Canine or feline, there are Golden Rules for RV Pet Care
RV-ing is a great way for a family to see the country. Let’s not forget that not every family member is human!
Pets are an indispensable part of the team for many of us, and an RV wouldn’t be home without them. How does life on the road impact our smallest passengers?
Here’s our guide on some important checks on your pet travel list from indoor comfort, outdoor etiquette and staying on the right side of the law.
Prioritize your pet’s health
Having a healthy pet before you leave prevents a lot of problems on the road. Ensure your pet’s vaccinations are current and that they’re free of any fleas or ticks.
Those little things can make the trip unpleasant for everybody. Thankfully, there are non-toxic ways to keep your companion and your living space clean and pest-free.
Your pet’s road trip could be over before it starts if you don’t carry proof of vaccination. Many campgrounds won’t allow access to pets who don’t have documentation to prove they’re free of things like Lyme disease or rabies.
Road safety applies to our pets as much as it does to us! Pets shouldn’t be allowed to roam free when the RV is in motion.
A harness is a good way to keep them secure (and also help them get in and out of the rig) and so is crating your pet.
Choosing the crating option will only work well if you do two things. First, secure the crate, so it’s stable while driving. Second, if your pet isn’t accustomed to being confined, slowly introduce the crate over a few weeks before you hit the road. Rewarding them with treats will help them adjust to temporary spells in a crate.
Remember the wildlife out there
Parking your RV and letting your pet out for a run is a relief for all involved. Being cooped up on the road for long periods can be particularly trying on dogs, who love to run around in nature.
Pets are naturally curious, and it doesn’t take much for them to get themselves into a risky spot. Being aware of the local wildlife where you park is important.
Bears, wildcats, wolves, and snakes are the natural residents of many American scenic spots, and they don’t always make their presence visible. The internet is a great way to familiarize yourself with the local fauna before your pet steps out.
Always keep your pet on a leash, if applicable, or within your line of sight. If your pet is a little wayward, you may want to run them through a quick obedience course before you hit the road; following your commands might save their life.
Add an extra layer of security by taking out pet insurance (or making sure it’s up-to-date).
It pays to know who to call if your pet gets hurt or ill. This site will help you find a quality vet nearest to you.
Your pets can’t read the rules, but you can
There’s an etiquette for RV pets just like there is for their owners. This Rocky Mountain RV pet policy is indicative of the universal rules of thumb.
Your fellow RV-ers won’t appreciate if your pet is consistently noisy, especially after hours. Pet owners should look to see if there are designated walking areas set apart for your pets.
Never leave a pet tied to the outside of your RV or unattended. Pets left alone can become distressed or act in disruptive or destructive ways. Of course, you must always make sure to clean up after your pet.
The resource above highlights another important concept: local law. What’s permissible for pets at your current stop may not be so at the next one, and vice versa. Checking with campsite owners or local authorities before you get there is good practice to keep you and your pet out of trouble.
Some pet care products that could help
Animals are tough. They’re also very sensitive. Travel introduces a lot of new things to your animals, and their heightened senses can be overwhelmed in areas with unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells.
A hug goes a long way for example, but a permanent hug is even better. Items like the Thundershirt are available for cats and dogs and have a high rate of success in reducing pet stress.
Animals will appreciate familiar things on a trip like toys, blankets or their regular food bowls. Cats are fond of secluded spaces. If you can provide part of your RV for them to curl up in, it will increase their sense of comfort and security.
Some final tips
Cat-loving RV-ers often have a problem: where to place a litter tray without it being at risk of spilling on the road? A handy hint from seasoned trippers is to keep the cat box in the shower. Anything that spills out will be contained and easily washed away.
Never forget that even the most faithful pet can one day take off and not return. You may want to invest in microchipping your pet, which greatly increases your chances of being reunited if they run away. If chipping isn’t an option, the old method of a collar tag with a name and phone number is still effective.
These are some of the top tips in keeping your pet healthy, happy and safe on the road. Stick to them and the whole family will be free to enjoy the good life!
To find out more RV-ing tips and tricks, please visit our blog. Or if you’d like to find out more information about becoming a member of the RV Advisor community, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 833-229-0911. We’d love to hear from you!