It’s not easy to love your pets and love travel.
Boarding makes you feel guilty. Dog-friendly hotels and rentals are scarce. And cat-friendly hotels—let alone ferret, reptile, bird? Forget it.
RVs are the most pet-friendly, flexible way to wander and take your animal friends with you. It’s also more secure and comfortable for them than tent camping.
Bonus: No more sad puppy (or pig or parrot) eyes or cat revenge when you get home.
Here are some tips to make it easy:
1 The Obvious
Plan on water, food, toys, dishes, litter boxes, waste bags and even pee pads. You will want to have proper climate control and ventilation for pets alone in the rig, especially during hot weather. Stock up on favorite food or treats for longer trips, just in case. Create a regular packing list to save time on future trips.
2 – Call ahead or check online
Many campgrounds accept pets. Some don’t. Same for national and state parks. Check ahead of time to know rules and any potential fees.
3 – Get Good Tags
Get animal tags with your current cell number – and make sure your pet will wearthem before you leave. Cats can be Houdini with leashes and collars. Harness tend to besafe.
4 – Prepare the Vehicle
Some owners keep pets crated during travel or when they are away for safety and security. Car harnesses are an option to keep pets secure during travel in case of accident —or to be sure they don’t cause one. Deactivate airbags in front of your pets during drive time
5 – Plan for Safe Outdoor Time
Cats, reptiles, birds – all kinds of pets like fresh air, not just dogs. Pack standard 6-foot leashes to comply with campground rules, plus an extendable for hiking. Portable pet fences are available at camping stores and let them off leash. Never leave pets fenced but unattended.
6 – Vaccinations, Health Records & Medicines
Make sure your pet is vaccinated and bring records—some campgrounds require them for pets to stay. Bring your vet’s phone number and keep this number handy: National Animal Poison Control Center: (888) 426-4435.
7 – Keep Ticks & Fleas Away
Tick populations are increasing and so are tick-borne illnesses. Talk to your vet and prep pets with medicines or collars.
8 – Get a gate
A pet/baby gate inside the rig can keep your pets from bolting for—and out of—the door when you open it. If your pet is prone to barking or stress, consider adding a “Pet Inside” or “Do not Disturb” sign on your door when you head out solo.
9- Just in Case
Pets can escape fast, at campgrounds or even a gas station stop. Pre-made flyers with your pet’s photo and name, plus your name, cell phone and license plate/RV info is great peace of mind.
10 – Outdoor Adventure
Dogs on paddle boards. Cats that kayak. We’ve even seen snakes on the shoulders of owners walking hiking trails. Do some research about ways pets can get out and enjoy the outdoors. Flotation devices are available in a range of sizes.
Ready to hit the road with your buddy? Check out our RV finder and see what might work for your crew.