All America RV
RV Camping & Pets
Quik Tip – Arvie the Travel Dog
If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket… and then give him only two of them.
– Phil Pastoret
Guest Blog – Pet Travel
We welcome your blogs, comments and experiences traveling with pets.
RV Campground Dogs
There is little in this world more amazing than the unconditional love that dogs possess. A recent poll came out this week in the 24 hour news cycle indicating that over 50 % of people would prefer to donate to animal causes rather than human causes. If you are a dog owner, you likely understand this phenomenon.
I have always been an early to bed, early to rise person as a result of an early military background and with camping it is no different. Camped out along the Colorado River in Arizona this week, as I sat sipping my morning campfire coffee, I never realized how many RV’ers actually travel with dogs. Dozens of dogs of all breeds and sizes were out for their morning walks.
We decided to meet some of them to see if they had any unusual or interesting stories.
“Skippy” is a 10 year old Red Tick Coon Hound dog. Her owners bought her for $10 at a swap meet as a puppy from a guy selling a litter from the back of a pick up truck.
“Miss Beasly” was my fishing buddy all week. Our campsite was along the Colorado River so I was able to fish for two hours around sunrise each morning, and two hours around sunset each evening. I worked promising spots along the river bank about 500 yards apart each day. No matter where I was, Miss Beasly would rush down the embankment and greet me each time I was within sight of her owners RV camp. With her tail wagging a thousand times per second, she would inspect my catch, bait, gear and everything else in my kit. She was a pleasure to see each day especially when the fishing was slow.
“Max” is a 100+ pound purebred American black Labrador. Max and his owners were visiting from Oregon where they owned a farm. We saw Max taking a walk, or more accurately dragging his owner at least 5 or 6 times a day. Max was used to running free on their 14-acre Christmas tree farm up north so he needed a lot of walk time while on leash at the RV park. Max is the offspring of two duck hunting dogs.
“Chloe” is a Shih Tzu mix and as cute as a button. Chloe had no fears of anything including much bigger dogs. I wonder if dogs knew what they looked like in the mirror they would be so bold when approaching bigger dogs?
“Ray” was our neighbor for the entire week. A beautiful female shepherd whom everyone called “Ray-Ray”. Big and ferocious looking from afar, Ray was as gentle and loving as any dog I have ever met. Ray’s owner Anthony was a workcamper at the park so Ray was left alone for a good part of the day. Anthony would let her off leash for a bit each evening and she would always meander over to our camp and greet our two dogs. Ray is a real sweet dog.
“Trixie’s” owner describes her as a “Heinz 57”, an unknown mixture of a lot of mutts. According to her owner, the SPCA had rescued her on a rescue mission in Mexico. Trixie was set on fire in Mexico, abandoned, and left in a dumpster to perish. The owner’s wife was part of the SPCA team that rescued her and as they say, Trixie won the doggie lottery that day, albeit through much pain and suffering.
The vast majority of the RV’ers at this park were ‘snowbirds”, down from Washington and Oregon for the winter. I am guessing that at least 60-70 percent had dogs with them. Many owners had pairs of dogs. We saw two ‘weiner dogs’ together; a bulldog and a pug together, (“Simon and Rodney”); a beautiful black and white Cavalier King spaniel; and a Chow Chow.
Dogs love the great outdoors and in my humble opinion, they make camping and RV’ing all the more enjoyable.
Hot Paws on Dogs
One thing in life is undeniable. We have ALL at one time or another walked barefoot on scorching sand at the beach or scalding pavement in summer and felt the pain that left us hopping as fast as we could to cooler surfaces.
If the pavement is too hot for YOUR hands and feet, it is definitely too hot for your dogs paws. Serious burns and damage can happen quickly to the pads on your dog’s feet.
It is actually true that you can fry an egg on pavement.
Pavement temperature an egg will fry is 131 degrees.
There are a few things you can do to keep Poochie safe. If you can’t hold your hand to the hot pavement for more than 7-10 seconds, its too hot to walk the dog on.
Walk the dog in the early morning hours when the pavement is much cooler. Walking on pavement actually toughens up the pads on paws.
Walk on the grass if the pavement is too hot.
There are a bunch of different waxes on the market to keep paw pads moisturized and protected in both cold and hot weather. If your dog’s paw pads are cracked and dry in hot weather, consider using a wax to moisturize and protect them. You can make your own paw wax but we prefer Musher’s Secret. It’s a reliable product used by professionals who work with and rely on dogs in all weather.
There are also a ton of dog booties, shoes, and other products that your dog can wear. I have never actually seen a dog wearing them. I tried them years ago on my dogs paws but in all honesty, he wanted nothing to do with them and it was difficult to keep them on him.
Can a Dog Get a Ticket for No Seatbelt?
So you have that big, huge roomy RV with a queen size bed, sofas, chairs and a nice cool floor. All perfect for you pooch to live the life of luxury just like home…right? Maybe not.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, pets should be tethered in a seat belt, restraint, cage or crate. It is important that your dog or cat not roam freely while driving. Animals are not accustomed to the motion, the sound of rolling wheels and the constant stop and go motions of an RV. Cats, much more than dogs are not particularly comfortable in any vehicle. Cats travel best in a carrier that is secured by a seat belt or harness.
Remember, in the event of an accident or sudden stop, our pets can be thrown around like a dish towel and sustain life threatening injuries. In Arizona, Maine and Connecticut they use distracted-driving laws to charge drivers with pets on their laps.
In Hawaii the law explicitly forbids drivers from holding a pet on their lap.
In New Jersey officers can stop a driver they believe is improperly transporting an animal. Tickets range from $250 to $1,000 per offense, and a driver can face offenses under animal-cruelty laws.
Rhode Island currently has proposed legislation pending that would make having a dog in your lap a distracted-driving violation.
Some helpful tips to make sure that man’s best friend enjoys the trip and gets there safely:
- Pets are best kept out of the cab of the RV. A deploying air bag could easily crush them.
- Despite all the TV commercials, movies and real life on the road sightings, dogs should not stick their heads out the window. Aside from debris injuring them, the forced air into their lungs can be damaging and the wind force is damaging to their eyes.
- Make plenty of rest stops for water, peeing, pooping and stretching. Always clean up after your pet.
- Never leave a pet unattended in the cab of a pickup truck or a car. The temperature can elevate to deadly levels in minutes. A pleasant 85 degree day can turn into a 120 degree oven in about 20 minutes causing death. With an RV, you have a little more flexibility…if you are prudent.
- In an RV, it can and will get hot. However, you have power to control AC, fans and other cooling devices. Make use of them.
- Always have plenty of fresh water for your pets.
Lastly, our experience for the last 20 years has been with dogs. We welcome any comments or blogs you wish to contribute that will help our readers wishing to travel with cats, birds, reptiles, hamsters and any of the other creatures that bring joy to our lives.
RV Traveling with Your Pets
At All America RV… we love checklists! Here is a simple one since poochie can’t remind you before you leave.
It is by no means all-inclusive as your pet may have special needs, toys, medicine, etc.
First and foremost, make sure your campground destination, whether one or many you plan to visit, accepts pets. Some campground limit the size of pets as well to small dogs. It can be pretty disappointing to pull into your campground only to find out they don’t allow pets. Especially after driving 300 miles.
- Water- Although unlikely, your pet may not take well to the water from the RV or some campgrounds. Take some bottled water in reserve.
- Copies of your pet’s health records, vaccinations, ID tags, micro-chip info, rabies certificate & photos in case they get lost. Some campgrounds check for current vaccinations.
- A supply of all your pets medications, vitamins, special dietary foods and favorite treats. Make sure that you bring enough food for the entire trip. Changing food brands should never be done all at once and is normally a stepped process. You don’t want to start that process on the road.
- Food and water bowls. Animals are creatures of habit and like their own stuff.
- Pooper scooper and plenty of plastic bags…I mean LOTS of plastic bags.
- Pets bedding and favorite toys. Pets are more comfortable in their own bed.
- Leashes and boundary fencing. We use both long leashes at the campground and short leashes for walking. Boundary fencing can be useful in tight campsites with close neighbors or thick shrubbery. See the slideshow above for different pet fencing ideas at campsites.
- We bring separate bath towels for the dogs. You probably won’t want to dry off after a shower with a towel used on a wet dog.
- Shampoo, flea and tick applications like Frontline or Advantage. Dogs can get into mischief in the wild. Our dogs in the past have been sprayed by skunks and rolled around in cow chips…believe it or not.
Why We LOVE Our Pets
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