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If you own an RV, there is a very good chance that you also have at least one dog. In fact, according to RVIA, more than 65% of all RV owners also have pets. Of that 65%, more than 90% are dog owners. Our dogs are a very important part of our lives and our family. I’m sure yours are too. Whether you raise your canine companions from the puppy stage, or rescue them from a local shelter, dogs bring a certain joy to everyday life.
Of course, it doesn’t end there. RV camping with dogs make up some of the best times you can have enjoying the outdoors and making memories. If you are new RV owner, or a new dog owner for that matter, bringing your furry friend with you might seem like a bit of a daunting task. There are several questions you might have like, “Do RV campgrounds allow dogs?”, or “What breed of dogs are not allowed?”. Don’t worry, we got you covered. In this post we are going to cover those questions and so much more. So, let’s get to it, shall we?
Find A Pet Friendly Campground
For over 20 years, Kellie and I have been camping and RVing with our dogs. So far, we have yet to find a campground or RV park that wouldn’t allow pets. Some National Parks may not allow dogs at all while some will require your pet to be on a leash.
Most RV parks and campgrounds not only allow pets, but it is often encouraged. With that said, almost all campgrounds will have rules that you will have to follow when RV camping with a dog. The most common of these rules require your pet to be on a leash at all times when outside of your RV. This is for the safety of your pooch as well as the safety of other campers in the park. Some other common rules you might encounter are:
- Never leave your pet unattended
- No excessive barking or aggressive behavior
- Clean up after your pet
A good rule of thumb is to always check with the front office for any park specific rules regarding pets. Some RV parks and campgrounds may have breed restrictions as well. The most common of these breeds include Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Chows, and Rottweilers. Always check with the park when making your reservations to make sure your pup is welcome.
Prepare For The Ride
If you have a drivable RV, like a Class A, Class C, or campervan, make sure your pet has a comfortable place to ride. Provide them with a designated space with a comfy bed and maybe a squeaky toy or two. Get your furry friend familiar with your rig beforehand. If you can, park your RV at your house a few days prior to your camping trip and let your dog do some exploring of the rig before you hit the road.
On the other hand, if you have a towable camper, be sure to leave them plenty of space in the backseat to get comfy. Riding in a vehicle, especially for puppies, can be stressful for them. Making the ride as comfortable as possible will help ease some of that stress.
If you are concerned with motion sickness, talk with your vet about anti-nausea medication to prevent any unwanted messes along the way.
When traveling long distances, be sure to incorporate potty breaks and some stretching not only for you, but your pet as well.
Packing For Your Trip
One of the single most important parts of RV camping with a dog is being prepared. While you are in the planning stages of your next trip, make sure you put your pooch in those plans. Make sure they up to date on all shots and keep a record of them. Kellie and I had our vet email our records, so we have them on our phone in case some RV campgrounds want to see their records.
When getting everything packed for your adventure, make sure you pack everything you need for your dog. Kellie and I have a small dog bag that we use to pack everything for our dogs. Our dog, House, has canine diabetes, so making sure we pack his insulin, blood glucose kit, and specialty food is essential. With that in mind, make sure you pack all medications your pet might be taking. RVing with a diabetic dog can be challenging, but it’s well worth it.
Along with pet food and medications, make sure you pack a set of collapsible food and water bowls. These are particularly handy when stopping for those potty breaks. For more information about pampering your pooch while RV camping, check out our recent post, RV Camping Gear For Dogs.
Know Your Pet
We have found that the RVing community includes several very friendly people. We have met folks years ago that we still communicate with today. These people are very welcoming and are always willing to help. You will find that they will often stop by your RV site or campground to say hello.
Pets can be territorial so make sure you know how your dog will react when a stranger stops by to welcome you and be prepared for this scenario. Keep in mind that many of your fellow RVers will be walking their pets as well. RV camping with your dog is a great way to spend some time away from home and taking certain precautions will ensure you and everyone around you has a great time.
Find A Local Vet
Accidents and illness can happen at any time, and you want to be prepared in case they do. What do you do if something terrible happens to your four-legged friend while away on an RV camping trip? Search for vets close to your destination in case the unthinkable happens. Your vet at home might even be able to refer a vet close to where you will be RV camping with your dog.
Be A Good Neighbor
One of the most important parts of RV camping with dogs is being a good neighbor. Try to keep your pup’s barking to a minimum and don’t let the wander into someone else’s site. You never know if your RVing neighbors have allergies to dogs or if they even like dogs. Always keep fellow campers in mind and make sure you pick up after your pooch every time he goes to the potty. One of the quickest ways to make unhappy campers at a campground is to leave a fresh pile of business there for someone else to step in.
Conclusion On RV Camping With Dogs
Dogs bring a certain happiness and joy to those who have them. They are some of the most compassionate animals on the planet and most of them have their own unique personalities. Taking your dog RV camping with you will certainly fill your trip with something others might be missing. Being prepared and, of course, being a good camping neighbor will make your RV camping trip one for the books.
Do you go RV camping with your dogs? Do you have any suggestions that I might have missed? If so, leave us a comment below and let us know.
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