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Motor Home Trip Tips for Dogs

Dec 16, 2007
Imagine cruising down the nation's highways with your four-legged friend by your side. Bringing your dog along is no strange thing. Your motor home is like a second home and has space for every member of the family.

Almost half of all RV vacationers choose to take their pets with them. After all, the dog's part of the family, and you don't want to kennel him and leave him behind. RVing with the family dog is wonderful, but there are some things you should consider before you hit the road.

Before You Leave

First off, get your pet used to car rides, if he isn't already. Take him on some short drives around town, and then go for longer and longer drives. Make sure he's comfortable in the moving car, and get him used to the routine of getting into and out of the car. You should always leash him before you open the door, so he won't run out of the car.

Also, get him used to the inside of the motor home. If it's not convenient to take the RV out for a spin, just open it up so he can go inside and get acquainted with it. When you actually hit the road, bring along some of his favorite chew toys and items from the house, like old shirts or other toys he's fond of. This will make him more comfortable and less likely to get nervous when you're far from home. Of course, this also includes bringing along his favorite treats!

Before you set off on your trip, get him checked out by the vet. Make sure he's in good health and there is a low risk of anything happening. Bring along his medical records and the number of your vet in case there is an emergency. It's also a good idea to scout out a vet anywhere you will be staying for an extended time. You can use the Internet to find vets in nearby towns in case there is an emergency.

Another thing to consider is whether you will let your dog roam freely in the RV, or keep him in one specific area. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. He'll get restless on the road, and letting him walk around in the motor home will help keep from having to make too many stops along the way. On the other hand, there is the safety to consider. If there is a crash or sudden stop, he will be in danger. You can always use a carrier or dog seat belt to keep him in his seat.

You also have to think about keeping the RV clean. The more places you allow him to go, the more hair and potential messes you'll have. If you are going to use a gate to confine him to a portion of the RV, it is best to make it an uncarpeted area. That will make clean up much easier. Even pets trained to go outside will have little accidents when spending long periods of time on the road.

On The Road

With your furry friend aboard, you'll have to make more pit stops. He'll need to relieve himself, stretch his legs and drink plenty of water. It is recommended that you make a stop every 3 hours or so. Make sure that you leash him before the door opens, or you may find yourself chasing him all over the rest stop.

You'll have to make sure dogs are okay at the campsite. Most campsites have a limit to the number of animals, and it can be as low as one. If you have three or more, it might be tough to find a place to camp out.

Be sure to follow the campsite's rules. These can be pretty strict, and they are different from one campground to the next. It will usually involve bringing disposal bags, making sure he is leashed, and checking to see whether dogs are allowed in certain areas. Remember that these restrictions are mostly for your pet's safety, to protect him from larger animals that might consider him a tasty snack.

Bring several leashes. A great alternative to leashing your dog at a campsite is a portable outdoor exercise pen. This is a pen that you set up each place you go that allows your dog freedom of movement, without the risk of him wandering off to places he shouldn't go.

Once you've got everything covered, traveling the country with your four-legged friend can be a great experience. It's a shame to leave him at home when you travel. Why not share the experience of the road with your canine companion?
About the Author
Taking an RV road trip can be fun for people and pets alike. Before you pack your furry friend into the motor home , though, you should prepare the animal and yourself for the lengthy trip. If you're searching for a better RV, give Bankston Motor Homes a look. http://www.bankstonmotorhomes.com
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