We may be a little biased, but here at Alpin Haus we feel that an RV road-trip is the definition of family fun. But what’s a family adventure without the entire family? Every year around 25 million people head out to America’s campgrounds, with an estimated 68% bringing the family pet along for the ride. Travelling with your pet can be fun and rewarding for everyone, as long as you plan accordingly. Follow these 5 tips for travelling with your pets and make some memories!
1. Get Your Pets ID and Vaccines up to Date
Are your dog’s tags damaged, unreadable or outdated? Now would be a good time to make sure that everything is in good order, just in case natural curiosity gets the best of her and lures her too far from your site. Whoever finds her will need your updated contact info, as well as proof of a rabies vaccination so that she gets back to you safe and sound. Rover.com has put together this helpful guide of best practices to help ensure that you get all the most important information printed on your pup’s ID.
While you’re at it, it’s not a bad idea to grab an extra collar and tag and store in your RV just in case!
2. Pack for Your Pooch
He drools, he loves naps, he’s totally dependent on you, and yes, much like your toddler, your pet is relying on you to pack his bags with items to keep him occupied for your trip. Be sure to grab a leash, plenty of toys, waste bags, food, and water. Bedding will also bring your creature comfort on the road, and not only because it’s a cozy spot to snooze. The familiarity and the scent of home on his bed will do wonders to ease any anxiety he may have about the trip. Take a look at this handy checklist before you start packing and you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything.
3. Please (Don’t) Feel Free to Move About the Cabin
Thousands of accidents are caused by distracted drivers every year and some of those can be attributed to our furry friends. A long road trip, and all of the motion and noise that goes along with one, can be a major source of anxiety for your pet, and she may try to seek relief with her most reliable source of comfort, you. Distracted driving, be it from texting or petting, is deadly, so keep your lapdog off of your lap and safely restrained while in motion for everyone’s safety. The American Kennel Club suggests having your pet ride in her kennel while you’re driving, and building in extra time for frequent stretch and potty stops along the way.
4. Pet Friendly Sites
With all the fresh air to sniff and grass to roll in, a campsite might be heaven for your best friend, but beware that not every park is pet friendly. Some of our nation’s parks are habitat to protected species, and if your pal gives in to some of his primal instincts and “interacts” with those species, you could be removed from the site and be handed a hefty fine. Be sure to research which campgrounds are happy to host your hairy companion, and what the rules are for his stay before you book your site. Some parks require full time leashing or crating, some ask that your pooch not plunge into the water, it’s all up to the individual park. GoPetFriendly has created a comprehensive list of state parks, campsites, beaches and more that welcome your pets, along with the rules for their stay.
5. In Case of Emergency
No one wants to think about the worst-case scenarios, but it’s responsible to plan for them. When you’re in your research and planning phase of your adventure, it’s good practice to look for the nearest hospitals and urgent care centers in close proximity to your site, not just for you but for your furry friend as well. Gather the address and phone numbers of the local vets and emergency clinics in the area and keep them somewhere easily accessible. You can use a site like VetLocator and simply input the zip code for a list of nearby vets. Hopefully you’ll never need to use them, but it’s always better to be prepared!
While it takes a bit of additional planning, bringing your pet along on your vacation will be worth the effort. Now that you know how to plan for an RV trip with your pet, the only thing left to do is to have fun!