How to Care for Rover When RVing
GoRVing.com (with Special Permission)
If you want to take your dog with you when RVing, it's important to keep him as safe, happy and healthy during vacations as you do at when you and he are at home.
This is no small task, so before you make the decision to travel with him, make sure you are willing to do whatever is necessary to give him the care he deserves to have.
Remember that although he will enjoy the excitement of doing something new and different, he also will not understand exactly what is going on, so there may be times when he becomes frightened and confused.
Thus, it is up to you to make sure that he is happy and comfortable at all times.
Important Care and Protection Tips
Here are some basic tips that, while a bit of work, will help your dog to feel secure and stay healthy while your family is traveling.
- Never leave your dog in a coach that does not have good ventilation.
- Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise.
- If you plan to be gone for long periods of time, give someone you trust a key to your coach and ask them to check on him a few times during the day.
- Always make sure you vaccinate your animal before you leave home, and carry the certificates of proof with you when you go.
- Clear all counters before you start moving so that items cannot fall on your pet and injure him.
- Use a travel crate to house your dog when you are away and/or when you are traveling from one spot to another to keep him safe and also to protect your living quarters.
- Carry a special first aid kit with you designed specifically for your dog that includes all of his flea, tick, heart worm and other medications.
- Check daily for signs of travel stress such as refusal to eat or lack of energy. If you see them, it is time to stop and rest for a day or two before moving on.
- Keep information on your pets that identify them and give people ways of contacting you if your dog gets lost.
Below you will find other information that will help as well.
Make His Comfort a Priority
Leaving an animal alone in a strange place for hours at a time while you go out to see the sights is frightening to him and may even prove dangerous. It's something a pet owner should never do while vacationing.
You wouldn't like to be left alone in a strange place and "not knowing", and neither will he. Furthermore, he can't know for sure when you'll return or even if you will.
Your dog is more secure at home because he knows your living patterns, but this is a totally different situation for him. The surroundings, smells and sounds are not the same as they are at home, and this can be scary for a dog.
Animals who become frightened have been known to injure themselves and damage RVs, so it is to your best interest to make sure your pet feels secure.
One way to protect him is to keep a pet gate on board that limits his access to certain areas of your unit. I have used the one I show below for years and have found it to be one of the best ways to keep my dog safe as well as control him. This one is light weight, folds easily, fits most RV door openings and stores well, and yet does a great job.
(CLICK LINK TO BUY)
If you must go out,
- do it only for short periods of time,
- keep toys available for him to play with,
- leave him plenty of food and water and
- put on some soft, soothing music.
Remember, too, that your dog can only hold his bodily fluids for so long. He will do what he can, but being forced to hold back for too long a time is not good for his health.
If he does have an accident, never scold him for doing so because it will be your fault, not his. To avoid having this problem, always walk him before you leave and again right after you return.
Provide Good Nutrition
Good nutrition is actually more important for a dog when it is traveling than when it is at home because of the energy he exerts due to excitement and stress.
For this reason you should maintain his normal feeding schedule and
carry enough of the food and treats he is used to eating so that you don't have to supplement his diet with scraps.
You should also keep plenty of water available, especially if you are traveling or camping in hot climates.
Don't Let Your Dog Run Free
There is always a temptation to let dogs roam freely, but this is never a good idea because they
- can get lost,
- create problems with other campers or their pets or
- harm themselves.
I lost a beloved dog who was browsing innocently near my RV, ate some saw grass and died due to the fact that it cut holes in her lungs. It was an extremely traumatic experience that I have never forgotten, and I would not want any other person or their pet have to suffer as we all did when that happened.
This is why I advise you to leash or otherwise control your dog when during travel.
Like humans, animals crave love and attention.
It's important to their well being that you hold, pet, talk to and play with them, rather than just having them "be there" for your own comfort.
Doing these things is fun and will be good for both of you!
Tend to Your Pet's Health
Sometimes pets get sick while traveling.
Problems can be anything from bee stings to ingesting foreign objects that damage intestines and require surgery, so it is a good idea to carry your vet’s phone number as well as your pet's medications, preferred foods and medical history with you.
You can buy dog tags that you engrave with important information to attach to his collar so that if he gets lost, whoever finds him can bring him back to you or get him to a vet if necessary.
(CLICK LINK TO BUY)
This way, if something serious does happen, the new vet can have an immediate overview that will help him to diagnose and treat your little friend.
If your dog gets sick, stop and camp for a few days to give him time to recover and/or stop often while traveling to allow him to rest a bit. It's hard to get well when you're in a moving vehicle!
You should always carry paper towels, plastic bags, latex gloves and some Pine Sol just in case your dog throws up so you can clean the mess up quickly.
It pays to be prepared!
Special Place for
We all like to have our special "spots", and dogs are no different.
Carry a comfy doggy bed that he can use as needed that he will learn to use instead of your furniture to stay warm and comfortable.
Put his toys, food and water close to the bed so that he knows he's got his own, safe little corner of the world.
To you this may not seem important, but to him, it will mean everything!
Happy, Healthy Dogs Make Great Traveling Companions
RVing with dogs can be a great deal of fun, but doing so requires a fair amount of sacrifice and hard work.
For this reason, you need to make sure that you are willing to do all that is necessary to keep him safe, comfortable and happy and provide for his needs while you're on the road.
If you provide the care your dog needs, you'll find that both you and your buddy will have great and memorable times together.
TIPS FOR RVING WITH DOGS