How to Easily RV with Dogs

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Camping is usually a family activity, and many families include pets. If you’re thinking about heading out in the RV with dogs, make sure they’ll have as much fun as the rest of the family. Here are a few tips to help your dog enjoy their outing.

Can You RV with Dogs? 

It depends on where you plan to RV with dogs. About 65% of us bring a pet with us when we RV, and dogs account for most of those pets at 93%. Naturally, at organized campgrounds, there are specific rules. Make sure you know any rules or regulations that can affect your dogs.

Boondocking offers a lot more freedom. If you’re far enough away from other boondockers, you can let your dogs off-leash and allow them to explore to their hearts’ content.

Tips to RV with Dogs

Dogs don’t always adjust to RVs as quickly and easily as people. Here are some tips to help you RV with dogs.

Get Them Used to the RV Before Travel

If your dog has never spent any time in your RV, it’s a good idea to introduce them to it long before a camping trip. Let them explore the RV while it’s stationary first. If they’ll be traveling in a crate, let them sit in the crate while the RV is parked.

Then you can try a short drive. Having another person present to be with the dog can help if they get nervous. When you finally set off to RV with dogs, ensure the conditions are the same as before. Keeping the same seating arrangements and such can help animals feel safe.

Boondocking Allows More Freedom

With boondocking, you’ll face fewer restrictions than at campgrounds. You’ll usually find a lot of space between campers, as well, so your dogs can roam.

Ensure your dogs won’t wander into other campers’ sites, even while boondocking. Be careful that there isn’t dangerous wildlife or plants nearby that your dogs might meet while sniffing around.

A woman walking outside her RV with dogs on a lease

Check Campground Dog Policies Before Booking

When camping at a campground, ask about specific pet rules and regulations and follow them. Nothing spoils a camping trip more than finding a campground has stopped allowing pets because bad owners haven’t followed the rules.

Some campgrounds don’t allow certain dog breeds or have restrictions about where they can wander.

Never Leave Your Dogs Outside Unattended

Sometimes when you RV with dogs, you can let them roam free. However, at many campgrounds, you’ll need to keep them on a leash, especially when they’re outside.

Don’t leave your pet outside unattended, even on a leash. There can be a lot of people and stimuli around a campsite. Leaving your pet unattended can be bad for your dogs and other campers.

A small dog sitting on a camp chair outside the RV with a blanket wrapped around it

Use Glow Collars or Headlamps for Night-Time 

When your dog needs to go, they need to go. That might mean a trip outside after the sun has set. A glow collar or headlamp can help you take your dog out even at night.

Depending on the time of year, the sun might set relatively early or rise late. Having a glow collar or headlamp will make taking your dog out easy, even in the dark.

Never Let Dogs Ride in the Trailer

Keep your dog with you on travel days. If you want to RV with dogs, you need to consider their comfort. Very hot or very cold days can be hazardous if your dogs aren’t riding in the temperature-controlled part of the vehicle with you.

If you’re concerned about your seats, you can get a waterproof cover to protect your back seats, where your dogs may sit during travel.

Find Time for Exercise on Travel Days When You RV With Dogs

Travel days in an RV can be brutal on humans, and it’s not much easier for pets. Let them stretch their legs and take potty breaks while in transit.

Find time to stop at a park or field where they can run, or you can walk them, giving them freedom to explore and take care of business. 

Seek Out Experiences Just for Your Dog

Find something special for your dog to experience during your trip. Your dog might enjoy swimming or hiking. You could even check out local pet stores to get them a new treat or toy.

If You Have to Leave Them in the RV, Keep It Temperature Controlled

If you must leave your dogs in the RV at any point, make sure they won’t get too hot or cold. Extreme temperatures can get even worse inside a closed vehicle.

If you’re leaving your dogs behind while hiking, for example, consider not just the weather but the fact that an RV could get even hotter or colder after a few hours.

Two women sitting outside their RV with dogs and a small fire

Outdoor Showers Are a Lifesaver when You RV With Dogs

If you have pets who love rolling around in the dirt, an outdoor shower can save you time and frustration. Rinse them off outside so that none of the muck makes it back into the RV. 

Carry Your Pet Health Records and Medications

You never know when you’ll need a vet while traveling in an RV with dogs. Keep any health records or medications with you. You might need that information in case of an emergency. Also, try to stock up on medication so you don’t find yourself running out.

Have Your Dog Microchipped

It’s a good idea to have your pets microchipped, as well as tagged, no matter if they travel with you or not. Microchips are invaluable when a pet gets lost or separated from the family. They could mean the difference between losing your beloved dog and having them returned to you.

Now You Know How to RV With Dogs

If you love to RV, you’ll love to RV with dogs. Bringing your pets with you can make you feel like you’ve truly got the whole family with you when you go on your adventures. Have you ever taken an RV trip with dogs before?

1 comment
  1. We’ve travelled extensively in our truck camper with our dogs. National parks, state parks, national and state forests, private RV parks, boondocking, you name it. Cross country and cross Canada including Newfoundland and Labrador. Stick to a routine as much as possible. is the best website for info about specific places.

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