One of the greatest joys of RV camping is the chance to bring along your pets. It’s an adventure both you and your furry friend will savor.
For example, plan your travel itinerary around dog-friendly activities, such as visits to a dog park for off-leash fun and visiting pet-friendly restaurants. Before your trip, accustom your pup to car rides and their harness or crate if they will spend much of their time there during your travels.
Have Your Pet’s Vaccinations and Health Checkups Up to Date
Before embarking on any trip with your pet, ensure they are up-to-date on vaccinations and other health checkups. Bring this documentation with you on your trip, just in case. In addition, make sure a temporary travel collar with both your cell phone number and name printed on it is worn at all times in case they get lost along the way.
Make sure your pet has a relaxing space during the drive – this could include a crate, dog bed, or carrier – to rest and feel at ease during their travels. Create positive associations for these places as early as possible so they remain calm and happy on their journeys. Finally, bring plenty of water, food, treats, and waste bags.
Install a Microchip
Although your pet might come running when called at home, traveling may affect his recall. Make sure your pup is microchipped so if he wanders off he can be returned easily; additionally, ensure his collar and tags have your current contact info visible before setting out on your journey.
At camp, be sure to keep him leashed at all times when outside. This is also a requirement for most campgrounds! Look for an off-leash dog park or long-line leash before allowing him to roam free in unfamiliar surroundings.
Bring a Bag of Supplies
Bring along their favorite foods, toys, and comfort items to make the trip more pleasant for both of you. If introducing new food is part of the plan, introducing it first at home may help address allergies or stomach upset more promptly.
Other considerations include an adequately stocked first aid kit, a collapsible bowl, and plenty of bottled water to hydrate your pet on their journey.
Make Sure They Get Plenty of Exercise Outdoors
Maintaining their regular routine while traveling will help your dog to remain calm. Feed them a few hours prior to beginning the drive so they have time to digest, then let them enjoy walks, games of fetch or visits to dog parks along the way. Doing these activities will allow them to release some energy while making them more relaxed during the journey.
Make sure to research maps and locate pet-friendly rest stops along your journey, providing the ideal setting to stop, allow your dog out of the car, and stretch their legs. Remember to always maintain at least six feet between yourself, your pet, and other people at all times.
If this is their first camping experience, train your pet to enjoy riding in the vehicle by providing positive experiences before heading out on their first road trip. Additionally, invest in a crash-tested crate or harness/carrier so they feel secure during their trip.
Keep an Eye Out for Carsickness in Your Dog
If your dog drools or shakes during rides, this could be an indicator of car sickness or anxiety. If this behavior reoccurs regularly, consult with your veterinarian regarding anti-nausea medication to help treat their discomfort.
Make sure to stop every 2-3 hours on long road trips for your pet to pee and stretch their legs, plus many rest stops offer pet areas where dogs can run around freely.
Bring treats that will keep your pup busy for an extended period of time, such as long-lasting chew bones. Also, bring water for them and don’t leave them alone in the car for even just a short period, as temperatures can quickly become dangerously high in summer.
Finally, it bears repeating, consider having your pet wear an ID tag with emergency contact information just in case they get lost!