If you read this, you are probably interested in learning tips and tricks about traveling with your pets in your RV. Hopefully, we can help put your mind at ease and show you how fun traveling with your pets can be! My husband and I travel with our two Siberian Huskies in our Jayco Travel Trailer. We love to go on adventures with our dogs. But at the same time, traveling to places unknown can bring an entire set of worries. Here are some tips for you if you are planning on traveling with your pets.
Tip #1: Make a checklist for your dog's items.
On my phone, I have a checklist of items that I go through every single time we head out for a trip with our dogs. You can buy things while on the road if you forget to pack them, but sometimes that can be inconvenient while traveling. Having a list and checking it twice is a great idea! But what should be on that list?
Here are a few of the items that we have on ours:
Food Bowls and Water Bowls, Just for the RV
That's right. I have a set of bowls for both. That way, there is less of a chance of losing them while on the road. I keep simple collapsable silicone bowls in the vehicle, and in the travel trailer, I have a set of bowls that match the same ones we have at home. Pro tip - buy another set! You don't have to pack up the ones from home, and you can keep your travel bowls in your RV.
Collars, Leashes and Tags
I cannot stress the importance of these things enough. You might think they will never lose one, but we have had it happen before! Most states, campgrounds and RV parks also have leash laws for your pets, so you want to make sure you have leashes for your pets.
Dog Food and Treats
I have a few air-tight containers that I will put dog food and treats into for our trips, and I measure out what I need and always add extra just in case. Dog food for us is one of the hardest things to buy when traveling because not every store carries the brand we use, which adds unnecessary stress.
A List of Emergency Veterinary Phone Numbers and Locations
I try to do this before every trip, and I will call ahead and make sure they take anyone (not just established clients). You always hope you will never need this, but you will be so glad you had it if you have an emergency. It has happened to us twice in our travels, but that's a story for another day!
First Aid Kit for Your Dogs
Many people don't consider it, but again, when something happens, you will be glad you have the vet wraps and ointments you need. Things happen, sticks get stepped on, paw pads can get sliced and it's best to plan for the unexpected. We like to be prepared just in case.
Tip #2: Exercise your dog, physically and mentally.
Traveling with pets is a lot like traveling with toddlers. You have to stop and let them stretch their legs and get out of the vehicle for awhile. We try to make stops every 2 hours on longer trips, and those stops are usually around 15 - 20 minutes long, depending on the time of day. We will find parks or pet-friendly roadside attractions, get the dogs out and let them sniff and experience where they are. The walking around and smelling helps stimulate their brain and usually, our dogs get back in the car and fall right to sleep after the stops. You can also bring kong toys along with you that are stuffed with peanut butter to keep your dog occupied for a bit as well.
Tip #3: Find pet-friendly spots.
Clearly, you can tell we travel with our dogs, which means we want to find as many pet-friendly places as possible for them to visit. Always call ahead and check websites to see which trails and areas dogs are allowed on. The same goes for the campgrounds and RV parks you are staying at. They all have different rules, and some might even have limitations on the size or amount of pets you have. Calling ahead to confirm can make your travels so much easier.
Tip #4: Plan for when the dog(s) can't go.
Along your different journeys, there will be places your pets are not allowed to go. For my husband and I, we take turns. If we want to go inside a store or a museum, one of us will stay with the dogs, and one of us will go in. However, rotating duties with pets isn't an option for everyone, but it's the option we feel most comfortable with. Some people will leave their pets inside their RV while going on adventures. If you choose to do this, I highly recommend getting an RV Pet Monitor and, if you can, a live camera to keep an eye on your pets while you are gone. Also, making friends with the camp hosts and letting them know you will be gone is a good idea. It's nice to have a point of contact when you are gone if something does happen.
Tip #5: Learn to slow down.
I know this sounds silly, but it's true. Slow down. Everything goes a bit slower when traveling with dogs. You have to make extra stops, walk them quite a bit more and let them enjoy their time with you as well! When you are trying to rush from stop to stop, it becomes stressful not only for you, but also for your pets. Understand that you can make all the plans you want, but not all of them will happen, and that's okay! It's just a good excuse to revisit your favorite areas for another trip.
Hopefully, those tips will help you with your future travels with your pets in your RV! Traveling with our dogs is by far one of our favorite things to do. You really can see it in their eyes, that they do enjoy the trips and enjoy getting to see so many new things.