Camping with pets can be a lot of fun. But even though you love your furry little friend, there’s no guarantee that everyone else will enjoy their presence. If your pet is loud, messy, and disruptive, you might be asked to leave (or even pay a fine). These essential dos and don’ts can ensure that you and your pet will have a safe, enjoyable RV trip.
Traveling With Cats, Dogs, or Both? Here’s What You Should (And Shouldn’t) Do At The Campground
The vast majority of RV pets are dogs, so they will be the key focus here. But most of this advice can apply to cats and other RVing pets.
Do keep your pet leashed in the campground
A leash is your best friend while you’re camping. Many pets may be well-behaved enough to go off-leash, but you never know what might happen if another dog or a wild animal shows up. Even if your pet can be trusted, you should still keep them on a leash just to stay on the safe side.
Do take advantage of nearby dog parks
One of the nice parts about traveling is that you can explore new areas and find interesting ways to fill your time. The same thing is true for your pets! Although you might not have access to dog parks at home, your travels may take you within reach of great opportunities like pet-friendly beaches. Many modern RV parks even come with dog parks on the premises.
Do create a safe space for your pet
Traveling with pets can be stressful for both of you. Pets need their own personal space too. Creating a private area where they can sleep or relax will help reduce stress and destructive tendencies. Try to create a pet-friendly place in your RV where you can store a kennel and some other necessities.
Do look for pet-friendly RV destinations
Plenty of people like to go camping with pets nowadays. To accommodate this, the vast majority of campgrounds and RV parks allow pets. However, it’s still not a guarantee. Some places still have restrictions or pet bans. Use your RV LIFE Trip Wizard subscription to research pet-friendly RV parks and their related policies..
Do limit barking as much as possible
Most dogs are going to bark. As a pet owner, you’re probably used to this by now. But your fellow campers might get annoyed by the sound. Do everything possible to keep your pet calm and quiet. Give them treats and enrichment toys to keep them busy.
Do check in with your veterinarian before traveling
When you travel, you’ll come into contact with all sorts of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, as well as other people and animals. Make sure your pets are up to date on their vaccinations.
Do use pet microchips and trackers
RVing and camping with pets can be risky. You never know when your pet might make a break for it or get lost. Make sure your pet is microchipped. Consider giving them a tracking collar as well.
Do bring enough pet supplies
RVing pets need camping gear, just like anyone else. In addition to their standard food, water, and toys, consider bringing the following equipment:
- Pet first aid kit
- Water filter
- Long leash and tether
- Backpack carrier for smaller pets
- Crate, if your dog is crate-trained
Do keep your pet busy
A tired dog is a happy dog. Yours will be more relaxed and happy if they get a decent amount of exercise and playtime. Engage their mind and body as much as possible on your trip. Go on walks and hikes, play with them, and give your pet enriching toys that will help them expend their energy.
Do check for ticks, burrs, and other cling-ons
Finally, remember that your pet can track in a variety of unwanted things. Before you let them back into your RV, take a moment to check them for ticks. They may also be carrying burrs, thorns, and other prickly plants. If possible, give them a thorough brushing before bringing them back inside.
What Not to Do with RVing Pets
Now let’s take a look at camping dog dangers, and what bad pet manners in campgrounds looks like.
Do NOT ignore campground restrictions on pet breed, size, number, etc.
Even though many campgrounds allow pets to visit, they may still have rules and restrictions. For instance, some parks only allow you to bring one pet, while others limit access based on the dog’s breed and size. Campgrounds have the right to enforce these rules, so make sure you follow them to avoid any issues.
Do NOT leave poop on the ground (bagged or not)
Not picking up after your pet will annoy fellow campers and campground management. Always clean up after your pet, whether you’re at the campground, beach, or in the forest.
Do NOT let your pet disturb the nearby wildlife
Pets can be tempted by the surrounding wildlife. If your dog or cat becomes too adventurous, they might encounter dangerous animals. Cats may go after birds and disturb the natural balance of the local ecosystem. Keep a close eye on your camping pets to protect the nature you came to enjoy.
Do NOT forget to keep them hydrated
We all need hydration. Always carry extra water for your pets. Ensure they have frequent water breaks, especially on hot days.
Do NOT leave your pet unattended at the campsite
Leaving your pet alone in the RV can be risky. Dogs often escape, bark incessantly, or become distressed by the unfamiliar surroundings. Pets can die when the air conditioning fails. If you need to leave your RV without your pet, do not do it on a hot day. During other times, secure your pet in a safe place and use the Waggle Pet Monitor for total safety.
RV camping with pets can be a delightful experience. By following these dos and don’ts, you can ensure that both you and your pet have a safe, enjoyable, and memorable trip.