How to Live Your Best RV Life with Your Dog
March 17, 2022
If you cannot imagine life without your dog and love the RV lifestyle, this is the article for you.
We know that your fur baby just makes life better, and many RV owners worry that they are not giving their pet the freedom they deserve living in a tight RV space. We feel you!
Smaller breeds are a bit more travel-friendly, but larger breeds need room to roam. So we are sharing the top tips and tricks to get you off on the right paw!
Take Your Dog for a Nice Long Walk Before Hitting the Road
This is especially true for larger breed dogs who always love to keep moving. Before they are couped up in your RV for long drives, go on a nice long walk with them so they can ‘get their jollies out’ beforehand.
Pro Tip: When introducing them to RV life for the first time, do it gradually. Go for a test drive in the RV to see how they fare, then maybe a short weekend trip. Make adjustments as necessary. Give them the time and space they need to adjust and do what you can to make travel days comfortable.
Make Sure Your Pet has Plenty of Food and Water
Always keep a fresh bowl of water inside your RV – day and night. You know it’s good to always keep your pet hydrated, and it’s especially important when traveling. There’s some really good sturdy dog bowls available that won’t shift around in your RV.
Take Advantage of Rest Areas
If you’re driving for more than an hour or two, be sure to stop and take a break. Your dog dislikes driving just as much as you do on those long trips, so by stopping at a rest stop or travel mart, you both can get out and stretch your legs. Be sure to adhere to the rules at each rest stop regarding pets. Most will not allow you to take your dog to the main restroom areas, rather to a side area where there is grass so they can do their business. Always dispose of any waste in the proper containers.
At the Campground
Most campgrounds and RV parks nowadays will allow dogs. However, if you have a larger breed, many campgrounds have weight restrictions and even breed restrictions, so call ahead to find out their dog policy and if your furry friend will be accepted.
Unfortunately, there are still preconceived notions out there about the dangers of rottweilers and bit pulls (we all know that’s not the case) but you still don’t want to be caught by surprise when you reach camp and find out that your dog is not allowed. It’s always best to call ahead.
Some campgrounds also charge a little extra for your dog to stay.
Naturally, being out on the road and being outside a lot, your dog will most definitely pick up some pests. A simple topical flea/heartworm treatment will make sure they stay healthy from fleas and ticks. Be sure to give your dog a thorough checkup at the vet before going on a long RV trip.
If for some reason you need a veterinarian during your stay or if your dog has health issues, a local vet should always be close by. Call around to nearby vet clinics and find one that you’re comfortable taking them should you need to. Yes, this takes a little extra time, but the peace of mind is worth it!
Find Places / Activities to Take Your Pet
A little planning ahead to find out the best places to take your dog for some exploring is pretty rewarding. Lots of bars and restaurants in the larger towns (and some small towns) have outdoor seating where dogs are welcome, and some even provide water bowls and/or treats! Also, check to see if there are local dog parks around.
Many parks still don’t accept pets but it’s always best to know ahead of time so you’re not searching during your stay. Your fellow RV campers with dogs and your RV park host can also be good resources to ask for places to take your dog.
When You Can’t Take Fido Along
There are times when you want to go someplace during the day where your dog is just not allowed. For those times when they have to stay inside the RV alone, make sure the air conditioning is kept at a comfortable level (such as a hot day), or the windows are cracked open when the day is pleasantly cool.
Make sure there’s plenty of food and water and/or toys to keep them occupied. This may be common sense, but it bears repeating. Depending on their comfort level, it’s best to not leave them alone for more than 4-5 hours. They’ll mostly nap anyway!