loading image  Loading... Please wait...


Top Tips For RVing With Your Dog

Posted by

Living the RV life can be a great vacation or a full time lifestyle! One of the main reasons people choose to travel by RV is so that they can bring their pets. According to a 2016 survey done by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association; 61 percent of RV owners bring their pets along for trips and of that, 93 percent of them bring their pup! Whether you own or are renting, RV-ing with your four-legged friend can be easy, if you are prepared. Here is a list of ways to get ready for your next trip.

Choosing the Right Vehicle

If you don’t already own one or haven't rented an RV before, make sure to choose one that is dog friendly. Here are some things to keep an eye on when shopping for an RV:

  • No Carpet Flooring: You are planning to live with your dog on the road. It doesn’t matter if it is long term or temporary - things can get messy. Having an RV with little to no carpet will make it easier to clean up after your pup.
  • Interior Decorations: Look at the fabric used for the seating and sleeping areas. Will it show your dog’s fur? Is it easy to wipe clean? Can the fabric be removed like a slipcover to machine wash? Your dog is going to be making the same messes he makes in your car AND your house, so be prepared.
  • Easy Access: When picking out an RV, think about whether your dog can easily get in and out. If you have a large pup, is the entrance big enough to fit him or her? This also goes if you have an elderly dog that might need more space when entering. If you use steps or a ramp for your dog to get into the car, will they also work for the RV? Keep note of how many steps are leading to the RV, because if you must carry your dog up ten steps each day it could be too much.
  • Windows: Choose an RV without floor to ceiling windows. While these may look great, they won’t look as good if your dog breaks through them. Distractions like squirrels or rabbits can taunt your dog into chasing after them, even with the blinds shut.
  • Space: Is there space even when the RV sides are in? Is there a comfortable space for your dog to sleep while driving? Is there enough room for your dog to walk back and forth? When driving, where do you anticipate your dog will want to be – up next to the bucket seats or in the back snoozing? Can you block off your dog from accessing the driver’s seat?

If you are thinking of renting an RV, here is a list of some pet-friendly RV rentals.

Make a Packing List

There is nothing worse than hitting the road only to realize that you’ve forgotten something important. Here is a list to make sure nothing is left behind:

  • Food and Water Dog Bowls: Using dog travel bowls that collapse may be a good idea while on the road and with limited space. They can be taken out when needed and stored in small spaces when they are not. While you are driving, use the Splash Free Wander Dog Water Bowl, which is shaped to prevent splashing and spilling when the road turns rough or bumpy.
  • Toys: A bored dog can also mean a destructive dog. Be sure to pack along some toys to keep your dog occupied during your trip. Using your pup’s favorite toy can also help treat RV anxiety, as its familiarity will put your dog at ease.
  • Identification Tags and Microchips: An unfortunate reality of traveling with pets is that if they get out or run away, they will have a harder time finding their way back home. Make sure their ID tags have your contact information so when someone finds your pup, you will be the first to know. It is a good idea to have your dog microchipped as well.
  • Leash: Many places that you will likely stop at to stretch your legs or rest, require dogs to be on a leash always. Most RV parks and campgrounds do too. You may find in the campsite that a hands-free leash is handy so you can have hands free to fish, grill, or play cards!
  • Crash Tested Harness: Your dog should always be buckled up while traveling in a motor vehicle. While your RV may seem like home, it’s also a moving vehicle, so securing your dog with a crash-tested dog harness will keep you, your pup and everyone else on the road safe.
  • First Aid Kit: While on adventures, accidents can happen which is why it’s a good idea to have a first aid kit specialized for your pup. Your first aid kit should include instructions on what to do if your dog is choking, eats something poisonous or has lacerations.
  • Zipline: Most campgrounds require dogs to be leashed at all times.Buy or create your own zip-line that will allow your pups to be securely tied up, while still being able to roam about your campsite and have fun too. Ziplines are safer than tying your dog to a picnic table or tree as they won’t accidentally choke themselves or get tangled up.
  • Outdoor Dog Bed: Be sure to bring an outdoor dog bed, one that has a waterproof bottom so you dog has somewhere to sleep and lounge in your campsite.

Getting Your Dog Used to Living the RV Life

Before even beginning your adventure, bring your dog(s) into the RV so they can get used to it. For some pups, they may need some treats and coaxing to get into the intimidating mobile home. Once in, show your dog his sleeping and lounging space. Do this a few times until they are truly comfortable.

The RV will seem like a home to your dogs, so understandably, it can be alarming when your home begins moving and making strange noises. Remember, just because your dog loves car rides doesn’t mean he/she will love the RV at first. To help ease the panic your dog may be feeling, be sure to bring some comfort items like their favorite toys and treats. It is also helpful to tire your dogs out at first before going on the road. The more tired your pup is, the more at ease they will be. Do this the first couple of times until your dog is comfortable being in the moving RV.

Successful Traveling Tips

For the past two years, Joe and Kait Russo have been RVing permanently with their Husky, Leo after quitting their jobs back in 2015 and filming it to share their adventures. Here are some tips they offer to future RV-ers on how to successfully RV with a dog.

  • Map out your route and identify pet-friendly places to visit: It’s no fun to bring your dog along if they can’t go and do anything with you. Using sites like BringFido.com and Gopetfriendly.com, you can find pet friendly RV parks, campsites, rest stops and even restaurants!
  • Avoid Preventable Accidents: On travel days, always take your dog(s) on long walks before hitting the road.
  • Take advantage of rest areas: There’s not that much space to move around in the RV and not only will this allow for bathroom breaks but also a break to enjoy the fresh air and get in some play and movement.
  • Leave water in a dog bowl even while moving: They suggest only filling it halfway so it doesn’t spill, but if you can also use the Splash-Free Wander Bowl which won’t spill even when filled all the way.
  • Find a vet on the road: Ask family and friends who live in different states for recommendations on veterinarians they know of. This will allow you to always have a trustworthy vet for your pups. It is important to note that vets are licensed in the state that they practice. This can mean that getting prescriptions filled for your dog across state lines may be a little tricky.

Leaving Your Pup in the RV

While it is not recommended to leave your dog in the RV, it may be difficult to bring your dog with you in certain situations. If you must leave your pup, here are some tips on how to make the situation comfortable for them.

  • Leave the AC on if it is hot outside (the same thing goes for heat if it’s cold outside). Like a car, your RV can heat up quickly, leaving your dog to overheat.
  • Exercise your furry friend before you leave. Make sure to really tire your dog out, this will make it likely that your pup will fall asleep after you leave.
  • Keep the blinds down, or the curtains shut. This will stop your dog from barking at every person who walks by your campsite. It will also keep the internal temperature more stable.
  • Keep the television or radio on for background noise, which will prevent your dog from jumping at every sound they hear.
  • You might want to invest in a device that measures the temperature in your RV and texts you if it gets too high. RV Pet Safety makes one and GopetFriendly.com also recommends a 3 device solution.

You have the RV and your four-legged co-pilot, but do you know where you are going? Check out some dog-friendly events, some of our favorite spots for dogs, and take a look at this pet travel safety video.

Kaitlyn Manktelow is a writer and videographer for Kurgo, a dog travel and outdoor products company. She enjoys filming, traveling, and singing way too loud with her rescue dog Samuel Jackson. 

View Comments

How Dogs Know to Comfort us

It often seems that our dogs can sense our moods. Have you ever felt upset, and then looked down to find that your dog has run over to you? Recent research has delved into the nature of this bond. Are dogs responding to our feelings, our body language, or something else? Read on to find [...]

Read More »

​The Art of Paddling Boarding with Your Pup

A paddle board can be a lifelong investment for both you and your pup. This activity combines extensive exercise with a new way to discover lakes and oceans. Take your dog along for the ride, but first check out these 7 critical tips before starting to paddle board with your pup.#1: Master Dry Land FirstGet started on dry [...]

Read More »

Kurgo Running Team: Maureen Gillespie

Kurgo's running team is based in New England and represents Kurgo by running dog-friendly road races in the area. We hope they inspire everyone to Go Together more with their dogs. "This dog is my soul mate," Runner Maureen Gillespie says about her pup Zorro, who probably hadn't seen a human before she rescued him.At first, [...]

Read More »

​6 Tips for Handling High-Energy Dogs

While some dogs are perfectly happy being couch potatoes, many were bred to work. Without proper exercise, this energy can lead to destructive behavior. So, what can you do besides play plenty of games of fetch? As it turns out, dog owners can wear out their high-energy dogs by stimulating their intelligence and working with their natural instincts.NoseworkChristine Caplan, [...]

Read More »

Classic Yard Games: The Backyard Birdie

Kurgo’s Backyard Birdie is based off the classic lawn toy, Birdie. This toy brings waves of nostalgia for badminton enthusiasts and provides educational and fun training for your dog. Made with chew friendly and non-toxic Here are some games you can play with your pup, using the Backyard Birdie! Game: Badminton The classic yard game can now involve your dog! We advise [...]

Read More »

Upcoming Running Events with Your Dog

Running with your dog is great for the both of you, physically, but it also helps grow an everlasting bond between you and your best friend. Here is a list of 5K’s and running events around the United States to get you and your pup active together.Northeast8th Annual Paws & Claws – Hopkinton, MA - [...]

Read More »

Tips for Camping with Canines

For those who love to bring their dogs everywhere with them, camping is the perfect summertime getaway! With endless options for adventure - hiking, swimming, stand up paddle boarding, trail running – camping has a lot to offer for dog and owner, alike. Before planning your camping vacation with your pup this summer, check [...]

Read More »

6 Necessities Your Dog Should Never Hike Without

Hiking with your dog is fun and rewarding, but there are a few essentials to keep in mind before getting that tail on the trail! Before you head out, do your research. Make sure the area you're traveling to allows dogs and find out what their leash laws are. Look up the weather and trail conditions. To help you [...]

Read More »

​Dog Friendly Summer Events 2017

How many times this summer have you found yourself out with your pup looking for a little adventure? Summer is here and your dog’s ready to play! Here is our one stop shop for dog-friendly events around the United States to take your pup to. If you know of any other dog-friendly events, please post [...]

Read More »