RVing with pets - 8 tips for StressLess Camping
Camping. Dogs. Are there anythings better? Well, maybe coffee, but we covered that before. We’ve got eight tips for RVing with pets that will make them enjoy StressLess Camping as much as you do.
Sadly, we lost our Zora last year, but when she was alive she loved to go camping. She got the whole dinette bed to herself at night, and lots of outdoor time during the day. Most campgrounds require leashes, of course, so we had a cable tie-out that kept her within site limits.
She just wanted to be near her people anyway, so there was little danger of her running off. When she slowed down in her later years, she hardly ever even tangled that cable around every tree, chair, table leg, or ice chest any more.
And she loved the companionship of the other dogs that we camped with. Gracie, Gunner and Roscoe were her best friends. Although she was never much of a “dog park” gal, she liked other dogs in small doses and got along famously with those three camping veterans.
She may not have been a fan of piña coladas or getting caught in the rain, but long walks on the beach made us all happy. That girl ran with a speed and joy I’ve never known! But never far from Daddy. Running back toward him with a look of pure delight on her face gave us the giggles.
Zora was never into doggie games, but Gracie will chase a stick for hours. She wears out three or four people at a time. Zora was more of a herder. When Gracie started running, Zora tried to rein her in. It didn’t work.
Dogs can also be good hiking companions. Well, so I’ve been told. I’m not much of a hiker myself, so I wouldn’t know exactly. But I do love taking a dog for a “wog” (walk/jog). They offer companionship like no other. They listen without judging or interrupting. They run, walk, rest, whenever you want to. They are full of boundless energy so they encourage you not to rest too much. And they are full of boundless love.
We camp with Manya and Abby quite a bit. Abby is in love with her mama, her camper, and her adventures. (Photo caption: Mama, take me for a hike). She loves to cuddle up with us by the campfire or explore the campground and meet new friends. We also love to camp the Deas dogs, Sherman, Princess, Stewart, and Foxy Lady.
There is a local dog hike/camp event coming up. I want to attend, to see the joyful dogs and their people hiking and loving life and each other. For my part, I’ll be content with my memories. And camping, don’t forget I’ll be camping. And maybe someone will have a spare dog I can borrow and they can teach me to like hiking!
RVing with your pets
Make sure your pet wears their collar and has your telephone number on it. If your pet breaks free they may get lost easily. Unfortunately not all your fellow RVers are comfortable approaching a dog who’s unsupervised so we found a pet collar with a large embroidered phone number on it in large letters. People didn’t have to apprehend her to see our number.
Also, make sure to have copies of all your pet’s medical information with you. With today’s smart phones it’s really easy to create PDF versions of everything that’s critical and have it backed-up to the cloud. Need the latest rabies vaccine info? Easy when it’s in the cloud where you can simply show it to anyone who needs to see it right on your smart phone and you won’t have to go hunting for the latest paperwork.
Not all animals like traveling and the sounds in an RV, especially a motorhome, can scare some of them. Others are perfectly fine with them. It’s probably good to take Fido or Felix ‘round the bend a bit to see how they react to riding in your RV or even your tow vehicle before setting out on that cross-country journey only to find that your pet hates travel.
Have a “go” kit, perhaps in a container, that has food, toys, leashes, poop bags and other things you’ll need when your pet goes RVing with you. It’s much less stressful grabbing one tote full of everything you’ll need than trying to remember the dozen items that will make Fido’s journey a StressLess one.
Having water on hand is good for the person and for the pet and there are a lot of pet water bottle choices to fit your style and your pet’s needs.
Pets also make great hiking or trail seeking companions however there are a few things to take note of. For example, know that some predators may be attracted to pets, especially cats, so speak with the camp hosts or other people familiar with the surroundings before succumbing to Fido’s desire to sniff the whole forest.
Also, ticks that like the taste of you also like the taste of your pets so it’s good to give them a thorough once-over to make sure they haven’t attracted any stray riders. You should also be aware of the likelihood of snakes and other creatures of this sort.
Lastly, it’s not really cool to have a towed RV and leave your pets in there while you’re in the tow vehicle. While towing, your RV’s air conditioner won’t be working and they’re going to get hot in the summer. Plus riding in towed RVs is pretty miserable and unsettling for any living creature, so it’s good to have them up there in the tow vehicle with you. That way, if they get nervous, at least you’ll know before they start gnawing holes in the walls.