RVing 101| Tips For RVing & Camping With Pets

One of the best things about RVing is that you can take your pets with you if you want.

Your pet can be just as comfortable in your camper or motorhome as you are, and with a few pointers your pet will be adjusting to the RV life in no time.  Anytime you introduce your dog to a new situation, it can cause them a bit of stress and anxiety. If at all possible, start bringing your dog with you on camping trips while it’s still a puppy.

toy haulerOne of the best things about RVing is that you can take your pets with you if you want.

Your pet can be just as comfortable in your camper or motorhome as you are, and with a few pointers your pet will be adjusting to the RV life in no time.

Quick disclaimer: For the most part, when people bring their pets with them on a camping trip, they bring their dog. So, for this post, we will be discussing camping with your dog. If you camp with your cat, gerbil, bird, or pot-bellied pig named Mr. Truffles, this post will offer little value.

Anytime you introduce your dog to a new situation, it can cause them a bit of stress and anxiety. If at all possible, start bringing your dog with you on camping trips while it’s still a puppy. This will help them become acclimated to camping right away. If not, that’s fine. Either as a puppy or later in their life, you will have to calm your dog the first several times you bring it camping with you. Reassure them often in soothing tones to set them at ease. To help them feel comfortable, bring items familiar to your pet with you when camping such as a chew toy or blanket. We bring our dog’s pet bed with us.

During this “breaking-in” period you must also set ground rules with your dog. They need to know it rv dealeris not permissible to do certain things, like charging menacingly at people innocently walking around the campground. The key to this, as with any training, is to be consistent. You must correct your dog’s behavior every time it’s necessary, otherwise it won’t learn what is acceptable and what is not.

Here are some more tips when camping with your pets:

  1. The items your dog will need should be included on your camping checklist: food, dishes, leashes, treats, toys, brush, medications, etc.
  2. Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date and it’s been treated for fleas and ticks. It’s not a bad idea to carry the vaccination record of this with you as it may be required at check-in. And, during check-in, ask whether there’s a designated spot for dogs to do their duty.
  3. Some campgrounds don’t allow dogs, some have breed restrictions and others will charge a fee, so it’s best to call ahead.
  4. Make sure your dog’s tags are current, and that they are wearing them on their collar.
  5. Pick up after your dog — every time, all the time. And then properly dispose of the waste (i.e. don’t throw it in the campfire ring, chuck it into the bushes or toss it into the campsite next to you).
  6. It is universally recommended that you never leave your dog unattended, but the fact of the matter is many people will leave their dog in their camper for an hour or more. If you are going to leave your dog alone in the RV for a few hours, make sure they have plenty of water, food, and proper ventilation or air conditioning.

Finally, understand that campground management is within its right to ask you to leave if there are enough complaints about your pet and you’re unable or unwilling to curb the troublesome behavior.

The DNR has issued some Camper Courtesy open range rvsguidelines for those camping with pets:

  1. Never leave your pet unattended.
  2. Always keep your pet on a leash, which must not exceed six feet in length.
  3. Don’t take your pet to the beach.
  4. Don’t leave your pet unattended in a vehicle or camper.
  5. Wrap your dog’s droppings in a newspaper and discard it in a trash bin.
  6. If you walk your dog, do it in an isolated area of the park.
  7. Don’t allow your pet to run loose at any time.
  8. Don’t allow your pet to be noisy. Barking dogs are a source of many complaints.
  9. For your protection, make sure your pet has rabies shots.
  10. Don’t tie your pet outside unless you are with the pet and can control it.

Follow these guidelines and we’ll all be happy campers.

See you next week when we talk about How to Survive a Group RV Camping trip.

Rick Kessler
(Gr8LakesCamper)

Gr8LakesCamper celebrates the world of RV Camping in the Great Lakes region. Gather around the campfire and share tips, ideas and stories on RVing, camping and travel destinations. Follow Gr8LakesCamper on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and the Gr8LakesCamper blog.

 

 

 

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