7 Tips for RV Camping with Your Pooch
Taking your dog on camping trips can be one of the best things in life. But if you’ve never done it before, you might be wondering about how to keep your furry pal safe and comfortable on the road and in the campground.
More RV parks are allowing pets, but you will still need to keep them on a leash when outside your motorhome. More importantly, there are other aspects to your camping trip you’ll need to keep in mind when bringing your best canine pal. So whether you are new to all of this or an experienced RVer and pet owner who wants a few tips, read on!
Consider Getting a Pet Temperature Monitor
In the heat of summer, an RV can get pretty hot inside, and there are times when you’ll need to leave your dog for a short while inside. Dogs can suffer from heat stroke in less than 30 minutes if the temperature gets too hot. A pet temperature monitor can advise you of the heat and humidity from afar so you can keep track while you’re out and about.
You can connect the monitor to an app on your phone so you can see the temperature inside your RV in real-time and get alerts if the mercury gets too high or dips too low. Many temperature monitors will also alert you if your RV loses power – and gets it back again, such as in a storm.
Get Your Dog Used to the RV Before a Big Trip
If your dog is new to the RV world, bring him along on a short weekend trip to get him acquainted with being inside the RV for a few hours. Pet experts agree that it’s a good idea to spend some time in there with you as you get the RV organized for a trip while the RV is parked. That way, when it’s time to hit the road, your pup will already be familiar with the layout of the RV and may even have chosen his or her favorite spot!
Prepare Your Dog for the Road Trip
You want a calm and comfortable road trip and not have distractions while driving, so on the drive day, take your dog on a long walk or have playtime with him. In this way, they “get their jollies out” and will not be as active while on the road. Also, feed them at least before you head out to prevent any motion sickness. Just in case, be sure to stock up on anti-nausea medication if you’ll be driving for several hours. Even if your dog is “road ready” in a car, if he’s never been in an RV, the different experience could trigger nausea. The medication should be given at least two hours before your trip.
You’ll want to keep them in a safe place in the RV and away from the driver. Have a passenger keep an eye on your dog, or better yet, get a seatbelt for them and keep them buckled up. Many pets are injured each year when the driver has to make a sudden stop and the dog is propelled forward. Every hour or two, stop at a rest stop or other suitable place for a potty break. It’s a nice way to break up the trip for both you and your dog. And bring along all of his favorite things: his familiar dog bed (if he has one), his favorite toys, treats, and plenty of food and water.
Research Park and Campground Rules Before You Go
There are many thousands of RV parks, campgrounds, and state and national parks, all having different rules for RVing with dogs. When planning your trip, know where you plan to visit and read up on their rules for pets. Many trails will not allow dogs (even leashed dogs) or have restricted access. Bottom line: know before you go.
Also, before you book a campground reservation, it’s a good idea to know their pet policy. More campgrounds are allowing pets, but many still don’t. You don’t want to make a reservation only to find as you pull up to your campsite that your dog is not allowed. There are also breed restrictions for some campgrounds.
If you need to leave your dog behind for a few hours while you go to an attraction or explore a trail, check to see if your campground offers pet-sitting services. Or there may even be a fellow camper who is a dog lover who will look after yours while you’re away.
Keep Your Dog Safe (and Quiet) at the Campground
Most people love dogs, but not when they are barking incessantly at camp. A campground can be a new and very exciting place for your dog. With so many sights, sounds, and smells to explore, even the most subdued of pups can’t help but bark out their joy. This can be both embarrassing and rude to fellow campers.
But instead of scolding or ignoring your dog (which can make things worse), after calming them down, give them treats for good behavior. Consider using a white noise machine in your camper to help quell outside noises that might upset your dog. And always leash your dog when outside your camper. Even though your pooch might behave well, you don’t know the temperament of other dogs in the area. So always be cautious.
And if your dog happens to break free somehow and go missing, fitting them with a GPS collar is always an excellent idea. Likewise, have a recent photo of your dog on your camera so you can show people should you need to look for them.
Make Sure You’re Prepared Should Your Dog Get Hurt
This is especially important if you plan to take your dog out on the trail or on any other adventures. The possibility of your dog getting into things he/she shouldn’t, getting snake bites, or any other myriad of hazards outdoors, is a very real possibility. Bring a first aid kit stocked with the basics to treat and bandage cuts, bites, and brace injuries so you can treat your dog at the scene should they encounter trouble.
It’s also a good idea to have 3% hydrogen peroxide on hand to induce vomiting should they consume something poisonous, as well as activated charcoal to help clear their digestive system afterward. Have a list of vet clinics nearby, as well.
When out and about on the trail with your dog, always be vigilant of other wildlife in the area.
Remember to Have Fun!
Taking an RV trip with your dog is one of life’s great pleasures. You get to explore wide open spaces with your best furry friend. While bringing dogs into national parks can be more challenging with its restrictions, other parks and natural areas are more than accommodating to pets. Read ahead at your destination’s websites to see what is possible.
Looking for a pet-friendly campground in Texas? Look no further! Leisure Resort is dog-friendly and offers a dog park and plenty of nature trails for your furry friend.