Pet Travel in an RV

According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, nearly 4 million RV owners hit the open roads with their pets every year. RV life with pets can be challenging, even for the more experienced travelers. Fortunately, you can keep your pets happy and safe with a little work and preparation. The suggestions listed below will help insure a great RV experience with you and your pet.

Know the pet policy of your campground. Most campgrounds and RV parks have pet and noise restrictions. They might charge extra for pets or have leash rules or designated areas for dog walking. Also, a campsite that is a little more remote may increase the chances that a spirited pet won?t bother other campers. (If your pet barks at people passing by, selecting a campsite next to the restrooms makes little sense.)

Let your pet get acclimated to your RV before hitting the open road. Dogs and cats are much more comfortable examining a new space on their own. Give your pet time before travel to explore your recreational vehicle.

Consider restraining your pet During a sudden stop or accident, loose pets can be hurt or even killed. They can also distract others should they be allowed to roam while the RV is moving. To help keep your pet and family safe, it is sensible to have your dog restrained in some manner during travel. Some people prefer a pet carrier or cargo crate, while others prefer an automobile pet harness. A pet booster seat is another great option for smaller pets. Don’t forget your pet’s leash.

Take items that are familiar to your pet. A favorite dog bed or blanket, favorite toy or scratching post.

Make sure you have your pet’s medical records and your vet’s phone number. It is also a good idea to research the number of a local veterinarian in your destination town just in case of emergency.

Bring an ample supply of your pet’s food. Also, bring plenty of water from home. The last problem you both need is indigestion.

Provide plenty of stops for your pet when on the road. Like humans, dogs and cats need to take care of business and get in some stretches periodically when on trips. This will help reduce accidents. If your cat is litter trained, a portable litter tray can also come in handy.

Be prepared for the inevitable accident. Have a supply of paper towels, rags, and carpet and upholstery cleaners on hand, as well as floor cleaner.

Do not leave your pet alone in the RV! Extreme temperatures could seriously affect or even kill your pet. Consider the services of a pet day care if you plan to spend considerable time away from the RV once or twice during your trip. Otherwise, inquire in the community center or other campers for the services of a pet sitter.

Obey the rules wherever you stay. Don’t try to sneak your pet into any place not allowed. Please remember: places remain as pet-friendly as the last poorly behaved human allows.

An RV is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy your vacation without worrying about finding pet friendly hotels and restaurants. There is no reason why you and your pet cannot have a great time in a recreational vehicle with a bit of planning ahead of time.


Pet Travel in an RV — 9 Comments

  1. Joe – it depends on what part of California you will be living in. Gets pretty hot unless you are in San Francisco…

  2. I am thinking of getting a travel trailer or RV to live in full time while attending college in California for a year, and have an 80lb dog. I thought if I leave the windows open (modified for safety/security) and install a solar powered vent fan it would be OK while in class. Has anyone done this?
    If there is any doubt I won’t do it-not going to endanger my dog.

  3. My husband and I have been thinking about buying an RV for our vacations and trips. We hate leaving our dog behind, so it this would let us bring him along. Getting a harness to use while the vehicle is in motion is a great idea. I’ll have to look into that if we end up getting an RV.

  4. I am relocating from WA State to NC In coming months. I have 6 dogs and 1 cat that will be transported by me in an RV or travel trailer and car combo. I am VERY holistic and have used Holistic vets who do NOT believe in vaccinations. My dogs are extremely healthy and not vaccinated per vet request and approval. Are there any potential issues or problems to be aware of on our road trip to NC, while traveling only domestically in the United States with un vaccinated animals?

    I have heard that every dog needs a health certificate and proof of vaccinations. I have also read that dogs without them can be confiscated and euthanized if a trooper pulls you over and you don’t have these documents. Is this true? I heard this is especially the case in MA, KY and PA. Any info is so much appreciated as I can not find any information on this anywhere online.

    Looking forward to your response.

  5. Having carried my poet Rottweiler puppy in our car on an hour journey I certainly know the need to carry baby wipes. They are a great additive to any vehicle that may transport dogs. What you say is so relevant and will no doubt help new pet owners immensely. Thank you.

  6. When planning a trip with your pet that involves air travel, ensuring a happy and safe flying experience for four-legged flier is your top priority. You’ve spent ample time researching the most pet friendly hotels that will best suit your furry companion, but you’re concerned about their comfort and safety during the whole process of flying. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, approximately 76 million cats and dogs travel with their owners each year and airports are starting to take notice.
    Good information, thanks for your input

  7. Also, I would add to make sure to keep your shoes or other items that are chewable put away. Also, would there be other limitations if you were bringing a pet other than a dog or cat?
    It depends on where you are traveling to with your pet. Most countries rules for import only cover dogs, cats and ferrets but there are also rules in some countries for birds, rabbits and other animals.
    The rules for nearly every country are available here:

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