The greatest benefit of pet-friendly RV rentals is that you get to, well, travel with your pet. There are few things greater than getting to take your furry friend on the road with you.
But it’s not all candy and roses. There are some real challenges when it comes to RVing with animals. But by taking the right precautions, you can make your trip one worth remembering.
Wondering what precautions you need to take? Then read on. Here are 10 helpful tips for traveling with your pet.
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1. Have the Right Equipment Handy
Before you depart on your trip, there are a number of pieces of equipment that you’ll want to have with you. Think of these collectively as your pet’s travel kit. They include things like water, a collapsible water dish, your pet’s food, a blanket, a few toys, and, of course, a few first aid items.
Your pet will need to eat and drink while on the road. He or she will undoubtedly grow bored at some point. And there’s always the risk of injury or illness occurring, especially if your pet isn’t used to traveling.
Having the above-reviewed equipment on hand ensures that you’re always ready to serve your pet’s needs. You’ll never have to scramble to make your pet comfortable.
2. Make Sure Your Pet Can Be Identified
Though you hope that it never happens, there’s always a risk of your pet getting loose and running away. If this happens while you’re on the road, you’re going to have an exceedingly difficult time getting him or her back.
This is why, before you go on your trip, you need to make sure that your pet can be identified. Not only should your pet be equipped with ID tags labeled with your phone number, name, and address, but he or she should also be microchipped.
Microchipping offers permanent identification information. So, even if your pet’s ID tags were to fall off, he or she could still be identified.
3. Have Your Pet’s Medical History On Hand
You never know when your pet might encounter a medical emergency. It could be right in the middle of your trip. As such, before you depart, you need to make sure that you have a copy of his or her medical history in your possession.
Note, some states require pets to travel with their medical history, as it indicates whether or not those pets have been properly vaccinated. It can also help veterinarians to better facilitate care.
4. Stop Regularly
If it’s your dog you’re traveling with, you’re going to want to stop regularly. Dogs aren’t good at sitting in one place and will need to let out some energy every few hours. A stop at a highway exit gives a dog the chance to stretch his or her legs and take in some fresh air.
Note, some animals get nervous when they’re traveling. This can cause them to involuntarily have to pee or poop. As such, they end up needing restroom breaks much more than they typically do.
In the end, you can’t treat your dog like you would another human. You have to make exceptions and understand that, for a dog, regular breaks are a necessity. Without them, your dog will become scared, uncomfortable, and restless.
5. Make Sure You’re Going to Pet-friendly Areas
Not all areas are friendly to pets. Whether it’s a highway rest stop, a campground, or otherwise, it could have restrictions on different types of animals.
You don’t want to be the person who’s bringing your pet to restricted areas. You don’t want to put your pet in a position where others might be hostile to his or her existence.
For this reason, before departing, you need to scout out some pet-friendly areas. Once you’ve scouted these areas out, you should work them into your itinerary. Yes, your schedule will be fairly strict, but that’s a small price to pay for the comfort and wellbeing of your furry friend.
6. Fasten Your Pet In
When traveling in an RV, human beings should be wearing seatbelts. After all, you never know when you might get into an accident. A seatbelt can hold you in place, preventing you from being thrown long distances and suffering serious injury.
The same goes for pets. They too can become injured in RV accidents. For this reason, you’re advised to fasten them in the same way you would a human being.
There are a number of ways to fasten a dog into an RV. You can invest in a dog seat belt and connect it to one of the RV’s existing seatbelts. You can put your dog in a crate and fasten it to a seatbelt. There are many different possibilities to pursue, so pursue one and run with it.
7. Refrain from Giving Your Pet Treats While on the Road
Many pets suffer from motion sickness. As such, RV rides can make them feel a little nauseous, especially at the beginning of the ride.
You don’t want to do anything to promote further nausea, so you need to refrain from giving your pet treats while on the road. Giving your pet a treat while on the road is like asking for him or her to have an accident in the RV.
When it’s time for your pet to eat, stop the RV, let your pet out to relax for a bit, and then feed him or her from a bowl. This can be done at a rest stop, at a campground, or any other place where your pet has space to stretch his or her legs.
After your pet has finished eating, wait around 30 minutes before getting back on the road. Your pet will need some time for the food to settle before being exposed to motion once again.
8. Keep It Cool in the RV
When you hit the road, you might notice that your dog starts panting. This is because vehicles are poorly ventilated, and cause your dog to feel hot. They pant as a means of trying to inhale cool air.
So, what’s the solution? Give it to them – the cool air that is. Make sure your RV is cool for the duration of the trip, as it will help your dog to remain comfortable throughout.
You might even consider bundling up yourself so that you can make it as cool as your dog really needs it to be. We recommend prioritizing the dog’s comfort over your own, at least on the first few trips. You’ve traveled in an RV before, but your dog’s doing it for the first time.
9. Keep Radio Sound to a Minimum
You probably already know this, but animals have more sensitive ears than human beings. What sounds like nothing to you can sound like torture to them.
For this reason, when on the road with your pet, you’re advised to keep the radio sound to a minimum. Make it no louder than the sound of a normal speaking tone, and try to stay away from aggressive music entirely. Note, high-pitched noises can cause great discomfort as well.
If you can, situate your pet far away from speakers. Many RVs enable you to turn off certain speakers while leaving others on. Doing this would be a great idea.
10. Keep the Windows Closed
It can be a lot of fun for a dog to hang his or her head out of a moving vehicle. And, in certain situations, this can be facilitated fairly safely. But where it can’t be safely facilitated is in an RV cruising down the highway at 70 plus miles per hour.
So, when traveling with your dog in your RV, you need to keep the windows closed. The last thing you want is for your furry friend to fall out of a fast-moving vehicle onto extremely hard pavement.
Dogs have fallen out of vehicles before and they will continue to fall out of vehicles in the future. But you shouldn’t let your dog be one of those dogs.
There will be plenty of time for outdoor play once you’ve arrived at your destination. If your dog gets injured prior to this, there won’t be any outdoor play at all.
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