Full-time RVer and owner of Eccentric Nomads blog, Diann, reflects on the perks and oddities of RVing with pets.
While our human children may be grown and gone on to make lives for themselves, we still have our four-legged kids to take care of while on the road. Meet our 13-year-old border collie mix, Hannah, and her younger, by 10 years, springer spaniel mix sister, Sadie. Our girls fill our days and evenings with entertainment and love while we’re on the road.
One of our biggest concerns when we made the decision to go full-time RVing was how the girls would adjust to life without a backyard and in a relatively confined space. I’m happy to report they are doing amazingly well!
Not a surprise to us, many RVers travel with their pets. We’ve seen far more dogs than any other type animal, though a few cats have been spotted lurking in the windows of motorhomes when we walk the girls down to the dog area of the park we’re currently in.
In our sticks and bricks home, our girls had more contact with humans than animals, so they’ve had to adjust to being around other dogs and wildlife during walks or play time. I’ve always said I’m grateful humans don’t greet each other the way dogs do. I’ve now grown accustomed to the first-time, bottom-sniff greeting, but I sometimes wish it would end a little quicker. I mean, really? It may be normal in the animal kingdom, but this gal really doesn’t enjoy watching it.
That said, one thing about being a pet owner that we’ve enjoyed while on the road is meeting others and getting to know them through their furry family members. Hannah has grown very fond of an 8-year-old wiener dog named Oscar. I suppose the close-contact stalking they do is enjoyable for them, but both Oscar’s owner and I are waiting to see if we’ll need to use the water hose to clean off their heads after they’ve been trickled on from getting too close. While we wait for their dance to stop, we visit about RV life, how long we’ve been at it, and the various places we’ve traveled.
A few things to consider when you take your pets on the road with you…
One is how well they travel. We’ve been fortunate to have few issues with our girls, aside from Sadie not liking windy roads and retreating from the truck seat to the floorboard during those times. Hannah, on the other hand, just sleeps through it.
Also, allow them to get plenty of exercise. As an added benefit, you will also be getting a workout when you walk them or take them for a run. We’re currently camped in a location with a river not far away, so a few times a week we take the girls for a swim so they get a chance to cool off.
Before you hit the road…
Make sure all their shots are updated, put tags on them with their names and your phone numbers, get them chipped in case they get lost, and wherever you park, find out where the nearest veterinarian’s office or animal hospital is from you. After all, you made the choice to bring them with you so you owe it to them to make sure they’re taken care of, as well.
Article by Diann Bayes
Diann is a full-time RVer who runs her own travel blog, Eccentric Nomads. She also writes a weekly series of articles for RoverPass, offering her inside tips and advice for first-time RVers.