Keeping Pets Happy and Healthy on the Road
For many of us they are not just “pets”; they are a part of our family. When traveling (especially in an RV), it is often a no-brainer to bring your furry family member along for the ride. However, just like when you brought them home for the first time, your pet needs time to adjust to new surroundings. The smaller space and noises that come with the territory of RVing can be distressing to some pets. We’ve compiled a list of the most helpful tips to make sure your furry friend enjoys the journey just as much as you do.
- Get your pet acquainted with the RV a few days before leaving.
- Take them inside and let them explore the space on their own.
- Have your dog bowls, litter box or other pet equipment set up as it will be on the road so they can get familiar with where those things will be.
- If you have the chance, take them on a quick test drive to introduce them to the motion and sounds of an RV.
- Plan for plenty of stops for your pet when traveling. Make sure you have a pet pen to set up so that each time you make a pit stop, your pet can get outside, get some fresh air and exercise. If you have more time, have a leash ready to go for short walks and bathroom breaks.
- Bring your pet’s favorite items from home such as treats, toys, beds and blankets. The familiar items and scents will help them better adjust to life on the road.
- Make sure your pet is up-to-date with vaccinations before departing. They will be in areas that could expose them to new illnesses and viruses. Talk to your vet before leaving about what additional preventative measures you can take.
- When planning a trip, make sure to book at a pet-friendly campground. There are plenty of online resources (like this one) to aid in your search.
- Be mindful of the weather, especially in extreme climates like the dessert. Your dog or cat can get overheated quickly, so watch them closely and find ways to help keep them cool and hydrated.
- Consider finding the closest pet care facility to your campground in case of health emergencies, and make sure they have a proper ID tag attached to their collar in case they wander off.
- Try to keep your routines as normal as possible for your pets (mealtimes; time they get into their crates or beds for sleeping, etc.) Pets are creatures of habit and will adapt to a new space quicker if simple schedules are kept the same.
The above tips are some tried and true methods of keeping your pet happy and healthy along the way, but they are certainly not the only approaches RVers have come up with to help pets adjust. Each pet has a different personality, and with these tips, you and Spot will enjoy life on the road in no time.