What Not to Do When RV’ing with Dogs


If you are a dog owner, you likely consider your pets to be part of the family. Of course, when you set out on an RV vacation, you want to be able to take them with you for the experience. And, in fact, that is one of the best advantages of owning an RV – you can take your dogs with you without having to worry about finding a ‘pet-friendly’ hotel or some other accommodation.

what-not-to-do-when-rving-with-dogsWhile it is great fun to travel with your dogs, there are some things you need to avoid doing in order to make sure everyone has a fun trip from start to finish. Take note of the following points and you should be able to look forward to a fun and memorable vacation for all involved.


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Don’t Let the Dogs Roam Free in Transit

You might think that you can just let your dog walk around the motorhome while you are driving to your campsite, but that would be a bad idea. Not only are you putting your pets at risk when you let them roam around, but you could also be creating a dangerous situation for yourself (and everyone else on the road) if your dog comes up into the driver’s area while you are on the freeway.


Instead, make sure your dogs have a place in the RV where they can be secured during the trip. They will likely be more comfortable this way anyway, and they may just nod off to sleep until you reach your destination. The sofa in an motorhome is often a good place to secure them, but you can look for a solution that works for your needs based on the size of your dogs.


Don’t Forget a Pet Gate

The nature of RV travel is coming and going from indoors to outdoors on a regular basis. You likely travel in an RV because you love being outside, so the door to your RV is going to be opened and closed frequently. With that in mind, it is a good idea to use a pet gate to keep your dogs contained while you come and go. You can use the gate to keep them in the back of the RV, for example, so they aren’t able to slip out the door while you are packing/unpacking.

Don’t Drive All Day Without a Break

Just like humans, dogs should get out of the RV from time to time during a long day of travel. Make it a point to stop at least once every couple hours during a long road tip to let the dogs run around for a minute (and go potty, of course). There are usually rest areas along the freeway with specifically designated areas for pets to stretch their legs.

Don’t Take A/C for Granted

Even if your RV has air conditioning, don’t take it for granted that you will be able to keep your dogs cool enough on a hot summer day. If the grid is overloaded at a campground (from everyone running their air units at once), you could lose power and your dogs could suddenly be stuck in a hot rig (if you are away). Be careful and always error on the side of caution to make sure your pets are safe throughout the trip.

Don’t Assume Everyone Loves Dogs

This last tip is out of consideration for your neighbors in the campground. Even if a campground is dog friendly, and even if you love your dogs and know they are harmless, you shouldn’t assume that everyone around you feels the same way you do about pets. Some people are afraid of dogs, and others simply don’t like them. Whatever the case, show consideration for those around you and keep your pets under control at all times.


Comments 7

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  1. Be sure to put a sign in your window that your “family” member is inside. We purchased a book long ago that even suggested giving the RV park a note as to where you are going if leaving the pet in the RV. What really made us AWARE was an incident that occurred with friends. They were traveling and both were killed in an accident. What if you didn’t return? How could the RV park help? We created a letter giving the RV park “in case of emergency” instructions which included both of our daughter’s contact information. AND, we would always notify our daughters of the name of the RV Park where we were staying. We got to thinking: nearly everywhere we go, we are both in the vehicle. BTW, not only letter to RV park but also carry one in my purse. Better safe than sorry.

  2. Ya know the last tip in the comments about emergency contact info & pet inside notice is a good one and maybe for those of you who own/manage camping parks you should include that info on your sign in stuff. Great idea!

  3. And, PLEASE, pick up after your dog. I always walk my pups carrying a roll of ‘doggie poop’ bags. It irritate me to no end to see a large pile of dog poop right under the sign that asks you to pick up after your dog. Be kind to your fellow RVers and pick up after your pooch; even in place not marked. It is just the nice thing to do.

  4. Forgot to mention that dogs are NOT public property so, regardless of whether you think a dog is friendly or not, you should NOT approach/pet/distract a dog unless specifically invited by the guardian ….

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