One of the great things about RV travel is that you can bring your pets along with you. However, there are a few extra considerations to ensure you have a safe and stress-free RV vacation with your fur babies. Follow these pointers for RV travel with pets for the best vacation with your canine or feline companions. Before traveling, use GoodSam.com to find pet-friendly RV parks, like Escondido RV Resort – Sunland, Campland on the Bay & Chula Vista RV Resort and Park.
1) Drive Safely With Pets
Driving is a key consideration when traveling with pets. For starters, your pets should always travel in the same vehicle as you. If you have a fifth-wheel or travel trailer, they should be in the tow vehicle with their owners. In addition, your pets should always be restrained when you are driving. These pet harnesses are a good option for dogs, while cats may require a small crate to settle them in while you’re on the road. This is for your safety as well as theirs. It will keep them from distracting you while ensuring their safety if there is an accident. Think about it, if you wear a seat belt for safety, why wouldn’t your beloved pets? This practice will also help keep them safe when you stop to fuel up. Too many times, we hear about pets darting out of the RV at the gas station and running off.
2) Need a Break? Leave Pets in Good Hands
There are several precautions to consider if pets are unattended in or around the RV while you’re out sightseeing. If your trip occurs when the heat is an issue, you’ll want to take some extra steps to be sure you’re not endangering your pets. Even if you have power connections at the campsite, you can’t place full confidence in your RV’s air conditioning system. Unfortunately, you never know when a power surge or outage at the campground might occur. You do have a few options of how to adequately prepare for this potentially dangerous occurrence. One is to use a wireless temperature monitor that will notify you in case the temperature exceeds a pre-set range. Another is to use a generator that can be set to start automatically if the power supply is interrupted and the interior thermostat reaches a predetermined temperature. A final option is to use a pet daycare facility. Parks like Normandy Farms Family Camping Resort in Foxboro, Massachusetts, offer pet kennels and Canine Coops for guests who want to go sightseeing or swimming. This way, your pet is in good hands while you have adventures.
3) Find Dog-Friendly Destinations
The best way to enjoy a camping trip with dogs especially is to plan ahead. Research pet-friendly destinations where you can take them out on the hiking trails or beach with you. You’ll even find some national parks that are particularly friendly to canines. More locations than ever are allowing well-behaved dogs, and that includes pet-friendly RV parks. Even many restaurants and coffee shops with patios are welcoming pet owners and their canine companions.
4) Observe Campground Etiquette
The best way to be a good neighbor is to recognize that not everyone loves your pets as much as you do. Start by picking up after your pets outside. Follow up by using a leash or harness. Although you may know that your dog is harmless and more likely to drool on your neighbor than bite them, other campers and their pets may feel threatened by your furry friend. Never leave your pets unattended outside. This is for their safety as well as to protect you from liability should they manage to get away from your site. The same logic applies to cats. If you have a cat that likes to enjoy the outside, consider harness training or purchasing a screen enclosure.
5) Win the Barking Battle
Remember that your neighbors at the campground most likely don’t want to hear a barking dog all day while you’re away. Be aware that even though your dog may not bark when home alone, campgrounds can be noisy places and RVs aren’t known for soundproofing. Your dog may be intrigued by the sounds of other campers out for a stroll or children playing nearby. One way to combat this is to choose a campsite that is in the back of the campground or has more trees and brush between the sites. If your dogs have too much anxiety to stay in the RV alone, and you can’t take them with you, doggy daycare may be the best option all around. If the RV park doesn’t have a kennel, you’ll find outside places for your dog to stay here.
6) Keep Watch on Weather
Don’t forget that many pets suffer from anxiety during storms. If this is true for your pet, keep an eye on the weather and stay with them in the RV when storms are pending. You can also make sure they have a designated comfortable place where they can feel safe. Dogs especially may prefer a crate in a quiet spot in your RV to retreat to when there are loud noises.
7) Use Tags & Microchips — Just in Case
Even with the best precautions, clever pets sometimes manage to slip through your defenses. The last thing any pet owner wants is to lose their companions when they are far from home. Before traveling with cats and dogs, be sure they have current ID tags on their collars and verify that the microchip registration service has your current contact information. It’s not a bad idea to bring along a few photos of your pets to post in the campground office in case one of them goes missing. Well-meaning, good campers who find lost pets don’t always think to take them to a veterinary clinic to have them scanned for a microchip.
8) Pack Smart for Your Pet
The best vacation is the one you are most prepared for. Some items you’ll likely need for your pet include food, toys, waste pick-up bags, a bed or crate, litter for cats, a pet-friendly first aid kit, and any medications they are taking. You can even bring some outdoor equipment your pets like, such as this dog bed. Most importantly, don’t forget to bring your pet’s vaccination records. Some campgrounds require them at check-in. You should also take advantage of the many pet-related discounts and benefits available through Good Sam. From insurance to medication to toys, the products and services offered here will help you pack for your pooch before you hit the road.
Is Your Pet Allowed in the RV Park?
As you peruse Good Sam’s Find RV Parks & Campgrounds, please note each park’s pet-related restrictions. Look under each listing’s “Policies” section for “Pet Restriction on Breed” and “Pet Restriction on Quantity.” Some parks also place limits on allowable animal size. If a park charges extra for pets, the listing will include “Pet $.” Please call ahead for specific details on pet policies. Additional pet limitations also are indicated in the Good Sam Guide Series.