Posted on February 10, 2016
For many RVers, the joy of full-time RVing is enhanced by the presence of pets. But what do the pooches or felines feel about the prospect of living in a house on wheels? The good news is that they don’t really care if they’re aboard a vehicle, and some may even relish the prospect of sitting in the co-pilot seat watching the roads ahead and the rabbits in the grass. Having said that, some issues do arise when your pets transition from the familiarity of their home to a life of constant road adventures. If you’re planning to become a full time RVer with pets, you’ll find these tips useful.
Switching pet food too fast is one of the most common reasons for upset stomachs in our furry (and sometimes not so furry) friends. Ideally, your pet should have adapted to a specific brand of pet food, which should be widely available across the country or at least the states you plan to travel. One option is to use rolling plastic food containers to store a month’s supply of pet food. Make sure there’s always plenty of fresh water available for your pets.
It’s recommended that you stop every two hours to give pets time to do their business. They can also walk around and stretch their limbs during this time. A fixed feeding schedule will make it easier for you to anticipate your pet’s bowel movements.
A golden rule on indoor safety - especially if you have small-sized pets - is to keep them crated until you’re done operating all the slide-outs. For instance, cats can hide in spaces within bed slide-outs, resulting in mishaps when the slide-outs are extended or retracted. Crating is the best way to address this risk.
If your dog/cat has a habit of getting away when given the chance to step outside, tether, leash or confine them before getting out. Also, if a hyperactive dog has been well-exercised, the chances of running amok may be less, but stay vigilant to be on the safer side.
It is critical to have your pet ID chipped with your current contact information (your mobile phone number and your dog’s name) mentioned on the collar. This will prove invaluable in the event that your best friend goes missing.
Among the pet health and care accoutrements you should carry include a first-aid kit, any medication prescribed for your pet, hydrocortisone spray for insect bites, and - just in case you need it - a de-skunking kit. You may need to visit a vet during your travels, which is why you must always carry the hard as well as digital copies of your pet’s veterinary records.