-to places that allow pets. You should also always call ahead to campsites to ensure they’re pet-friendly.