Plan ahead when traveling with pets for a more enjoyable experience on the road.
Why check Snoopy into doggy daycare when he could be on the road, enjoying the same sights and sounds (and smells!) as the rest of the family? Dogs love camping as much as we do, and many campgrounds love dogs! We’ve been traveling with our Beagle for about 5 years now. It wasn’t easy in the beginning, but now I can’t imagine not taking her with us! There are just a few things to know before you set off with man’s best friend.
1. Start with a visit to your vet: This is a good idea to ensure Snoopy is current on all his vaccinations and is free of any major health concerns that could interfere with your travels. Also, make sure your pup is licensed with proper ID tags just in case he catches a scent and takes off. Make sure to bring along proof of your pet’s vaccinations, and do your homework before you set out by making a list of vets nearby your destination in case of emergency.
2. Pack properly: Just like you and I, Snoopy will appreciate his own bedding and entertainment on the road. Pack his dishes, normal food, favorite treats & toys. Don’t forget extra walking leashes and a good tie out so he’ll be able to safely explore on his own without worry of poison ivy, wild animal encounters, or unwanted mingling with neighboring campers. You may also consider bringing a crate or pet porter if your dog is accustomed to traveling or sleeping in one.
3. Keep it clean: There are a million and one uses for plastic grocery bags. Make sure to have an ample supply of plastic bags in your RV so you can clean up after Snoopy’s bathroom breaks. You may also consider bringing along a small hand-held or even full size vacuum, and disposable mop such as a Swiffer, depending your RV size, to help keep extra hair and muddy tracks to a minimum. An extra bottle of doggy shampoo and old rags wouldn’t hurt, either.
4. Stay safe: You’ll likely encounter a lot of interesting scents that will encourage Snoopy to wander off. Always keep your dog leashed for his and others’ safety. If you have smaller dogs, a folding pet pen is a simple way to keep your pets safe outdoors. Be aware that there is increased risk for exposure to ticks and fleas, and other diseases carried by wildlife. Make sure Snoopy has a good flea/tick preventative and carry along an extra bottle of spray just in case.
5. Choose the right campground: Not all campgrounds are created equal when it comes to “Pets Welcome.” When you find a truly dog-friendly campground, you’ll know it. We encourage you to stick to places with simple, easy-to-follow policies, and be sure to call in advance to have any unknowns answered before you arrive. If possible, do your research before you arrive by reading reviews online, and shy away from campgrounds with excessive demands, unrealistic rules, and hefty fees. And, always be sure to ask other campers there about their favorite dog-friendly campgrounds.
If you’ve got any tips for RVing with your dog, I’d love to hear from you! Send me an email at [email protected]