Your pet deserves the world and deserves to see it, too! RVing with pets is an excellent way for every member of the family, two-legged and four-legged alike, to get out there and explore.
Thanks to Cruise America’s pet-friendly RV rentals, you can do exactly that from a comfortable home base on wheels, complete with all your favorite creature comforts (pun intended!). While we keep things as simple as possible, there are still several things to know about RVing with pets.
10 RVing Pet Tips for Success
Traveling with pets isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a list of top RVing pet tips for you to set you up for success.
1. Know the Local Vet Offices
It’s important to stay up-to-date on your pet’s health even when you’re on the road, whether it’s routine care or an unexpected emergency. One of the top RVing pet tips is to have the contact information of a local veterinarian in each location you visit. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but you don’t want to be scrambling this information if you do! Also, keep records of your pets' medical care in your RV.
Before leaving for a longer trip, it’s also a good idea to take your pet in for a check-up with your regular vet.
2. Designate a Space for Your Pet
When you’re RVing with pets, even the roomiest models seem to shrink a bit. Still, make an effort to create a space just for your pet. This area can include their bed, food, and toys and should be located somewhere that’s safe for your pet and also easy for you to access. Not only does this create a familiar, comfortable place for your furry friend, but it can also help keep your living space more organized.
3. Be Mindful of Temperature Changes
Animals’ bodies sometimes have trouble adjusting to temperature variations. Be sure to have plenty of water available for your pet when the heat strikes, and don’t be shy with the air-conditioner on especially hot days. When it’s cold, consider getting a heated bed or blanket for your pet.
A good rule of thumb is that if it’s too hot or cold for you to be comfortable outside for extended periods of time, it’s certainly not okay for your pet.
4. Buy Food in Bulk
You don’t want to get caught in a situation where you’re out of food, and the closest store is still hundreds of miles away. Another of the best RVing pet tips is to buy food in bulk and keep it stored in a clean, dry place in your RV — preferably in a lidded container to keep any curious pests out.
5. Familiarize Yourself With Local Rules and Regulations
While your pet likely wants to run free, you may not be able to allow him or her to do that. Familiarize yourself with local leash laws and rules on where you can and cannot have your pet, and be mindful of your surroundings while you’re out and about (keep in mind, not everyone loves pets!). In addition to destination-specific websites, local online forums and social media groups can be a valuable resource for determining where your pet is most welcome.
6. Pay Attention to the Terrain
Taking your four-legged friend out exploring is one of the best things about RVing with pets. However, it’s important to know the terrain to keep your pet safe. Consider investing in bootie-style paw shoes to help your pet traverse uneven or rocky terrain. These are also helpful in extreme hot and cold temperatures. Always keep your pet on a leash unless you’re certain that it’s safe and legal to do otherwise, and watch out for wildlife and other potential hazards. If you’re a hiker, you can also use a special pet-carrying backpack.
7. Bring Must-Have Accessories
A leash, collar (with your contact information!), food and water bowls, toys, food, and treats are all essential for RVing with pets. A collapsible pen is also a good idea for times your pet won’t have space to run around a campsite, and some pet owners like to have soft, portable crates.
8. Use a Crate While Traveling
Speaking of crates, this is one of the best RVing pet tips. Letting your pet roam the RV while you drive can be distracting, and Fido could get stuck or hurt if left unsupervised, so it’s wise to use a crate for transportation while driving. Toys and other comfort items in the crate can help your pet feel more comfortable and secure.
9. Make Frequent Stops
Your pets need to stretch their legs and take potty breaks just like you do. Veterinarians recommend stopping for at least 15 minutes every 2-4 hours. Ideally, stops will be in places your pet can safely explore, run, and get some exercise.
10. Give Your Pet Time To Adjust
Whether it’s a weekend road trip in an RV rental or you’re full-timers, it’s important that your pet be comfortable in your RV. Introduce your pet to your rig before departure, giving them time to acclimate. Start by hanging out inside for a few minutes at a time and going for short rides so they can work up to the real adventure.
We hope these RVing pet tips are helpful and that you’re ready to hit the road with your furry, four-legged friend. All you have to do is pick up a pet-friendly Cruise America RV rental from one of our convenient locations, choose a pet-friendly destination, and hit the road!