Most pets, especially dogs, love outdoor adventures and they love spending every possible moment with their beloved humans. RVs offer a great opportunity to take your furry friend with you on vacation, while still offering them stability and routine. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t certain things you should consider before bringing your four -legged friends on your next road trip.
Introduce your pet to the RV gradually
Before you hit the road, bring your pet(s) into the RV space a few times. Let them get accustomed to the smells and layout and consider taking them out for a short drive. When traveling, you should always have your dogs and/or cats either secured in a pet carrier, or a special seat belt harness. If your pet(s) aren’t familiar with these, do a few trial runs before your long road trip. Keeping your pet(s) secure ensures their safety in case of an accident (or sudden stop) and keeps them from bolting from the vehicle when a door opens.
Schedule breaks into your travel plans
Long road trips are hard on everyone, and your pet(s) is no exception. It is important to make sure they get a chance to stretch and burn off energy, so plan walks along the way. You don’t have to wait until you get to your final destination to have some fun. Give your pet(s) access to fresh drinking water, make them comfortable and move about periodically. A grumpy pet (especially a cat with full use of razor sharp claws!) is not a fun pet.
Create a pet packing list
It is important to bring some favourite items from home to keep your pet(s) content in their new, temporary environment. However, like we often over-pack for ourselves, we can also over-pack for our pet(s). To avoid this, create a list of everything you think you might need and bring it along on your trip. Revise the list after each adventure – what did you not bring that you wish you had? What did you bring that you didn’t need? Adjust your list as needed.
Think about different scenarios your pet(s) may be in. Will you be going on long hikes in bear country? Do they have a strong prey response? You might want to use two leashes. Will it be muddy? Do you need to consider how you will get them clean before allowing them to re-enter the RV? Are they on medication? Will they be left alone for periods of time, and need toys to keep them entertained? The more you plan ahead, the more relaxed you and your pet(s) will be once you reach your destination.
Plan your itinerary
Bringing your pet(s) along without considering how they will be included may be less kind than leaving them at home. Research the area where you are RVing and find parks, restaurants and other places that are pet friendly. You want to ensure that your pet(s) won’t spend the entire vacation stuck on a leash or inside the RV the entire time. Planning ahead makes your trip more enjoyable for everyone.
Be a good neighbour
Keep in mind; while you adore your pet(s), not all campers share your feelings. Be respectful and considerate of other campers. There is nothing worse than going out into nature, hoping for some peace and quiet, and finding yourself camping next to someone who has gone off on their own and left their dogs to bark all night. When you bring your pet(s), be responsible for their behaviour: pick up their waste, keep them on leashes (when needed), abide by park and campground rules and ensure barking is kept to a minimum.
RVing with your furry friends can be wonderful for your entire family. With some planning, you can make sure that everyone has an enjoyable vacation.