RV Travel with Pets in the Summer
by Marc Neveux
(Simi Valley, CA)
It's a Dogs Life
The Dog Days of Summer:
RV Travel with Pets in the Summer Months
Most people plan their main RV travel time for the warmer summer months, traveling across the country to visit friends and family, see the sights, go to different fairs and festivals or simply to get from one place to another. And for most of these people, this travel means bringing the entire family along, including the four-legged, furry members. Traveling with a pet can be rewarding, but before you set out for a few weeks or even a few months of adventure on the open road with Fluffy or Fido, there are a few things to keep in mind.
How Does Your Pet Feel About Travel?
There is nothing crueler than dragging your pet along with you on a trip when he loathes the sense of movement and can’t stand being cooped up for the whole day. Before you set out, take your pet on a short trip and see how he handles it. Maybe go on a nearby, weekend journey and see how that goes before the big day. If you find out your pet is not a traveler, then find a trusted friend or family member to take him, see if you can kennel him or pay a service to pet sit while you are away.
How Often Will You Need to Stop?
A big dog can go a few hours without needing a walk, but a smaller dog may need to go more frequently. You can use a travel litter pan for the cat, but you will probably need to dump it frequently. Keep in mind that cats are harder to keep track of on trips so they are not as travel friendly as dogs. Plan on letting the dog get something to eat and drink and then hang around for a potty break before getting back on the road. Some dogs tend to get carsick if they eat or drink too much, so be careful and save his larger meals for when you have found a place to stop for the day or night.
How Will You Keep the Dog Cool?
If you are melting, then consider what is going on for your dog, who is covered in fur. If you only use the air conditioning when the temperature is at a certain number, then keep in mind that you will have to adjust that number for the dog. A dog feels the heat far more intensely than we do so if you see signs of labored breathing or his tongue, eyes or nose appear exceptionally dry, he may be in some distress and should be attended to immediately.
What If the Dog Gets Sick?
RV travel is fun and exciting because you never know where you will be going or who you will be meeting next. However, you should have an idea of where vets are along your route if something should happen to your dog during the course of your trip.