Every summer families set out on road trips across the state, or across the US with their pets right alongside them. They’re headed to beaches, mountain towns, historic sites, or maybe just up to the family parcel on the Grand Mesa. Taking Fido with them is routine: he always goes where the family goes! If you’ve recently adopted a pet and feel that way – that your dog or cat should go everywhere you go – here are some tips for RVing with pets.
Tips for RVing with pets (of any kind):
Whether RVing with the new puppy, or with your experienced outdoor cat, it’s important to follow some basic rules of safety for your pet.
- Make sure your pet is microchipped. If you’ve adopted from a shelter this might already have been done for you. It’s easy enough to go online and update your pet’s microchip info with your name, your pet’s name, a phone number and a description of the pet.
- Make sure your pet wears a collar with tags including their name and your phone number.
- Make sure your pet is well-trained to respond to your commands; cats can be trained with a clicker as an extra means of ensuring they come when they’re called. Dogs too respond well to rewards.
- Keep your pet on a leash when outside hiking, when at your campsite (most campgrounds require dogs to be on a leash no longer than 6′), and at any point when you think there’s a chance they might run off.
- Make sure you have food and water for your pet and familiar items – a familiar blanket or pet, a few toys, and a special designated spot for them in the camper. Make your pet feel as at home as you do.
- Have a carrier or harness for your pet. It’s unsafe, and in some states illegal, for your dog to be unrestrained in your vehicle. I think we all know how unsafe it might be to have a cat roaming free!
- Consider CBD products to help calm your pet before travel.
Questions to ask when RVing with Dogs:
- Are you going to be participating in activities your dog can do also? If you’re mountain biking, can your dog handle that? If you’re hiking, can you take the dog with you and either ensure that it’ll be able to keep up or that you can carry it somehow? If not, think long and hard about whether this trip is right for your pet. If it’s going to be stuck alone in camp, it’s most likely going to be lonely and bark while you’re gone. If you can’t take the dog fishing with you or hiking, etc., with you, then it might be best to let it have some time with other dog friends at a fun pet resort while you’re gone.
- Does your dog like to travel? If your dog gets really anxious in the car, is prone to car-sickness, or generally doesn’t like being away from home, it might be best to consider a pet sitter instead of taking Fido on this trip.
- Is your dog an adventurer? Does he love getting out and exploring new places with you? Is he mellow around new people and places? Well behaved? Then by all means take him along!
Questions to ask when RVing with Cats:
- Have you lost your mind? Kidding, of course. These days “adventure cats” are all the rage. Taking your cats with you on adventures makes sense, right? They’re your pets and you love them and want them to be with you. But are you SURE? Ask yourself this: is your cat already used to the outdoors? If so, then taking them on adventures might work out just fine. If your cats have only ever seen “the outside” through a window, you’ve got a much more difficult task ahead.
- Do you have time to train your cat? Clicker training is an easy way to train your cat to come when called. But that aside, you’ve still got to consider training your cat to walk on a leash and with a harness. That in itself takes a while for a cat to get used to.
- Do they even want to go outside? Our cats have shown no interest in the out-of-doors. They love to look out a window, but when the door is open they go the other way.
- Is your RV or Camper cat-friendly? If I decided to take my cats RVing I’d want to make sure there was enough room in the RV for them to play while we were out biking or kayaking. Are there bunks for them to jump on? Is there a place for a litter box or two? Can they look out windows without busting through screens to get outside?
- Does your cat love a good adventure? Is he or she mellow and willing to go explore with you? Or will he or she be content to stay in a camper and lounge around while you’re out and about? Then by all means, try out an adventure with your pet!
We don’t mean to sound pessimistic about taking pets with you on vacation. We understand how important pets are and that they’re a part of your family. Heck, ours are a part of our family too! If you’ve ever seen little Mia in the office, you’d know how true that is! We just want to make sure that you and your pets have the best vacations ever and if that means RVing with pets, then have a grand adventure!