You might think of your RV trips as family vacations where you take along your entire troop, but does that include your pets? Some people think that taking pets along might be too big of a challenge, but as long as your pet is healthy and sociable enough, they’re probably going to enjoy the journey as much as you do.
When taking your pets along on your RV trips, there are some safety considerations you should be aware of. To help you out, we at Bretz RV & Marine have put together this helpful guide. For all your RV needs, visit our dealership in Billings, Montana.
Preparing Your Pet
The first thing to do whether you’ve got a dog, cat or some other critter, is to familiarize your pet with the new surroundings. Pets are mostly creatures of habit and even if they spent some time in the RV months ago, you’ll want to make sure they become familiar with it again. Let them sniff and explore under your supervision and make them feel as calm and as safe as possible. Don’t lock them in the RV in the hope that they’ll figure it out if left alone inside for a while. Set up their food, water and litter box so it feels more like home.
Before you and your pet leave for your RV vacation and cross state lines, pay a visit to your vet. Your fur baby could need vaccinations for diseases that exist in other areas and having up-to-date vaccination documentation will become essential if you need to board your pet. Certain medications and supplements can help ease the stress of traveling for some pets, so ask the vet if they have anything that’ll help your nervous pet to stay calm.
When you’re driving a towable rig, make sure that your pet is in the same vehicle as you; don’t stick them alone in the back trailer. When the vehicle is in motion, your pet should be secured safely in a crate or carrier. There are a couple of reasons for this: first, in the event of an accident, your pet is as vulnerable as you are. Second, an excited and roving pet is adorable, but can distract you when you’re driving. Third, if you pet likes to hang their head out of a window, they could get clocked by a stone at 70mph, which will probably require a vet visit. If you’ve got more people with you, one of them can make sure the pet stays comfortable and distress-free.
Take plenty of breaks when you take your pets along in your RV. Not only do they need to relieve themselves, but animals like dogs love to be able to sniff around a new area. Always leash your pets before you let them out of your camper. Also let them drink plenty of water before your resume your trip. Use the same guidelines for leaving your pet in your RV as you would in a car. Hot and cold extremes can harm your pet, and it doesn’t take long for an RV to heat up in the sun. It’s best not to leave your pet unattended in any vehicle.
One of the easiest ways to keep your pet feeling relaxed is to preserve as many everyday routines as possible. Do whatever you can to maintain the normal schedule, like feeding them at the same time daily even if that means stopping earlier or leaving later than you planned. They should have access to clean water throughout the day and a cool, quiet place to relax. If your pet requires any medication or shots, continue to administer them at the same times that you normally would.
Pack Essentials and Favorite Toys
Pack a little extra food so there’s no chance of you running out, particularly if your pet is a fussy eater. Pack any necessary medicines and flea treatments they might need once they step out into the wilderness. Also, bring their favorite bed or blanket to sleep on and put it in a place designated for you pet alone.
Just like you want to have your favorite books, hobbies and devices on vacation, your cat or dog will benefit from having their favorite toys on the RV trip. You’ll be able to bond through playing with them, which will reduce their anxiety. Pack their favorite treats to reward them for getting through a tough day on the road, too.
Microchips and ID Tags
It’s heartbreaking to lose a pet and most of us expend much time, effort and money trying to locate our missing fur babies. They could slip through their harness, the leash could break or they may take off if they get spooked by something. Never take your animal on a road trip if they’re not chipped and don’t have a proper ID tag. Tags can still come off your pet, but a microchip will ensure that you’re notified as soon as your pet is located.
We hope these tips help you and your pet have a fun-filled trip in your RV! If you’re looking for an RV that’s good for you and your pets, come on down to Bretz RV & Marine in Billings, Montana.