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Tips for Taking an RV Trip with Pets

How to make your trip enjoyable for both two and four-legged passengers

For many people, even just going to the store for a half hour is too long to be away from their pets. If you’re in this category, the thought of spending days or even weeks without your furry companions probably makes you feel sad. Fortunately, if a road trip is on the horizon, there’s no reason not to bring them, especially if you’ll be taking an RV. But to help ensure that everybody has a good time, consider these tips before you go.

Plan ahead

You surely have at least some idea of where you’ll be going on your trip and what you want to see and do, but will your pets be accommodated? Not every campground or park is pet-friendly, so you need to do your homework well in advance.

Bring the right stuff

Sure, you know you need to pack their food, treats, toys, and perhaps their bed or blanket, but there are other things you don’t want to forget, such as any medication they may need. And while you hopefully have a first aid kit in your RV for people, it’s a wise idea to bring one for your pets also.

Other things that could come in handy include insect repellant (they shouldn’t use the same stuff you do), towels, and carpet/fabric cleaner. It’s also a good idea to make sure they have updated tags on their collars.

Keep everyone safe

It can be tempting just to let your pets do as they please in your RV, but this is dangerous for a couple of reasons. They can easily be a big distraction to the driver. Anyone operating a motor vehicle – and especially one the size of an RV – needs to have his or her complete attention on the road. Loose pets can also be seriously injured in the event of an accident. This is why, when driving, dogs need to be in a seatbelt harness or something else that will keep them secure. As for cats, you should strongly consider putting them in a carrier. An additional benefit of having a restrained or encased pet is that you won’t have to worry about them running out when you stop and open the door.

Take some breaks

Getting to your destination pretty quickly may be high on your to-do list, but even if you and your fellow human travelers are adept at being patient with a full bladder, the same can’t be said for your pets. This is why you should plan to stop often while on the road, probably every two hours or so. This gives everyone the chance to stretch their legs and find a bathroom (or tree). Another perk is that you may discover a unique town or attraction you otherwise would have passed by.

Prevent them from being a nuisance

While you love your pets, not everybody has the same affinity for them. If you plan to spend time in parks or campgrounds, be extra considerate when it comes to them. While you probably won’t have to worry about a cat, your dog may be troublesome. If he or she is a barker, do what you can to curtail it. In addition, make sure to follow the rules about leashes and any others posted. And always carry bags with you so you can pick up anything left behind.

For even more helpful information about RV travel, think about becoming a member of the RV Advisor community. You’ll also get coupons and discounts that can be used nationwide. Learn more here.

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