Tips on Traveling in an RV With Your Dog

RV travel with pets is quite popular these days. According to a 2007 survey, 57 percent of RV owners took their pets with them when they hit the road. With a little planning you and your pet can have a great time together when you head out in your RV.

Whether you will be gone for a few days or a few months, here are some tips to get your dog ready for an RV trip.

  • Take a trip to the vet. Have your vet check out our dog before you go on a trip. Make sure your dog is up-to-date on his vaccinations, especially his rabies vaccination. You will need to take his shot records with you when you travel. Although it rarely happens, you could be asked to show proof of vaccination for rabies when you cross a state line or if you are stopped by police so make sure you keep your dog’s paperwork in the glove box or somewhere so it will be easy to produce if you are stopped.
  • Make your dog travel-ready. When traveling in a car or van it’s usually best for a dog to be safely secured in a crate or harness. They keep a dog from being tossed around and injured in case of an accident. Many people also like to use these safety methods when they travel with their dog in an RV. A crate is always a good idea when you travel in case you need to contain your dog for some reason. If your dog gets motion sick you can prepare for it before you travel. Ask your vet to recommend something for the trip. Allow your dog to spend some time in the RV and get used to it when it’s not moving.
  • Collect your dog’s things. Before going on your trip you will need to gather together your dog’s things. Even dogs have to pack! Be sure to take his bed, his favorite toys, his leash (and a spare), an extra collar, and his food and water dishes. You will also need to take dog food with you. If you feed a popular dog food then you should be able to buy more as you travel but if you feed a food that’s hard to find it’s a good idea to take enough with you for the trip. Also, be sure that your dog is wearing his collar with good identification on it. It should have at least one way to contact you or your vet. If your dog is microchipped this will help, too, in case he gets lost while you are traveling.
  • Keep your dog comfortable. When traveling you should plan on stopping for a potty break about every three hours. You should be able to find nice rest areas with places designated for walking dogs. Try to keep the temperature in the RV comfortable for your dog.
  • Look for pet-friendly campgrounds. You can identify these campgrounds before you begin your trip. Some campgrounds welcome pets and some are simply more open to them. In either case, it’s best to go where your dog is wanted.
  • Keep an eye on your dog. Do watch your dog when he’s outside the RV. There are a couple of good ways for your dog to stretch his legs a little when you travel. You can purchase an x-pen or exercise pen with multiple wire panels and set it up for your dog. Dog show exhibitors often use these pens when they travel. Just clip the wire panels together and you have a small fenced area. They aren’t terribly sturdy but they allow your dog to be outside and off-leash. You can also buy a mobile wireless fence. This kind of fence works much like an underground fence but it uses radio waves and, when your dog wears the collar, it will warn him when he gets too close to the boundary. Wireless fences cost more (about $300-400) but they allow your dog to have more room to run off-leash. Remember that you should always watch your dog when he’s outside on a trip.

If you follow these suggestions then you and your dog should have a great trip together when you travel in your RV!