RVs and Dogs: 7 Tips to Make Traveling Easier

RV travel is the perfect way to get away and bring your dogs with you.

When I was getting ready to trade in my old RV for a new one earlier this year, I mentioned to the salesman that one of the things I had to take into consideration was my dogs’ comfort. Interestingly enough, he said that at least half (if not more) of all his RV sales were to dog owners. Thinking about it, though, I’m not surprised.

Get Ready

1 – Introduce the RV before you travel. Let your dog explore the RV for a few days before you drive anywhere. When he’s comfortable go for some short rides around town. Make sure he’s relaxed in the moving RV before you take a longer trip.

2 – Good manners are a must. Pam Munck, of Fallbrook, CA whose Australian Shepherds travel in her 33 foot long RV, says the most common complaint about dogs in RVs is barking. Dogs cannot bark at other people and dogs walking past their RV without disrupting the peace and quiet of the campground. It’s best to do some training prior to your trip.

3 – Decide where your dog will ride. Some prefer traveling in their crates and others want to be buckled into a seat—either way make the ride safe and enjoyable for your canine friend.

Be Prepared

4 – Pack travel necessities. The basics include dog food, water, bowls, brushes, a crate or dog bed and blankets, leashes, and some bags to pick up after your dog. You might also want to bring a couple of familiar toys.

©istockphoto/photosbyjim

5 – Keep water available. Your dog should have ready access to water while traveling. A rubber backed bathmat placed in an out of the way location will keep a water bowl from sliding and at the same time, absorb any splashes.

Call Ahead

6 – Ask specifically if dogs are welcome. After a long day of driving, it’s tough to show up at an RV park and find out that dogs aren’t allowed or that there are major restrictions. When you call ahead to make a reservation, ask about their policies regarding dogs and if there is an extra charge for pets.

Stop and Rest

7 – Stop every three hours or so. Not only will your dog need a chance to walk around and relieve himself but it will give the RV driver a chance to walk around, stretch, and relax as well.

With just a little preparation, RV travel with dogs can be great fun for everybody involved.

Meet the Author: Liz Palika, CDT, CABC

Liz Palika is a Certified Dog Trainer and Certified Animal Behavior Consultant as well as the founder and co-owner of Kindred Spirits Dog Training in northern San Diego county. Liz is also the founder of Love on a Leash therapy dogs; her dog, Bones, goes on visits on a regular basis. A prolific writer, Liz is also the author of more than 80 books. Many of her works have been nominated or won awards from a variety of organizations, including Dog Writers Association of America, San Diego Book Awards, the ASPCA, and others. Liz shares her home with three English Shepherds: Bones, Hero, and Seven, as well as one confident and bossy orange tabby cat, Kirk. To relax from work, or to take work on the road, Liz and her crew travel the West and PNW in their RV. If you see an RV on the road named "Travelin' Dogs", honk and say hi!

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