As a pet owner, leaving for RV trips without your furry friends is hard. Wouldn’t it be more fun if they came along!? The good news is, it’s totally possible to enjoy RVing with pets when you prepare properly. From pet-proofing your RV to finding pet-friendly campgrounds and parks, we’ve got all the tips you need to make your travels with your dog or cat safe, comfortable and as fun as possible. So, grab a leash and let’s hit the road with your furry companion!
What You Need to Know about RVing with Pets
Plan Your Route
The first thing you want to do is plan your RV route specifically for RVing with pets. Not every RV park allows pets, and not every hiking trail allows dogs on leash! Doing your research ahead of time is key. One easy way to find pet-friendly options is by checking a website or app that specializes in traveling with pets, like BringFido or GoPetFriendly. BringFido allows you to search pet-friendly restaurants, activities and events in your destination, while GoPetFriendly has a trip planning feature that allows you to set up your route and plan stops that will allow you to bring your pet along. You can also check on campground websites to see if they allow pets.
While it’s common to hike with your dog, it’s important to make sure that trail allows dogs. GoPetFriendly has a great guide to dog-friendly national parks, but remember to check on the park website to ensure the trail you want to take allows dogs. This isn’t just to protect the trail, but to protect your pup as well! Some environments and local wildlife aren’t safe for dogs, so it’s better to leave them with the RV at these stops. By planning ahead, you can find some incredible stops with lots for you and your furry friends to do!
Pack the Essentials
Next, you’ll want to make sure you pack everything you need for your pet to thrive on the road. Most importantly, make sure you have plenty of their favorite food on hand and more water than you’d usually use if you weren’t traveling with your pet – because your pet needs to drink too! If your pet is a nervous traveler, bringing items from home can make them feel more comfortable and happier. Consider bringing their pet bed or blankets from home and treats to entertain and reward them. Anything that typically calms them is fair game to bring along. Our friends over at RVUSA have put together a great list of essential items for RVing with pets if you need some ideas. Of course, don’t forget the poop bags and litter box!
Invest in a Pet GPS
If you haven’t already, purchase a GPS collar for your dog or cat. While many RVers skip this step when RVing with pets, we think it’s an important way to ensure your pet’s safety. Even if you don’t plan on letting your pet out of the RV, sometimes accidents happen and pets can get loose. Having a GPS tracker on them that you can follow with your phone will make sure you can easily reunite with your pet if anything happens at the campground or on the trail. At the very least, make sure your pet has a collar with ID tags.
Pet-proof Your RV
RVs are small spaces and don’t leave your pet a lot of activity options if they’re cooped up for a long time. Plus, they’re often new environments for your pet, so they may get a little too curious trying to explore! Make sure you pet-proof your RV to keep them from getting into things they shouldn’t. Secure cleaning supplies and food in cabinets they can’t enter. Make sure there are no heavy objects that can slide around and injure your pet while driving (or while parked). You may consider using a pet gate inside your rig or an outdoor pet pen if your RV park allows it.
Secure Your Pet on Drive Days
It’s important to make sure your pet is secure while you drive to keep them safe and prevent them from distracting the driver. There are actually pet seatbelts you can purchase that attach to your RV’s seatbelts and secures your pet. You can also use a pet carrier or crate on drive days. We recommend securing it to the floor or seat with bungee cords or straps so it can’t slide around. You could also use a non-slip mat under the carrier to help out. Just don’t leave them in the crate for too long.
That brings us to our next point: plan for plenty of stops when you are traveling with a pet! You’ll need to take more breaks when you have a dog or cat with you. Of course, that’s partly because you may need to take your dog out for frequent potty breaks. But it’s also because long car rides can make pets anxious or uncomfortable, so it’s a good idea to allow them to get out, stretch their legs and get some fresh air. They may need some extra time to adjust to the motion and new surroundings. Taking breaks often can help them acclimate to RVing and make RVing with pets more enjoyable for everyone.
Be Respectful of Other RVers
While we know you love your furry companions, pets aren’t for everyone! Keep that in mind when you are RVing with pets and at campground where your neighbors may not be pet people. It’s important to respect them too. Follow all campground rules and regulations such as keeping them on leash where required, picking up after them and not disturbing others’ campsites. Try to be mindful of the noise your pet makes and take steps to minimize barking if possible. If your pet is going to roam or interact with other campers, make sure you have permission from those around you. By being considerate of the RVers around you, it makes RVing with pets enjoyable for everyone!
We’ve got the perfect rig for RVing with pets
If you’re planning on hitting the road with your pet this travel season, you need the right RV for your travels. We can help! Come visit our RV dealership in Opelousas, Louisiana and we’ll help you find the perfect rig for Fido.