RVing with Dogs – The Ten Commandments

by Guest Authors: Jack and Julee Meltzer
In the U.S. alone each year, more than 30 million people take their pets with them on RV trips. While there are numerous issues to consider while RVing with dogs, The tips below are some of the most important.

1. Make Sure that Your Dog Can’t Get Lost. Either train your dog to come when called or make absolutely sure that they’re on a leash at all times.

2. Get All Vaccinations Up to Date. If your dog gets into an altercation with another animal (or a person), the central issue will become their rabies shots. If you stay at a campground that has a demanding pet policy, you’ll need to verify your dog’s vaccination records. If you cross into Canada, you’ll have to confirm that your dog has had its shots.

3. Make Your Dog Easy to Identify. If your dog does get lost, the ability to easily identify it will become critical. For permanent identification purposes, consider tattoos or microchips. At a minimum, make sure the dog wear tags that show its name, the date of the last rabies vaccination and your current phone number.

4. Clean Up After Your Dog. The biggest complaint other RVers have about dogs has nothing to do with their bark, their bite, or their behavior.

5. Learn How to Provide First Aid to Your Dog. Although there are ways to get help while on the road, it always takes more time. In the meantime, your ability to provide competent first aid could save your dog’s life.

6. Involve Your Dog in Your Activities. If you really want your dogs to have a good time, include them in everything you do.

7. Call the Campgrounds Before You Go. Even if a park claims they’re pet-friendly, always call ahead to confirm their policy regarding your dog. “Pet-friendly” may mean dogs weighing under 20 pounds and there may be other restrictions.

8. Plan Ahead for the Unexpected. Have a plan (for your dogs) in case of a flat tire, a serious accident, or a fire in your RV. Start with a few extra leashes and a pet carrier.

9. Learn About Your Camping Environment. The U.S. is a huge country with a vast assortment of dangerous wildlife and treacherous plants, you might inadvertently be putting your dog, and yourself, in danger.

10. Recognize and Respect the Views of Others. While some of us can’t imagine traveling without dogs, others can’t image traveling with them. If you keep your dog under control and clean up after him, you won’t give others anything to grumble about.
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