Pets such as dogs and even cats can make excellent travel companions for any RV trip.
That being said, simply lifting your pets into the RV and then hitting the road right away without any knowledge of what traveling with pets is like isn’t the best way to travel with your pets for the first time either.
Here are the top tips for traveling with your pets in your RV:
Familiarize Your Pet With The RV
This means letting your pets explore the RV for a little while before you hit the road. Let them roam around the RV on their own and bring their crates, toys, and food dishes inside to signal to them that the RV is somewhere they’ll be staying for a while.
Once they get relaxed and comfortable in the RV, turn on the engine and leave it running. While it’s natural for dogs and especially cats to show nervousness initially, they should calm down and you can reward them with treats. Soon enough, they’ll get used to it.
Planning ahead for RV pet travel means two things. First, it means that you plan out your itinerary so that you stop by pet friendly RV parks, campgrounds, and public parks on your trip.
There will be nothing more disappointing to arrive at a campground only for there to be a ‘no pets allowed’ sign and it can really mess up your plans. Fortunately, this can be avoided simply by researching the pet friendly parks ahead of time.
Secondly, it means creating a check list of everything pet-related you’re going to need for the trip: food, water, treats, toys, crates, leashes, harnesses, medications, and so on. Don’t leave until everything on that list has been crossed off.
Keep Your Pets Secure On The Road
Allowing your pets to roam freely throughout the RV while you’ve hit the road is an accident waiting to happen. You’ll need to either keep them seated on your lap or in a crate or a seat belt harness as long as the RV is moving.
In addition, always keep your pets in the same vehicle as you. Never place them in a secondary vehicle that you’re towing behind you (that could be an even greater accident waiting to happen).
Establish A Routine
Your pets will always travel better if you establish a consistent routine with them. For instance, when you arrive at the campground, you’ll need to set up camp the same way every single time so your pets know exactly what is going on.
You’re also going to need routines in regards to playtime, walking, feeding, and such. Traveling constantly can exert stress on animals, and setting a routine is easily the best thing you can do to regulate their behavior and keep them under control.
Dogs in particular will need to get plenty of exercise when you arrive at your RV park. Once you get into a routine, there will be certain times of the day where they expect to be fed or walked, and you’ll need to abide to that routine to keep them comfortable. Even cats will do better with a routine as well.
You also don’t want to allow your pets to roam freely once you arrive at the campground, no matter how pet friendly it is. Cats obviously should never be allowed to leave your RV, but neither should dogs without your supervision.
When you let your dogs out of the RV, keep a close eye on them, obey the leash and other pet guidelines established by the campground, clean up after them, and don’t let them invade other people’s camping spots. You’ll need to keep barking and noise down to a minimum too.
Ultimately, you need to ask yourself how you would like other campers to act around you with their pets. Would you want someone else’s dog trotting into your camping area unsupervised? Would you want to hear loud barking all day? Obviously not, so take steps to be considerate of the other campers, and likewise expect them to be the same to you.
Traveling With Pets
Traveling with pets is actually easier than you may think if you’ve never done it before.
Familiarizing your pets with the RV before you travel, planning things out, keeping your pets secure while driving, being considerate towards others when you arrive at the campground, and setting up routines are the five best pieces of advice you can be given to ensure traveling with your pets goes as smoothly as it possibly can.