Top Safety Tips for RVing With Dogs
According to Spots.com, 67% of homes in America include a pet. 95% of those pet owners consider their pets to be family members. Well, if they are considered family, then I know that you want them to be comfortable and enjoy RV life too.
Our top tips for taking dogs RVing and camping
I caught up with some other full-time RVers and we talked about our dogs. They also gave me their tips for RVing with dogs and how they make sure their fur babies are happy and comfortable.
1. Keep track of your dog with a GPS collar
This tip was the general consensus from all the RVers who regularly travel with their dogs.
Rachael and Jesse from @thetasteforadventure travel around the country with their dog, Lyra. In order to keep Lyra safe and have peace of mind themselves, they invested in a GPS collar. Now they don’t have to worry about her being able to find her way back home, especially since “home” is always moving.
Having a smart collar – Lyra wears the Fi collar – means that if the worse were to happen and Lyra ran off, they would easily be able to track her down.
2. Keep your dog comfortable at any temperature
Part of RVing with dogs is keeping them comfortable. They need to be kept cool in the heat and warm in the cold. While most RVs have an AC unit for the warmer months and a furnace for the cooler months, but what happens if the power goes out? Or you generator runs out of gas? Or your furnace shuts off?
You can monitor the temperature of your RV through a couple different methods. Cheryl regularly takes her dog, Kaya, on her annual vacation to Florida at Christmas from North Carolina. She uses and recommends the Waggle to monitor the temperature of her RV.
This device sends you a notification if the power goes out, if the temperature gets too high or too low, and other important information – without the need for WiFi!
3. Establish a routine
Even if your home has wheels, dogs still need a routine. Having a routine doesn’t just benefit the dog though. Research has shown that having a regular routine can help you form healthy habits and lower stress levels. Uprooting and traveling can be stressful – for you and the dogs – so keeping a daily routine can help put everyone at ease.
A good place to start with creating a new routine is to set wake-up and bedtimes, as well as meal and activity times.— RACHEL GOLDMAN, PHD
Sasha and Jeremiah from @howing.around say that having a routine helps keep their high-energy dog, Bernadette, from feeling anxious. For example, their travel day routine includes putting Bernadette’s bed at the front of their motorhome and taking a long walk before they set out.
The morning potty routine
Cheryl shared this helpful potty routine tip. When they first get to a new camping spot, Cheryl finds a good potty spot for Kaya (she has requirements). Then for the entire trip, Kaya goes to the same spot to do her business.
4. Create a dedicated space for your dog
Just like how humans need a dedicated space, so does your dog. Creating a dedicated space for your dog can help everyone stay happy when you are RVing with dogs.
In our RV, my dogs have a bed that they always have access to. At night, we create a closed off area using a baby gate and we fill the area with their bed and blankets.
Another great option is a crate. Rachael and Jesse took creating a dedicated space for their dog to a whole new level. They ripped out their RV sofa and replaced it with a custom daybed so they could fit Lyra’s crate underneath it.
Crate training has long been accepted by professional trainers and veterinarians as one of the quickest and least stressful ways to mold desirable behaviors in dogs… a crate helps satisfy the dog’s instinct to be in a den while alleviating many problems dogs and their people experience.Paws.org
5. Have 2 vets for your fur baby
Sasha and Jeremiah shared this tip and explained that because it can be a major headache finding vet care on the road, they now have a team of vets!
They explained that they have a vet at their home base that is Bernadette’s primary vet. To make it easier on the road and ensure that the dog’s records are always on file, they have a second vet that is within a nation-wide vet. Now if they ever need a vet on the open road, they can simply look up a vet within that company and make an appointment.
6. Keep your dogs mentally stimulated
Unfortunately not everyday is going to be a great camping day. Despite that, you may still need to keep your dog (or dogs) from going stir crazy and ripping your RV apart.
Don’t let this be you: What This Dog Does On A Motorhome’s Dashboard Will Make You Angry.
Bernadette is a lab mix who is extremely prey driven. In fact, she has been known to catch birds out of the air and fight racoons in the dark! Given these traits, it is super important to her parents, Sasha and Jeremiah, to keep her mentally stimulated especially when they can’t take her for a big walk.
They said that on days like that, they keep her occupied with puzzles and a roller feeder. Other times, like when they are running out for errands, they give her a highly rewarding toy or long chew treat to keep her preoccupied.
RVing with an older dog? Check out Tips For RVing With An Elderly Or Sick Pet.