Dog lovers are a unique breed (see what we did there?). We like to do EVERYTHING with our pooches by our side. That means when we travel, we don’t want to leave home without Fido. But if you’re hitting the open road in your RV this summer, you’ll want to consider a few things when traveling with man’s best friend.
Here are 5 tips to follow when your dog is along for the ride:
- Schedule a Check-Up
Before you leave, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to update your dog on vaccinations and check for any potential issues. Is your dog a nervous traveler? You can also ask for ways to help your dog relax if he gets nervous in the RV. If Fido tends to get motion sick, ask your vet for ways to alleviate that so you’re not left with a mess to clean up (not to mention a sick pup).
- Pack a Travel Kit
Pack a special kit for your dog to ensure he has everything he needs while you’re away from home. Make it a point to pack a pillow or his favorite toy, to give him a feeling of comfort and familiarity in a new setting. You’ll also need to bring food, bottled water, a leash, and a bowl that he can drink or eat out of for each meal. You may also want to bring a ball that you can throw back and forth at rest stops for extra exercise when you take a break from spending time aboard the RV. Having the dog’s medical records on hand is also a great idea if an emergency occurs and you need to visit a vet.
- Use a USDA-approved Shipping Crate
The crate you use on your trip will determine the level of comfort and flexibility that your dog has while you’re on the go. Find a crate that allows the dog to stand, sit, or turn around with bedding suited to absorb any accidents. Avoid locking the crate, so it’s easy to open in the event of an emergency.
If your dog hasn’t spent much time in the car, practice going on short drives while putting him in his crate to help him become more comfortable with the motion. The crate shouldn’t slide or shift while the car is in motion.
You can also make your pet feel more comfortable by locking them into a seat belt (with a special harness) and allowing them to put their head out of the window for a bit of fresh air. They’ll have an easier time relaxing if they can enjoy the views and have a bit of distraction.
- Don’t Leave the Dog in the RV
Avoid leaving your dog alone in the RV if you visit a museum or take a tour. Your RV can get extremely hot during the summer months and can cause the animal to suffer from heat stroke. The same is true for winter… freezing temperatures can be miserable, not to mention dangerous for Scruffy.
- Update Your ID Tags & Your Dog’s Chip
Make sure your dog’s ID tag is up to date and attached to his collar. If he were to run away or get lost while you’re traveling (or even at home), it’s your best bet at being reunited.
Is your dog microchipped? If your pup gets picked up by local animal control, one of the first things they do is scan for a chip. Make sure your chip information is up to date so you can be contacted immediately. Also, consider putting a photo of Fido in your wallet to have on hand if you need to search for the dog.
Because dogs bring so much joy, it’s always nice to bring them with you on your RV trip. Just remember these 5 things to make your trip as enjoyable as possible. Oh, and if Fido is expecting any mail while you’re gone, make sure to use a mail forwarding service like Forward Nevada to ensure that his letters from Max, Charlie & Buddy make it to him on time (c’mon, you knew we had to say that!).