Since you’ve ended up here, there’s a fair chance that you’re pretty new to the idea of RVing with your four-legged buddies. You’re not alone in those thoughts and wishes. Many people dream of taking their dogs along on camping trips but don’t know how to make it happen, just so everyone feels comfortable and safe (especially the furriest members of the gang).
Now, RVing with dogs isn’t as tough as a slightly overprotective owner might think it is. With the essential know-how, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying some wonderful natural sights accompanied by your doggie. Our pets enjoy the outdoors just as much as we do, and there’s no reason why should they be missing out on some fun outside the city gates.
Make sure you’re well-prepared for the adventure. Bring your own water supply, and all the other things (toys are a must) your doggie’s well-being depends on. While on the road, stop every hour or two just so your little buddy enjoys a stress-free trip. Once you arrive, help your dog adapt by paying close attention to its behavior among other things.
What other things? Continue reading to find out!
Table of Contents
Before you head for the wild (preparations)
What to bring along?
If you’re planning to go camping with your dog(s), know that your luggage/equipment list will a few additions. Alright, a few might be too weak of a word. Still, we don’t want to scare you or something, and packing for the trip won’t be much of an ordeal. Here’s what you’ll need to bring along:
- Gallons of water – some dogs get diarrhea from drinking water they’re not used to. Click here to check out how long will 40 gallons of water last in an RV.
- Leash and collar – as someone needs to tell you this one, right?
- Toys for your best buddy – since you’re probably bringing your favorite books or a set of cards, make sure your doggie has some fun, too.
- Bedding – ensure a good night’s sleep for your buddy. The need to have their spot inside your RV.
- Non-spill food bowl – avoid food spills over your vehicle’s floor. Click here to check some cool designs.
- Your dog’s medication – this doesn’t need an explanation.
- Pickup bags – there’s a chance some might be available on the campsite itself, but it’s better to be prepared for any scenario.
Additional tip: Consider obtaining a pet temperature monitor
We’ll try to be quick here. By bringing along a pet temperature monitor you’ll feel a bit safer camping with your doggie. Some experts note that our four-legged friends can suffer from a heart attack in less than 30 minutes if the temperature in the RV is too hot. Since you’ll probably leave your pet all by itself when you go on a hike someplace where dogs aren’t allowed or go to the grocery store, it’s good that you can have the opportunity to check on your dog(s) from a distance.
Do some research on the campsite you’re planning to visit
Of course, you’ve probably done some essential research and everything, but you’ll need to pay special attention to campsite rules concerning pets. Make sure your dog’s allowed on the site. Also, see if there are some other rules like whether or not you can unleash your dog on the campgrounds, or are there any cleanup stations close by. You can also check how far are the nearest vet stations and what is the quickest way to reach them if your doggie gets sick.
Let the dog get used to sleeping in the RV
Before you leave, you might want to stage a night on the campsite in your own backyard. It sounds a bit silly, but you’ll get to test out if your dog is comfortable inhabiting your RV. A few nights might bring some results. If you find that your dog feels a bit uneasy around or in the RV, maybe you’ll need to think twice about bringing it along on the trip.
There’s no need to push anything. If your buddy doesn’t seem like he’s up for it – find an alternative. For example, let the dog stay with some of your friends while you camp.
Hit the road! (on your way to the campsite)
Once you’ve carefully prepared yourself and your dog both physically and mentally, it’s time to hit the road! Hopefully, you don’t have a long drive ahead of yourself. If that’s not the case, don’t panic about whether or not your doggie will handle the trip. With some useful tips, you’re bound to have a safe and pleasant ride to the campsite.
First things first, make sure the safety levels in your vehicle are top-notch. You might’ve imagined a scenario where your little buddy sits on your lap while you’re taming the highway (sorry for the incidental bad poetry). To quote a movie mobster: Forget about it! Your dog needs to be buckled, too! Use a car harness to strap the dog to the backseat, or secure the dog crate in an immovable position.
Does anyone need to use the toilet?
Make sure you don’t ask this question, just act on it. If there’s a long journey ahead of you, don’t forget to stop every two hours or so, just so your little friend can stretch out and fulfill its physiological needs.
This should’ve probably gone in the begging, but never mind. In order for your dog to feel comfortable during the ride, it’s best you go on test rides around the town a couple of times before you leave for the campsite. A trip to the pet store or the park will do the trick – it’s important that the end destination is a place the god loves (for this or that reason).
Finally there! (what to do once you arrive at the campsite)
So, you’ve finally reached your destination – a pet-friendly campsite. Here’s what you can do to make your stay more pleasant and comfortable (both for you and your furry friend).
Provide your little buddy with regular exercise (like you’d do at home)
Some campgrounds have fenced-in dog parks, which can be a great place for your dog to exercise daily. If your camp doesn’t have a similar area, you can take your dog out for longs walks or jogs in your nearest surroundings. Make sure your four-legged buddy gets the same amount of exercise as it would at home.
Dogs (especially big breeds) easily get thirsty when temperatures are high, which is something you can expect during the peak of the camping season. Make sure your dog has access to fresh water non-stop. As we’ve mentioned earlier in the text, you might want to think about bringing your own water supply, if you don’t want to worry about whether or not your dog will get sick with diarrhea drinking water available at the campsite.
If you’re taking your dog out on a hike, make sure to bring lots of water. Also, make sure your buddy enjoys a well-balanced meal once you’re back at the camp.
Dogs vs. ticks
You’re probably familiar with the fact that the outdoors are full of gnarly ticks. It’s a rare occasion to come home after a camping trip and find out you don’t have any ticks attached to your body. These pests are known as the transmitters of Lyme disease.
On short hair breeds ticks are super easy to spot, while you’ll need to invest more time checking your long-haired buddy for these little buggers.
Pick up after your dog! (the leave-no-trace philosophy in practice)
Don’t forget this one! As we’ve already noted, bring a lot of pickup bags, just in case your campsite won’t provide you with any. Pet waste in one of the least interesting topics that come up when we’re talking about camping, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pick up after our four-legged friends. Many campsite have a serious issue with this.
Dog waste is a hazard which can harm animals that inhabit the camp’s surroundings. Not to mention the fact it’s also dangerous for humans, too.
Making sure your doggie gets a good night’s sleep
If your buddy is accustomed to sleeping outside, that’s alright. Still, you might wanna let your dog sleep in the RV with the whole gang, just so it doesn’t potentially encounter some wild animals at night. Of course, that depends on the nature you’ve chosen to surround yourself with. If the camp’s someplace where there’s no danger of wild animals roaming at night – it’s completely alright to let the man’s best friend sleep outside.
Home alone (canine edition)
If you’re planning to leave your dog in the RV while you do some activities that don’t involve bringing your dog along, make sure it feels comfortable. Play some soothing music and bring in its favorite toys. Your buddy will easily handle a couple of hours on its own. Still, if you don’t like this scenario, you might want to think about planning only dog-friendly adventures.
RVing with dogs (a conclusion)
There you have it, folks. These were some camping tips that will make your stay in nature more pleasant. Of course, that means your doggie will enjoy it, too. By using all the info we’ve given you in the text above, you’ll have no trouble RVing with dogs. For other useful RV tips, click here.