pet travel

Living the RV life gives you a lot of flexibility. You can go anywhere at any time and stay for as long as you want. While this is a great experience for us mere humans, what about our pets? It is great if you want to incorporate some amount of pet travel. But, if you do not plan carefully for your friendly canine or cuddly kitty, it might turn out to be a headache.

Perhaps you are thinking of hitting the open road, and you want to bring your best furry pal along for the adventures.

Have you thought about how they will respond to being cramped up in a vehicle for hours at a time?

Or, have you given any consideration as to sharing spaces will work out for you both?

While your best friend is not exactly too picky, they might cause some inconvenience to you.

You have to devise a plan whether you are prancing along the Pacific coast with your bare toes in the thrilling, chilly waters.

You also need a different kind of plan if you are going to trek through the mountain peaks. And yet again, even further strategies for having them, if you are taking a ten-mile backpacking trip to uncharted waterfalls, and other scenic explorations.

Pet Travel Is No Simple Task

Although pet travel is not unusual, it’s also not an easy task. In fact, traveling with a favorite animal, especially in small quarters such as an RV, means your travel could get messier and costlier.

Not to mention all the cleaning, which you will have to do. And the smaller space, too, which you’d have to share with each other.

Nonetheless, traveling with a pet is also guaranteed to bring more pleasure, more smiles, more adventures, and certainly more likes to those breathtaking Instagram pictures.

Just make sure that your dog is just as resilient, healthy, and happy to endure the journey as you.

Whether it is a weekend, week-long, or indefinite amount of time of RV traveling, having pets along for the ride is just as exciting as it is stressful. There will no doubt be moments of questioning your decision to bring your pooch or kitty in an RV.

But rest assured there are more positives than downsides to this.

Some Factors to Consider

If you are considering traveling with your pet, there are quite a few important factors to consider. For example, what is the temperature going to be like at the place you’re going? How long will you be driving for? Where will you be sleeping?

Make sure to weigh out these considerations before you make your decision.

Storing Pet Items

Think about where and how you are going to store your pet food, pet bowls, water and other gear needed to travel with your pet. Imagine taking your pet with you every single place you go because you cannot leave animals in unattended vehicles (in most cases).

Is the Area Pet-Friendly?

Another important consideration to be aware of is whether there are certain places or cities that are not dog-friendly. If you plan to trek through mountains and other types of dense forest, is there a chance of your pooch being attacked or getting hurt?

Do you have the type of dog that can fend of threats?

Also, if you are going out to explore, how will the animal fair being left in the RV, for any period of time?

Pet Health Care

That being said, it’s essential for your pet to have updated vaccines. Try to have them checked out by the vet before you start your journey.

Establishing a care plan for your pet in case of emergency or illness should also be a top priority.

Pet Travel 101

Let’s now explore how to make your dog(s) enjoy living on the road as much as their human counterparts. This can also be applied to some cats as well.

However, our focus will primarily be on canines.

It definitely takes a special kind of human or a special kind of pet to travel in a symbiotic nature. To see if your pet is suitable for the RV life, take them on shorter trips. You can get them used to a vehicle by taking them with you on errands. Then on shorter weekend getaways.

Pay attention as to whether they mind being in the car for more than five minutes.

Do they get anxious or have separation anxiety?

Are they good on a leash or around all other dogs?

Do they have any medical conditions that need to be addressed or that require any extra attention?

You have to consider these factors to make sure life on the road is way better for both you and your furry friend. Sure, it could be both stressful and challenging, but pet travel is totally doable.

Just think about all those fun memories you will be creating with your beloved pet.

Keep in mind that you have to be willing to do just about anything for your furry family member.

Do you think you’re willing to go that extra mile to pick up the poop yourself, with your bare hands, because you ran out of poop bags, and there is not one to be found on the RV?

You will also have to make sure that if you do have to end up leaving your pet in your van, that your pet can handle brief periods of separation.

Keep Your Pet Cool/Warm

Leaving a dog in a vehicle is absolutely not advised unless you are 100% sure it’s cool enough for them to be there. And, you are never leaving them for too long.

Still, leaving your pet alone in your vehicle is definitely not the best option.

Nevertheless, if such a need arises, then at least buy a battery or solar-operated fans and cooling devices to install inside your van. Utilize other cooling methods such as parking in the shade, cracking the windows, and buying blackout thermal curtains.

This similar logic goes the same way for keeping your canine pals nice and warm if the climate is cold. Implement whatever strategies you can to ensure that your pet is comfortable.

The weather factor is another huge consideration for pet travel, if not the most important.

If you are in colder climates and do not have a heat source, think of an alternative plan for your animal – like leaving them with family, friends or at an animal shelter.

If you are traveling for long periods of time, think of other options.

For example, you can hire dog sitters, dog walkers, or board your dog at a doggy hotel or boarding facility while you are away.

Get Your Dog Exposed to New Environment

Your dog is going to be seeing, meeting and greeting a lot of new places, faces and smells. Therefore, it is imperative to acclimate your pet as much as possible, before taking them on a long road trip.

A great method is to socialize your dog with other dogs.

Expose your pet to diverse surroundings and environments, until the time comes for you and your pal to hit the road finally.

If possible, let them smell, see and spend time in the RV or camper before you actually embark on your journey. Another good tip is to get your furry friend used to be off-leash.

Get them additional dog training if necessary.

Ready for Pet Travel? Lay the Ground Work and Full Speed Ahead

At the end of the day, the decision to take them on a road trip comes down to you and your pets. The journey can be rewarding, enjoyable and definitely memorable – for you and your pet.

The views you will reach and the pictures you will take will be infinitely more exciting with your pooch by your side.

If you think that your pet would be a solid candidate for pet travel, do all you can to create the best possible living conditions for them. That way, both of you will enjoy the open road.

After all, if your pet is not accustomed to traveling, you will most likely notice within a few days.

From there, either your pet will get used to it or you will be driven absolutely bonkers. So plan, prepare, then go off and explore!