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RV 101® Traveling with Pets
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I would like to discuss traveling with pets in your RV. Pets and RV's just seem to go together. One of the really great things about traveling in an RV is that you can take your pets with you. In many cases the main reason people buy an RV is so their pets can travel with them. Our dogs have been traveling with us in our RV since day 1. Roxie (the black dog) and Gracie (the white dog) get extremely excited when they see us loading the RV for another trip. Buck (the brown dog) was also an avid RV traveler until he got cancer at the age of 12 in February of 2014. We miss him.
 
 
It's fun and convenient to be able to take your pets along with you, but I realized a long time ago that certain precautions must be taken when you travel with pets. There were a lot of things to remember about traveling with our pets, so to make it easier I included this checklist in my “Checklists for RVers” e-book 
 
  • First and foremost always keep in mind that an RV gets extremely hot and / or cold inside depending on the outside temperature. Always make sure there is some type of ventilation and / or heat and air available when pets are left in the RV.
  • Never leave your pets in an RV for long periods of time without somebody checking on them periodically. If you will be away from your pets and the RV for an extended period of time leave a key with someone you can trust to check on the pets and in case of an emergency.  
  • Always have fresh water available for your pets. You never know the quality of the drinking water when you are traveling so it's a good idea to take a container of water from your home that your pets are accustomed to, or use bottled water.
  • Pets should always travel in a pet carrier or crate for their personal safety.
  • Get a current health certificate from your veterinarian before traveling.
  • Always take the pets medical records along with you.
  • Take a recent color photograph of your pets with you in the event that they should get lost.
  • Update all vaccinations before leaving on your trip.
  • Take a proof of rabies vaccination.
  • Take flea, tick, and heartworm medications.
  • Take a pet first aid kit and know what dosages of medication to give your pets.
  • Take your veterinarians regular phone number and emergency phone numbers with you.
  • Get the phone number for a local veterinarian when you arrive at your destination.
  • Don't forget to take the brand of pet food your pet is used to and take a food and water travel bowl.
  • Take a walking leash.
  • Your pet's collar should include identification along with basic information such as your name, address and a cell phone number. You can even include an e-mail address.
  • Give your pet plenty of exercise during your trip and always walk them using a leash, be cautious of traffic. We also use portable exercise pens at the campsite. Always keep your pets under supervision and don't let them roam the campsite without a leash.  Some campgrounds have fenced in pet parks. 
  • Take grooming tools, pet toys and treats.
  • Take extra cat litter and the cat box.
  • Take some plastic bags for pet clean up.
  • Take your pet's favorite bedding or crate.
  • Take some old towels just in case you need them
  • Traveling can be stressful on pets especially if they are not used to it. When your pet is away from home and off of their regular schedule it can affect their health. Perform a daily health check on your pet. Look for anything out of the ordinary.
  • Stop often when you're traveling and allow your pet's to exercise and to relieve themselves.
  • When making campground reservations be sure and ask about pets. Some campgrounds offer kennels and boarding for pets. If your travel plans include day trips or extended travel away from the campsite inquire about these services.
     
  • No matter where you are, ALWAYS clean up after your pet.
 
This checklist does not cover everything that you need to be concerned with when traveling with pets in your RV, but it's a good start. You can add to this list and tailor it to your specific type of pet or your pet's needs and refer back to it before a trip so you don't forget anything.
 
 
Happy Camping,
 
 
Mark Polk

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