Hitting the road with your pets

Traveling with your pet
When can I drive?

One of the great benefits of traveling in your RV is that you can take all the amenities of home with you. For many RVers, one of the most important “amenities” would be their pet.  In fact, almost 45 percent of motorhome owners travel with their dogs and almost 15% with their cats*.

And why not, pets are excellent companions, and will make excellent travel companions as well, as long as you do a little planning and use your common sense.

To help ensure you don’t overlook anything in your preparation, we’ve complied a number of tips/reminders to get you ready to hit the road!

Before you go…

Be sure to get to the vet and have your pet examined.  In particular, you’ll want to make sure rabies vaccines, flea & tick treatments, and heartworm medications are all up to date. If your pet has specific medical needs that require a prescription, make sure you have enough for your trip and get an extra written one just in case you need it on the road. It’s also a good idea (if you know your itinerary in advance) to have a list of emergency care facilities in the areas you’ll be traveling. And last, don’t forget plenty of food (especially if they’re on any type of diet), and a few comforts from home like toys and their bed.

Don’t Assume – We all know what can happen when you do!

Just because a campground states in their literature or web site that they’re “pet friendly”, don’t think you can show up with any pet (particularly larger dogs) and not run into some problems. It’s a good idea to call ahead and actually speak with the campground to find out the ground rules for pets. Some campgrounds will prohibit certain breeds or have excessive fees for pets over a certain size. On the other hand, some campgrounds have great perks for pets such as fenced-in play areas, pet shows, etc.

Chasing that squirrel seemed like a good idea at the time

Despite your best efforts, accidents can happen and your pet could get lost. One of the simplest things you can do to prevent this is to check your pets collar and make sure it’s not too loose. You’ll also want to be sure that his/her tag is up to date and includes information you may not have thought of such as your cell phone number and email address. Have a picture or two handy (store it on your cell phone) that you can show people should your pet get lost.  One other thing you can do is have your vet insert a microchip under the skin of your pet.

I already knew THAT!

Okay, so some of this will fall under that category of stating the obvious, but if you’re like me, sometimes being reminded of the obvious is a good idea!

  • RVs, like cars, can get extremely hot in warm weather. If you’re leaving your pet behind, be sure to have your RV properly ventilated in the event there’s a problem with your AC.
  • Better yet, try to take your pet with you as much as possible.  They love exploring, playing and swimming (well, some like swimming anyway) as much as you do.
  • Make sure your pet is properly restrained in a harness during travel. Even a small pet can become a dangerous projectile in an accident! Not to mention cats getting tangled in your feet. Can’t blame Toyota for that one!
  • Keep a supply of fresh water with you and give some to your pet from time to time. Also, plan to stop every few hours for bathroom breaks (I usually need them too!).

I hope you found this information useful. If you have any additional advice you’d like to share, please feel free to share it in the comments section. Have a wonderful time traveling with your favorite pet, whether it be in your motorhome, travel trailer or fifth wheel!  Be sure to give them a nice scratch for me!

* According to a Motorhome magazine survey of its readers.


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