RVing WITH PETS is common...
DO NOT LEAVE a family member BEHIND!

Many RVers are RVing with pets mostly dogs and cats. Some may bring a bird with them but it is less frequent. Let's look at some precautions to take, to be happy travelers and guarantee their safety.

Traveling with a bird aboard the RV is obviously not a problem unless you want to cross the border. The regulations to bring an exotic bird like a parrot to another country may make it more difficult. It is not the subject of my discussion here since each case is unique.

I am going to concentrate on dogs and cats since they are more common traveling companions on the road.

There are some measures to take while RVing with pets so they are happy travelers. At the same time, this will guarantee their safety.

Let's have a look!

1) First, when RVing with pets, you have to identify your animal properly.

You need the right collar with a proper identification tag. On the tag, write the dog's or cat's name and a phone number (a cell number for example, not the phone number of the previous house you sold to go RVing).

A local address (friend's) and/or even an e-mail are good ideas. An ear tattoo with coordinates is another suggestion.

Some people also decide to bring their animal to the vet to get a microchip ID implant, in case the pet looses its collar.

2) When you are RVing with pets, you need to be aware of the hazards (poisonous plants, wildlife) of the environment you are in.

For example, If you are in bear or snake country, keep your dog on a leash when walking. In the 'boonies', do not leave your animal outside tied up unattended or a food bowl that can attract wild predators.

Do not tie up an animal with a chain or cable to have your pet receive an electric shock during lightning.

Be aware as well that leaving your animals inside while you are gone having the RV in full sun, may have them suffer overheat. Make sure there is some kind of ventilation inside. Always have fresh water available for your dog or cat.

3) If your animal is alone while you are gone on an excursion, ideally tell a campground neighbor. At least as a precaution, have an info card in your vehicle you are driving and one on you as well, mentioning that a pet is left behind with the campground address, phone number etc...

If something (hopefully not) happens to you while you are away, the animal has a better chance to be rescued.

Information about medication or food that the animal has to take can be left inside the RV just in case. A pet sitter is always a good idea if you can find one. Obviously, it is a necessity if you leave overnight.

4) While you are RVing with pets, you need a way to contain your animal in a new environment.

Portable wire pens or crates are very functional. You also have wired pens that can be hanged outside an RV window for cats to take some fresh air in total security.

When a pet travel with you, putting your pet on a leash or at least under control when outside is compulsory. While driving, cats and dogs should be put in a carrier or restrained with a harness in case of an accident.

5) Keep in mind that a recent digital photo of your animal can save a lot of time in case it gets lost. An "Animal lost" poster can be prepared in advance for publication.

6) Always have a first aid kit at hand for emergencies.

7) Have available if needed all the veterinarian records about your animal with medication and certification info.

Note that the rabies certificate is required when crossing the border and also needed at some campgrounds.

8) Knowing where is the nearest 24 hr. veterinarian hospital around your location is always a good idea in case of emergency.

9) If you have to feed your animal before the pet travel, give less than normal so there is less chance of an upset stomach.

Since everything is in place now to guarantee the safety of your animal when RVing with pets, you just need to have with you and I am sure you do, all the equipment for its comfort : leashes, collars, bed mattress, grooming tools, treats, toys, kennels and pens etc...

Also, it is very important to make sure that your animal is well behaved at the campground. A barking dog is not very well appreciated by neighbors.

Your dog may bark all afternoon when left alone in the RV and you don't know it.


Some may have limitations on the size of a dog. A big dog can limit you.

Finally, make sure you clean up after your animals. Nobody wants to step in animal's poop. Carrying with you small plastic bags is a must.

For dog friendly campsites (USA only) check: RVing with Dogs

To find individuals trained and insured to keep your four-leg friend in their homes if you have to go for a longer time due to an emergency or a small trip, have a look at this site (USA only): Fetch Pet Care


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