These days, pets are considered family members as much as any of their two-legged siblings. Many people take their dogs and cats on trips and vacations that are pet-friendly, but RV owners have the unique freedom to take their pets along to almost any destination they choose.
Traveling with pets is fun, but there are some things to consider when packing up the recreational vehicle or travel trailer and hitting the road. Safety is the most important factor, especially when traveling to areas where heat or cold might be a problem. To help your trip go smoothly with your furry pal, feathered friend, or another animal of choice, below are a few things you can do ahead of time or while you are traveling to ensure your next trip with your pet is safe and easy:
Before heading out on the highway, think about making your RV pet-safe. Whether the RV or travel trailer is moving or not, there are some easy ways your pet can become injured onboard.
While on the road, cats and dogs may not have a safe place to relax while the vehicle is moving. Securing a crate or animal carrier somewhere inside can give your pets a safe and comfortable place to ride while underway. A secured area will make it easy to account for and contain your pet while doors are open, and the RV is made road-ready, especially since small dogs and cats can get in between an RV’s slide and outer wall or under an adjustable seat.
In addition, make sure doors and windows are secured so your pet can’t accidentally escape. A rough road or loud thunderstorm can make animals overly excited, and it’s possible they can push through a screen. Also, be aware of the entrances and exits while packing/unpacking an RV at home or while setting up a campsite since animals can escape and find their way out of your sight. Make it easy to keep them safe and accounted for before departing for your next adventure.
Not all RV parks are pet-friendly, so it’s good to ask if your furry family member will be welcome. However, it is also helpful to think about your destination and whether there are enough places to take your pet for a walk or how much time they will have to spend in the RV if you can’t take them along as you visit different attractions. Besides checking to see if your pet is welcome, also note if there are any requirements or restrictions.
There are several websites that make it easier to confirm pet-friendly accommodations, and these include the following:
In short, always be sure to check ahead so you won’t have any trouble with your reservation when you arrive with your four-legged family member onboard.
Always make sure you have enough medications for the entire trip and enough of your pet’s regular, everyday food. A change in diet can be trouble at home, but in a moving luxury vehicle, that can be far worse. If your pet is on medication, it is also wise to take extra in case of a break down or other issues that might extend your trip. No matter what the prescription is for, going without could create a medical emergency for your dog or cat.
Remember to take any current documentation, tags, and records along. Proof of vaccinations can be necessary to board your pet for any reason. No matter where you are going, be sure your pet has an ID tag on its collar. If microchipped, it can increase the chances for a safe return if your pet does manage to escape. Vets and rescue shelters are accustomed to checking for microchips, so having one can be beneficial.
It’s best to be prepared and have everything you need to make your vacation smooth and enjoyable. Having everything available aboard and knowing where local veterinary clinics are along the way will give you peace of mind on the road!
You may need to leave your pet inside the RV from time to time, so it’s best to know they are comfortable when left alone. Whether visiting somewhere hot or cold, remember that RV park power can go out when breakers blow, or circuits are overloaded due to another camper or a storm.
If leaving your pets behind, be sure the RV interior temperature is comfortable to avoid the risk of them overheating or getting too cold. In addition, leave a blanket out if chilly, and be sure your pet has recently been outside for a bathroom break and has plenty of food and water to tide them over until you return. If you are unsure about a campground or RV park’s reliability in terms of power, you can install a temperature monitor that will alert you if things change before it becomes a threat to your pet's health. Investing in a camera or video monitoring product can also be beneficial to keep tabs on your furry friend.
Since many RV owners travel with pets, it may help to trade phone numbers with a couple of other campers and ask them to call if the power goes out as an added precautionary measure. Or, ask the office staff if they are willing to alert you to a potential problem. You can never be too proactive if needing to leave your pets behind for any length of time, so be sure to take steps to keep them safe.
Traveling with pets has become much easier in the last decade. Whether you are cruising the open road in a big RV or towing a little travel trailer, almost all RV parks and campgrounds are happy to accommodate your pets. Also, remember to be considerate and treat other campers’ sites as their private property. Be sure to pick up after your dog or cat whenever necessary. Having your pet with you in an RV park is just like having them at home when neighbors are nearby.
In summary, always be considerate, be aware of your RV's or trailer's internal and external environment, prepare and plan, and follow park rules to ensure you and your pets have a fantastic, comfortable, and stress-free trip.
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