Taking your four-legged friend on the road with you can be a very rewarding experience. Going on an adventure, seeing new sights, and exploring new places in the company of your best friend sounds like the perfect vacation, doesn’t it? However, if you’re considering RVing with pets, there are a few things that you should keep in mind to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch. Here’s what you need to know.
The first thing that you should do if you’re thinking about RVing with cats or dogs is to make an appointment with your vet. You’ll want to make sure that your pet is in good health and that they’re both mentally and physically fit for the adventure. Your vet may also give you a health certificate and proof of vaccinations to carry with you on your travels.
It’s not a bad idea to outline your trip to your vet so that they can recommend any other vaccinations that your pet might need. Your vet can make sure that your pet’s treatments are up-to-date as well, regarding things like flea, tick, and heartworm prevention.
You should have a current photo of your pet saved in case they get lost and you need to circulate it. And of course, make sure that your pet is microchipped and registered with the national database. Your vet can help you with this if you don’t know how to do it.
Just as you want to be comfy in your RV, your pet does, too. When RVing with dogs or cats, it’s helpful to start them out inside a kennel or crate so that they can get used to the new space and the movement. Cats especially aren’t fans of car rides, so try setting them up in a carrier at first until they can get used to the motion and the new surroundings before letting them free.
If you have a crate or carrier, make sure that it is anchored down with a seat belt or other restraints so that your pet doesn’t slide around while you're driving. This can be uncomfortable for them and cause distress. Make sure that the vehicle is at a comfortable temperature for your pet since their bodies don’t regulate the heat or cold the way that our bodies do. Whether your pet is in a carrier or is roaming freely, be sure to have all of its necessities available, such as:
While you might have visions of walking your pup around a scenic state or national park, be aware that parks and campsites have different rules regarding pets. If you plan on parking your RV in one of these places, you should make sure that the site is pet-friendly and find out what paperwork you will need for your pet to stay there. You should also check out the leashing policy.
Even if parks and campsites are pet-friendly, they might not allow all dog breeds. Others may only allow small pets or dogs up to a certain weight limit. If you have a big dog or one that might be an excluded breed, be sure to find out ahead of time to avoid problems. It’s not worth it to try and sneak in your pet when there are rules posted against it.
Even if you do your best, illness or injury can happen during your trip. When something like this happens, you want to make sure that you have all of your pet’s medical information and records available so that you can take them to the vet with as little hassle as possible. Some chains, like Banfield or Petco, can share files across clinics, but this might not be the case if you go to a small or independent clinic.
Set a fund of money aside for pet-related health emergencies. While it’s unlikely that you’ll need it, you don’t want to add panic to the situation if you get slapped with a vet bill that you weren’t expecting. While getting your pet the care it needs is a priority, you also don’t want to have to dip into the funds that you designated for other exciting parts of your trip.
Before you set out on your adventure, make sure that you have an up-to-date pet insurance policy that can cover any unforeseen costs on your trip. America’s RV Warranty offers discounted coverage to protect you, your vehicle, and your pet while out on the open road through our partnership with Hartville Pet Insurance. With just a few clicks, you can get the coverage that you need to protect your furry friend and give you the peace of mind you want. Call today to find out how ARW can help you get ready for your next RV trip with your most loyal companion!