How to Make Your RV Pet-Friendly
An RV isn’t truly a home away from home unless you bring your pet(s) with you. But it isn’t as simple as coaxing Rover into the RV and hitting the road. Making your RV pet-friendly will ensure that your next camping trip is fun for you and your pet.
Pack the right gear
Make a list of everything your pet will need on the trip, and check off the items one at a time as you pack. In addition to basics – food and water bowls (non-spilling) and bedding – everyday items include a collar, leash, toys and clean-up supplies for accidents inside your RV. Be sure to include grooming supplies and any medications your pet takes on a regular basis.
Acclimate your pet to the RV
Even pets that enjoy riding in cars don’t automatically take to RVs, so give them plenty of time to get used to riding in one before taking them along on your next camping trip. Start by letting them roam around the RV (while parked) and explore it on their own. Placing some toys or treats inside will encourage hesitant pets to enter and look around.
Take a few practice rides
Pets may feel comfortable inside your RV while it’s parked, but not so much when it’s moving. To gradually introduce them to the sounds and motions that occur when driving, start by turning on the engine and idling while parked. When your pet seems comfortable with the noise, take a short practice drive to get them used to the motion. If necessary, go on several practice rides, gradually increasing the time and length until your pet is fully at ease cruising down the road in your RV.
It may be tempting to let your pet sit in your lap or move about the RV when on the road. However, for your safety as well as your pet’s, they should always be secured in a seat belt harness or carrier that is fixed in place. This will reduce the chances of injury in case of an accident and keep them from distracting the driver.
To keep pets from bolting out the door when you release their restraints, install a folding barrier between their location and the door. While you’re at it, you might want to consider replacing your current RV flooring with pet-friendly flooring such as, luxury vinyl. This material is durable, and comes in a wide variety of colors and designs, which are easy to clean up if your pet has an accident.
On long trips, take frequent potty breaks to let your pet take care of its business and stretch its legs. While in camp, never leave your pet inside the RV unless it has good ventilation. And always remember to be a good neighbor by cleaning up after your pet, obeying all leash laws and keeping barking and other noise to a minimum.