Love exploring the country but hate leaving your pets behind? Motorhomes can easily solve this problem. They can accommodate more passengers comfortably on road trips so you can take the whole family with you. RV travel with pets is actually very common that a survey even found out that about 61% of RVers do it.
Despite being a common practice, pets still need some special accommodations and pet equipment while you’re on the road. If you want to travel without a hitch with your fur ball, you should be ready for it.
What should you do to make sure that your furry friend is comfortable and safe while you explore the great outdoors? Here are some tips:
8 RV Travel with Pets Tips
If you want to travel comfortably with your fluff ball, knowing what they need while the both of you are on the road is essential. As not all pets are used to riding moving vehicles and being in new surroundings, traveling can stress them out. Putting them in this position isn’t good for their health. It also won’t make them great companions for the most part.
What do you need to know so you can make ample adjustments and preparations for the trip?
1. Do Some Research
A lot of pet parents have already experienced RVing with pets so you can find tons of information on how to go about this activity. You can find online articles, blogs, and even books that will detail people’s experiences. You definitely don’t have to go in blind in this endeavor.
It will help, however, to be specific in your research. Look for the accounts of people who traveled with the same animals as your pets. It might also help if you’ll go into details and consider their breeds as well. While each pet has their own personalities, their breeds make them more inclined to act a certain way. So if you want to know what to expect when traveling with your furry friend, you should make sure to do this.
2. Turn Your Camper into a Pet-Friendly Space
Your RV has to be a hospitable and familiar place for your pet if they’re going to live in it for a couple of days. It should be pet-friendly so both you and your fluff ball can settle in and call it your home away from home.
To achieve this, here are a few things that you should do:
3. Pack their essentials
Just like you, there are a few things that your pet can’t and shouldn’t live without. Taking these things with you is important because it can make or break your trip. Not only will it be inconvenient not to have the things they need but it might also be costly to get replacements.
Make sure to add the following items to your to-bring checklist:
- Food and water bowls
- Harnesses and leashes
- Pet food and treats
- Medical records
- Vitamins and medications (if any)
- Pet toiletries
4. Equip your camper with a pet house, bed, or crate
It won’t be fair if you’re the only one who gets comfortable during your road trip, right? So it makes perfect sense to add some cozy spots inside your RV for your fur baby. Adding a pet bed is a good solution for this, but you should also consider adding a pet house or crate, too. The personality of your fluff ball should easily tell you whether they’ll feel more comfortable having one on board your motorhome.
Note, however, that comfort for pets means a lot more than just a soft surface to perch in. They need to be familiar with the space, too, if they’re going to sleep in it. So you can’t just add in any pet house, pet bed, or a crate. They also have to be well acquainted with these items for your pet to use them.
This is why you should also remember to let your pet get to know the pet furniture they’ll be using in the camper. Make your pet use them a few days or weeks before the trip so they can get used to the smell, feel, and appearance of the items. This way, they can really have a familiar spot to rest in while the both of you explore new places.
5. Bring familiar items on your trip
Make your RV more familiar for your pet by taking a few of their favorite things on your trip. If they’re particularly attached to some toys, blankets, or any other item at home, bring them with you. Doing this can help you create a more familiar space for your fur baby.
6. Install pet gates
Adding a pet gate to your motorhome is one of best tips if you want to safely RV travel with pets. Some creatures might get too stressed and feel too cooped up inside a vehicle for long periods that they’d want to escape the moment the door opens. If you’re not paying attention, your fluff ball can make a dash for the exit, never to be seen again. No one wants this so you should try to prevent it at all costs.
You can choose from a wide range of folding or retractable barriers to get the job done. You can also install them by your camper’s door or in any other area to restrict your pet from roaming about.
7. Consider getting a ramp
Some experts are also recommending getting ramps for your pet dogs so they can easily get in and out of your camper. Its use might require some extra effort on your part but it can definitely make your pet move around with more ease. It’s especially worth looking into if your pooch has difficulties in taking your RV’s steps.
8. Don’t forget their litter box if you have a cat
If you’re bringing a pet cat with you, you have to make sure to bring a litter box. Cats are very particular about where they do their business, so you absolutely can’t forget their toilet at home. You wouldn’t want them to defecate in the hidden corners of your motorhome as that can drastically affect the quality of your trip and damage your property.
If you’re taking along a litter box on your RV, however, make sure to remember a few things:
1. Go for a covered unit
The movements of the vehicle will scatter soiled litter around your camper easily and that would be gross. A litter box with a tight lid will be the best pick so it won’t easily spill its content.
2. Allot a secure spot for the litter box
While space is at a premium inside campers, it will still be wise to dedicate a spot for your cat’s litter box. This can better guarantee their comfort which can allow them to do their business in peace.
This can also help you plan your space better. With a dedicated spot as your cat’s toilet, you won’t need to stumble into it in the middle of the night and cover yourself with gross stuff.
You can also opt to install the litter box inside an empty storage closet, battery bay, or cupboard. Doing this will ensure that the litter box will stay out of your way.
3. Clean the litter box regularly.
If you can’t get through a few days without cleaning your cat’s litter box at home, you have to be more diligent in doing so when living in an RV. Your pet’s waste can have an adverse effect on the indoor air quality of your motorhome so make sure to clean their toilet often.
Prepare Your Pet for the Trip
Aside from knowing what to bring and preparing yourself for RVing with pets, you should also make sure to ready your pet for the trip. These creatures usually need to get used to their new home for them to be calm during the trip.
What can you do to help prepare them for a new experience? These tips might help:
1. Pets Reaction in New Environments and Take Measures to Help
As a pet parent, it’s highly likely that you’re already well aware of what your fur ball is like. This is especially true if you’ve been together for a while now. However, if this is your first time going on a road trip, you might still need to get to know your pet better.
Doing this will help you make the right adjustments for what they would be like in new environments. Not every pet is too keen on being somewhere unfamiliar. As a result, you have to know how to react to how they’ll be like when you take them to new places.
Again, anxiety can make your pet difficult to be with on a trip. It can also affect their health, so you have to make sure that they’ll adjust well to the activity.
So how can you know if they’re up for an adventure? Take them to small excursions before your road trip. Try bringing them to a friend’s house or a new dog park. Taking them for short rides can help, too. This can get them used to being in motion and being inside a vehicle.
If they seem excited and eager to explore, then there’s a good chance that they’ll have fun on your road trip. If they howl, hiss, whine, or refuse to move completely, then you will need to work on acclimatizing them to new surroundings and experiences.
2. Crate train your pet
Some people may have issues with crates but it will be hard to deny the safety these items can offer to your pet when you’re on the road. By making sure that they’re comfortable inside their crate or carrier, you can transport them more safely under certain circumstances. Doing this can also lessen their stress in some situations, so make sure to crate train your pet before taking them on road trips.
3. Introduce your pet to the RV
Before you take off to your destination, you should also make sure that your pet is well-acquainted with your RV. Let them get accustomed to the space before using it as their home for a few days. You might also want to take them on a few test drives as well just so they can get used to being in a moving home.
4. Get your pet acquainted with engine noise.
A lot of pets get stressed from the loud engine noise mostly because their ears are sensitive. Combined with the low vibration and movements of the vehicle, the whole experience can be too overwhelming for your fur baby.
To avoid freaking them out on your trip, it’s best to familiarize them with the engine noise as well. This might need a good amount of patience, a lot of safety measures, and a good deal of treats, though.
13 Steps to Prepare Your Trip plan with Your Pets
Planning where to go and where to stop can also make RV travel with pets smoother. To make sure that your pet will be welcome to all of your stops, remember to do the following:
1. Make sure to check the pet-friendliness of your itinerary
Not every destination or establishment is pet-friendly. Sometimes, even the ones that advertise such might have policies that your fur baby might not be able to observe. This is why it’s very important to check just how pet-friendly they are before you set out for a visit.
Research about the places you wish to go to or contact them in advance. It wouldn’t hurt to double check with them regarding their policies. Doing so can help you avoid issues with your itinerary and unnecessary stress. This can also ensure a smooth-sailing trip with your furry friend.
2. Check the weather
Campers may be very cozy but they’re still vehicles that are at the mercy of Mother Nature. When bad weather strikes, it might not do the best job in keeping you and your furry friends protected. It might not exactly hold up against typhoons, flash floods, high winds. and other extreme weather conditions.
This makes it imperative to schedule your road trips on the clearest days of the year. This way, you won’t have to put your pet and other loved ones in any kind of risk.
3. Add local parks to your stops
Stopping to smell the roses is one of the things you can enjoy when you go on a trip with pet dogs. Because they’ll need to be walked, you don’t really have a choice but to add more pit stops. It will be a great way to explore new places, though, and it can give you all the reasons you need to visit local parks.
4. Remember that Your Pets Need Consistency
This can be the trickiest part when traveling your pet for the first time because it can be challenging to remember to establish a routine while you’re on a vacation. Your pet needs this, though, as they thrive on consistency.
How do you achieve this? Here are two things that you should incorporate into your road trip:
5. Create an arrival routine
Doing the same things the moment you get to your destination is a great way to get your pet accustomed to their life away from home. It’s also a good way for you to execute all the necessary checks and actions that can help make your stay more comfortable.
What you should remember about establishing such a routine is that the process doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be as simple as taking them out for a quick walk to survey the area before hooking up the utilities. Playing with and praising them for their patience after setting up your motorhome can also help accustom them to a new pattern.
6. Do regular activities with your pet
You also have to remember to be consistent with the activities you do with your pet as it can help them feel more secure about their new surroundings and lifestyle. This can be tricky as traveling can make it hard to stick to a daily schedule. To accomplish this task, set reminders with alarms on your phone.
7. Always Keep Your Pet’s Safety
Traveling comes with a lot of risks, so it’s best to take precautions to keep everyone in your motorhome safe. This should extend to your pets as they don’t always have the capacity to keep themselves out of danger.
To make sure that you can keep your pet safe while on the road, make sure to do the following:
8. Prepare for emergencies
There are lots of things that can go wrong while you’re on the road so it’s best to be ready for what can happen. You might not be able to prevent everything, but you should at least have some things that can mitigate serious consequences even while on the road.
Packing a first aid kit is always helpful. Remember to add a few things for your pet, though, as they can get in as much danger as your human companions on your trip. Include these in your kit to make sure that you can tend to your pet in case of emergency:
- Self-cling bandages for pets
- Rectal thermometer
- Emergency blanket
- Hydrogen peroxide for poisoning (only to be used under the instruction of an expert or
- Diphenhydramine for allergic reactions
- Non-prescription antibiotic ointment
- Ear-cleaning solution
- Styptic powder Needle-nosed pliers
These are just some of the most useful items that you should add to your pet’s first aid kit. You can add more items depending on where you’re going or what your pet might need.
9. Always buckle up
You might be tempted to let your pet have some freedom while you’re on the road since the vehicle feels like home. Do not make this mistake, though. Doing this puts them at risk of getting hurt in case of a crash. They can also distract you while driving which can put every passenger and other road users in danger.
Always keep your pets strapped in while the vehicle is in motion. You can use a seat belt harness or a carrier for this job. You can secure them in an RV sofa as long as there are other humans with them or you can be buckled up in the towing vehicle with you. Either works as long as they’re secured in one place during the drive.
10. Never leave your pets alone in your motorhome
Your camper might feel as cozy as your home but it doesn’t mean that you can already leave your pets unattended inside. These are still vehicles that can have limited air circulation and can overheat under the sun. Leaving your pet inside can have serious consequences, so avoid doing this at all costs.
11. Be Mindful of Your Neighbors
Not because a pet-friendly destination welcomes your fur baby does it mean that you can then let them do whatever they want. Your enjoyment shouldn’t be achieved at the cost of other guests so make sure to be very considerate of the people around you. This is a part of being a responsible pet parent.
How can you make sure that you and your pet won’t affect others’ enjoyment of the place you’re visiting? Here are two tips you should carry out:
12. Use a controlled leash
Even if your pet is highly trained and well-mannered, you might still want to prevent them from getting too excited or reacting strongly from various stimulants. Using a controlled leash can help better guarantee their safety as you can rein them in when things get too intense.
13. Pick up after your pets
Some people think that just because they’re outdoors they don’t have to clean up after their pets anymore. This can’t be more wrong, though, because you’re still sharing space with others. Let people enjoy the fresh air by making sure to pick up after your pooch when you go on walks.
RVing with pets may seem like a huge undertaking when you haven’t done it yet but with so many people enjoying this activity, it shouldn’t really scare you. With the right tips and tricks, you can definitely take your fur babies with you as you explore the country. It’s really just a matter of preparation and knowing what to do to have a successful road trip with your pets.
Keep these tips in mind and you can be one of the many RVers who gets to take their pets to great places.