This is a guest post from Kayla Widmer of The Wandering RV.
Being able to travel with your pets is a blast – but there’s far more that goes into it than you may know. For example, did you know that your pets need vaccines, health certificates and even blood tests to go overseas?
Luckily, RVing with dogs is a lot easier to prepare for (and doesn’t require you to calm their nerves during a flight). RVing is becoming far more popular these days and (thankfully) many RV rental companies even allow you to bring your pets along for the journey!
If you’re interested in bringing your furry companion along with you on an RV trip, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll go over if you can bring your dog RVing, tips on how to RV with pets, as well as the pros and cons to RVing with dogs.
Let’s dive in!
Can You RV With Dogs?
The short and easy answer?
You can absolutely RV with dogs!
In fact, you can RV with virtually any pet – Bill and I traveled with our adventure cat, Luna (pictured below). Luna absolutely loved living in an RV. He quickly made it his second home (and we were able to leash train him so he could go on mini hikes with us).
While we stayed at various campgrounds, we became friends with people who traveled with cats, dogs, and even fish (and hamsters)! There was one common problem our dog-loving RV friends shared, though…
They absolutely hated how other RVers would let their dog run around the RV campground.
While keeping your dog near you at all times seems like a no-brainer, some people would let their pets roam wherever they’d like. Bill even chased down a neighbor’s dog for them once after they got away! This sort of activity can actually get you kicked out of RV parks depending on what the owner’s rules are.
So, yes. You can absolutely go RVing with dogs. However, you need to be a bit more cautious when RVing with pets. Letting your dog run around your yard is one thing, but allowing them to roam around the RV campground you’re staying at won’t be tolerated.
RVing with your dog will be a learning curve for both of you – but as long as you’re willing to adapt to this new lifestyle, you’ll have a blast!
Tips For RVing With Dogs
Now that you know you’re able to RV with dogs, we want to go over a few tips to help you plan your trip better.
Tip #1: Not All Dogs Are Suitable For RVing
If your dog is a constant barker (meaning they bark at every noise they hear) or gets anxious on car rides, they might not be ready to embark on the RV lifestyle.
If you’re active and want to go kayaking, hiking, and bike riding, you’ll want to bring a dog that’s active as well.
After all, you can’t leave your dog in the RV all day while you’re out exploring. They’ll need to stretch their legs (and go to the bathroom) pretty frequently. Not to mention, they’re in a new area and could get nervous if left alone for too long.
Tip #2: Research Pet Policies Before You Book Your RV Campground Site
Policies change depending on which RV park you plan on staying at. For example, certain state parks in the USA don’t allow pets – while others do. That said, there are parks that’ll accept all types of dogs, and RV parks that don’t accept “vicious” breeds.
If you’re ever unsure of a campground’s pet policies, I recommend calling them with any questions (or concerns) you have.
Tip #3: Introduce Your Dog to the RV Before Embarking On Your Trip
This one may be tricky if you’re renting a camper, but I highly recommend getting your dog (or any pet, really) used to the RV you plan on staying in, if possible.
It’s unknown territory to them and can cause anxiety in certain animals. Which brings me to my next tip…
Tip #4: Give Your Dog His/Her Own Space In the RV
Place their favorite blanket and toys somewhere just for them. This way, they’ll have a sense of comfort in a new area.
Don’t forget to pack some essentials for your pup, too!
Tip #5: Introduce Your Dog (and Yourself) to Fellow RVers
Most dogs love meeting new people – sometimes, they love meeting new people a bit too much.
Before your faithful companion jumps on your neighbor’s lap in anticipation, slowly introduce your dog to people. You can do this by walking your dog around the campground or by sitting outside your rig with your dog next to you.
Pros and Cons to RVing With Dogs
Finally, before you plan a big RVing trip with your furry friend, we wanted to dive into the pros and cons of RVing with dogs.
While it can be fun, it can also be very stressful (especially if you’ve never traveled with your dog before), so keep these points in mind.
Pros to RVing with dogs:
- Most RV parks are pet-friendly
- You don’t have to find a pet sitter while you’re gone
- Your dog is able to live a more active lifestyle while on the road
Cons to RVing with dogs:
- There will most likely be another dog at the campground you’re staying at – if your dog has never really been around other dogs, it could be a problem
- Wildlife encounters are not uncommon
- There is a chance your precious pup can run away from the camper and get lost
The bottom line? It takes a lot of commitment to bring your dogs with you while RVing.
Apart from their usual bathroom walks, they’ll need more exercise (an RV is pretty cramped compared to a house, unless they’re used to small spaces).
But if you’re ready for a bit more responsibility, I 100% urge you to bring your pets with you while RVing.
Now that you know how to properly RV with your dog, it’s time to plan your trip!
Whether you’re planning on buying or renting an RV, I hope this article helped you prepare yourself (as well as your dog) for your trip!
If you have any questions that weren’t covered in this article, be sure to leave a comment down below! Or, if you want to share your personal experience traveling in an RV with a dog, I’d love to hear!
Kayla Widmer is a former full-time RVer and blogs about RV travels with her fiance Bill at The Wandering RV.
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