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  • How to Travel Safely With Your Dog in an RV

    by Emily Bergquist

    Being on the road in your RV is a great adventure, and even more enjoyable when you bring your pets with you. There’s nothing more satisfying for pet-friendly trips than a vehicle that accommodates all the conveniences of home but comes on wheels. This article will go over how to travel safely with your dog in an RV.

    A brown and white beagle smiling at the camera.

    For people, it’s simple to switch from living in a regular home to living in a home on wheels. However, if your pet hasn’t experienced traveling before, your RV can be an unusual and scary place  for them. 

    One advantage of traveling by an RV is that your pets can appreciate the magnificent outdoors all day and can sleep in the same place at night. Giving that consistency encourages pets to become comfortable with their new environment. It’s also more relaxed to develop and adhere to a routine. With patience, most pets soon trust the RV as another home. But traveling by RV can also have  some unique difficulties for your pets. Below are guidelines to keep your pets safe and secure along the way.

    If you’re planning to travel with your pet in an RV, you need to know some things to ensure a safe trip 

    Basic Preparation

    • Consider the things your dog might need while traveling: leash, collar, toys, treats, bedding, medication, and some emergency items in case of accidents. 
    • Visit your veterinarian for a health check-up to ensure your dog’s health is fit for traveling. If your furry friend is enduring a chronic condition, ask your veterinarian how you could provide care while on the journey. Get the latest health certificate and make sure that your pet’s vaccine is up-to-date. While traveling, some facilities might ask for your pet’s documents. That is why it is essential to have them prepared. Some documents you might need to present are proof of vaccination and your dog’s health certificate. 
    • Get your dog microchipped and make sure that you get an ID tag for them. If you already have these, you should ensure that the information is up to date. It will assist you whenever you get separated from your dog during the trip. It is also best to have a printed image of your dog in case they get lost. 

    Before The Trip

    • Introduce your dog to the RV and do you research to know if your dog is susceptible to travel anxiety based on their breed. Some breeds are more prone to anxiety when traveling, while some are too aloof to readjust. Common signs of travel anxiety are drooling, whining, or pacing. If this happens, stay beside them until they calm down. You may need to move or adjust them so they’re more comfortable.
    • Once your pet feels adapted to the RV, gradually familiarize them with the sound of the engine and the vehicle in motion. Go for a test drive with your dog, and observe how your dog reacts. Before driving, place your pet in a safe and comfortable place. Start with short trips, go for a drive just a few miles to help your dog adapt to the movement. Some might be comfortable with the vibrations, while some might become nervous. If your dog shows anxiety, stay with them but avoid picking them up. You can sit beside them and assure them that it is safe. Continue this until you’re sure that your dog feels comfortable with the vehicle in motion.
    • Plan a detailed itinerary and choose places where your dogs can safely stay. Choose a dog-friendly campground where your dogs can freely run without the fear of getting lost or being run by some cars. Know the pet policies of the place you wanted to visit to ensure that they are allowing dogs in their campgrounds. After guaranteeing a perfect site, locate local vet clinics in case of emergencies and ensure that you have a plan for emergencies such as a first-aid kit and safety gear at bay.
    A Maui RV parked in parking lot beneath a starry night sky.

    Travel Safely During The Trip

    • Ensure your dog is secure. Do not put your dog in your lap as you travel or let them roam inside the RV. Making sure your dog is in a safe spot will keep them away from injury, and prevent them from distracting you as you drive. 
    • Be mindful of potty breaks. Do not go for long-distance travel without paying attention to your dog’s bathroom needs. include daily walks and exercise into your schedule. Give them time to play and stimulate their mental skills, let them socialize, and enjoy the company of other dogs who are also traveling. You should always keep your dog leashed when outside the RV to keep them going out of the designated areas.
    • You should never leave your pets in any place where they may overheat. However, if you absolutely must leave your dog alone in your RV, make sure to use and install a pet temperature monitor. For help finding a suitable temperature monitor, read this guide on WeatherStationAdvisor. Any of the models in this guide will help you monitor the conditions when you are away from your RV. A pet temperature monitor also alerts you if it becomes too hot or too cold, so you can immediately return to your RV for your pet’s safety.
    Image taken from behind an RV on the road with snowy mountain in front.

    Learning to travel safely with your pet is undoubtedly not an easy plan. The above tips are the most practical things to keep in mind  to help you travel smoothly and comfortably with your dog. It is better to prepare ahead, review everything, and enjoy a new adventure with your furry companion.

    Article written by Helen Harry

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