Summer is finally here, and one of the biggest perks of hitting the road in an RV is that you can take the whole family… including your dog! For pet owners who don’t want to leave their dog in the kennel or with a sitter, that’s a pretty big deal. But, taking your dog along on your travels isn’t always easy. Here are a few tips for RVing with your dog that will make the trip much more enjoyable for both of you.
Install Dog-Friendly Furniture and Flooring
Refurbishing an RV is a lot of work, but let’s face it, dogs can be smelly. They shed, they drool, and sometimes they even have accidents on the floor. As pet owners, we have to accept that these issues just come with the territory.
But, when you hit the road in your RV, there are some things you can do to make it a little more dog-friendly. First of all, remove all carpeting and installing vinyl flooring. Clean up will be much easier that way. If you can afford it, upgrade to leather upholstery. If not, washable slipcovers will protect your upholstery from hair, drool, mud, and spills. Doing these things now will significantly reduce the lingering odors left behind by Fido.
Crate Train Your Pooch for Peace of Mind
Nobody really likes the thought of putting their dog in a cage, but in the end, you’ll be really glad you crate trained your pooch before you hit the road. Choose a crate that has good visibility and ventilation. It’s also nice if you can get one that folds flat for storage. Most dogs come to see their crate as their own cozy little home and refuge. It will keep him from barking out the windows when you’re away and also prevent chewing or bathroom issues. Your dog will be much safer in his crate when you’re away from your rig.
Reliable Air Conditioning is a Must
If you’re traveling with a dog during the warmer months, reliable air conditioning is a must. If it’s not going to be super-hot, you might be able to get away with a ceiling fan vent and opening some windows, but it’s a risk. Either way, make sure your dog’s crate is placed in the coolest area of the RV, away from direct sun.
Train Your Dog Not to Bark
If your dog barks incessantly when you’re away, you’re going to have issues at the campground. If you don’t know whether he barks or not, just ask your neighbors, and they’ll tell you. Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety when their owners are gone, and they are the ones that are most likely to bark if left alone, even for short periods of time.
The best way to teach a dog not to bark when you aren’t there to correct him is with a no bark collar that gives off a little shock or a little spray of citronella when he barks. These collars are very gentle and usually solve the problem quickly. Often, it only takes a time or two before they learn not to bark when they have the collar on. Keeping the curtains closed and leaving on a radio for background noise may also help.
Dogs are wonderful traveling companions. They’ll have so much fun going for walks and checking out all the new sights and smells. Their antics will make the trip more fun for you, too. Keep them safe and happy, and you will both enjoy the experience.