Making your motorhome pet friendly
We have all heard that pets are a non-prescription preventative medicine. Pets offer companionship, love, comfort, and a reason to get up every morning for many seniors. They say that when a spouse dies, the people who do better emotionally are the ones who have dogs. For this reason, many retirees are on the road in recreational vehicles with their pets. Many dogs take to traveling really well, others need special care to get them accustomed to life on the road.
Before you leave home, visit your local vet and get an updated medical record to carry with you. Pick up a prescription for motion sickness medication just in case. Continue to treat your dog with flea and tick medication to prevent them from bringing bugs on board. Put together a little doggie first aid kit with things like bandages, and antiseptic just in case. Bring familiar toys and his bed from home. Set up his bed in the same place each night so it becomes routine. Pack his regular food and treats, as well as his water and food bowls. Let your dog spend some time in the motorhome while you are prepping for your trip in the days ahead of your journey so he can get familiar with the interior. Just like when you have to baby-proof a home, crawl around at dog’s eye level and see if there is anything enticing that needs to be put away. Bring his leash, as well as a spare leash and collar. Remember to make sure you book your stops in pet friendly RV Parks.
- photo – Telstar Logistics
On The Road
Keep mealtimes the same. Sticking to his normal routine wherever possible will keep him from feeling stressed and uncertain. This isn’t a good time to try a new food, you wouldn’t want him suffering from digestive distress in the confines of a motorhome. Plan on stopping to walk him at his usual time as well. Look ahead on your maps or gps for rest area stops along your route. Be aware of local hazards like rattlesnakes and scorpions which may be out at certain times of the day or night. Dogs should always be secured in a pet carrier or a seat harness while the motorhome is underway. This is for their safety as well as yours, in the case of an accident. If they have been trained to travel in a crate, this will be the least stressful option. Keep some rags and cleaner handy since even well trained dogs will make mistakes in new surroundings.
At Your Destination
If you are going to be spending time in an area, find a local vet and animal hospital so that you know where to go in case of an emergency. Locate a kennel service in case you have to leave your dog because of an emergency of your own, or if you know you will have to be away from the motorhome and your dog doesn’t do well left on his own. You should always take into consideration the climate of the area you are visiting. If you leave your dog inside, and the air conditioner fails in the desert, the motorhome will get very uncomfortable in a short period of time.
Written by Matthew Fox