by Breanne Boyle
Ah yes, another pet post. This one is focused on vacationing with pets and RVs. Recreational Vehicle camping and vacationing is growing in popularity. Our Ask Patty President, Jody, even has her own RV and she puts it to good use! But what do you do if you have pets? Do you leave them at home with a neighbor? Do you pay through the roof for one of those pet daycares? Why not bring them with you on your trip?
BellaOnline’s RV Editor, Evanne Schmarder, wrote a great article on tips for pet-friendly RVing. How could vacation be complete without your beloved fluff monster there to greet you in the mornings? Schmarder says, “I’m always amazed at the variety and number of pets I see at campgrounds around the country. It’s not at all unusual to see 2, 3, or more dogs pile out of any size rig these days.”
I remember the first time we took our dog on a camping trip. I was about 7 years old and we had a Shetland Sheepdog named Chelsea. We were all sitting around a small campfire, roasting smokies for breakfast and I had one little smokie at the end of my roasting fork and had it leaning away from the fire to cool. I turned away for a split second and that mongrel took that hot smokie right off my fork! I was much more careful the next time.
Aside from keeping the food out of reach, here are some tips
for those of you planning to take the pooch along for the ride:
• Call ahead to make sure the RV park and campground allow pets (some may have size or even breed restrictions)
• Before leaving make sure your pet’s medical needs (shots, medication, etc.) are up to date
• Carry your pet’s health certificate with you just in case it’s needed
• Make sure your pet has up to date ID tags – consider temporary tags indicating the name and phone number of where you’re camping
• Bring baggies for scooping (a must!!) and use the designated pet walk if provided
• Bring tick/flea collars or other repellants to combat unwanted “hitchhikers”
• Pack your pet’s bag with his/her old familiars - blanket, favorite toy(s), food and water bowls and favorite snacks
• Bring along a pet carrier, pet tent or other type of outdoor pet shelter
• Take frequent breaks while traveling to stretch, exercise, and walk your pet
• Don’t forget the leash (usually required) for getting out and about
• Never leave your pet in a hot, non-ventilated vehicle – a car or RV – it takes only minutes for the heat to overcome your pet
• Once you’ve arrived please be courteous to your human neighbors (and away from pesky and dangerous critters such as skunks, porcupines, etc.) - keep your pet leashed and well behaved
• Be aware of your pet’s fitness level and avoid pushing them beyond their abilities
• Don’t leave pet food outside or chances are you’ll have some uninvited “pets”
• Never let your pet spend the night outside - one never knows what hungry predators lurk
• Physically check your pet daily for anything unusual – limping, excessive scratching, biting of any body part, loss of appetite, excessive water consumption, etc.
Make sure to follow the pet rules set at the campground (they
were set to make it safer and more enjoyable for you and your pet) and be
courteous to fellow campers. Enjoy your trip and remember to be safe on the road!