If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that we just got a new puppy. We’re so excited for all the adventures ahead with this little Aussiedoodle. In preparation, we’ve been sent down a crazy rabbit hole looking for all of the best tips for camping with dogs.
If you’re getting ready to hit the road with your dog, or if you’re looking for easy ways to simplify camping with your favorite canine, here are a few of the best tips we’ve stumbled upon.
The Road Trip
In order to get to anywhere, you need to get in the truck first. You need to make your journey by vehicle and drive to your destination. Often, that part of the trip can be very difficult for dogs, especially if they get car sick or aren’t accustomed to road trips (yet).
Before you leave your house, follow these 3 tips:
- Put your dog’s bed and restraint in a place where they’ll be most comfortable. For our puppy, that’s on the floor of the backseat by the kiddos. For others, it might be in the back of the SUV.
- Feed your dog an hour before leaving the house. You don’t want any kind of bodily functions happening in the car on your drive. Feed your dog ahead of time to give their tummy time to process the food.
- Tire your dog out. After feeding your dog, take him or her for a walk. Get that nervous energy out. Don’t think your dog is nervous? Think again. Dogs can sense when it’s about time to pack up and leave, and often are fearful of the unknown. If your dog loves adventure as much as you do, then that extra energy will be excited energy. Either way, a walk will help.
Keep All Dogs Leashed
One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing dogs off-leash at campgrounds. Most campgrounds have a rule in place that requires dogs to stay leashed unless they’re in a designated dog park. Still, I know plenty of people who choose to take their dog off leash because they know how well trained their dog is.
While there’s something to be said about having a well-trained dog, there’s also something to be said about nervous dogs who might not be quite as friendly. If your dog runs into someone else’s campsite and there’s a dog there who isn’t dog-friendly, a fight can break out.
The same goes for when your dog encounters wildlife. Even a small squirrel can hurt a dog under the right circumstances. Keeping your dog leashed will keep everyone safer and the campground a whole lot more relaxing.
Leaving Your Dogs in the RV
Probably the most concerning part of RVing with dogs is when you’re not near your dogs. Most RV owners worry about at least one of the following:
- The AC or power going out while they’re gone, causing their dog to overheat
- The dog barking, disrupting the campground neighborhood
- The dog chewing up the furniture because they’re so nervous
I’ll start from the last and work my way up.
If your dog is a chewer, don’t be shy about kenneling the dog. It actually can help your pup feel safer in the long-run. You might even consider putting your dog in the bathroom where there’s less to chew.
If you’re worried about barking, help your dog stay calmer by putting on a TV show or white noise machine. The noise will drown out neighbors and help your dog to feel more at peace. I’ve also heard that many experts and seasoned RVers give their dogs CBD or melatonin if they’re going to be out for a long period of time.
If you’re worried about the power going out and your dog overheating, invest in a system that lets you monitor your dog and the RV alike. A system, such as Waggle or Nest, can help you keep an eye on what’s happening temperature-wise in your RV while you’re out.
Tag Your Pet
Most of the time, you have eyes on your pet while at the campground. Still, sometimes you feel safe enough to step inside to use the restroom or grab a snack. In that moment, your pet might roam further than you’d like, causing you to lose him or her. These moments are so scary, but they don’t have to be if you tag your pet with your campsite number.
Tagging your pet can be easy. Simply tie a string around your pet’s collar with a wooden piece that has your campsite number on it. These small wooden tags are available in the Cruisin’ + Campfires camping dog gift box.
Have an Exit Strategy
Let’s talk exit strategies. I don’t mean packing up and booking it off the campground as quickly as possible. I mean exiting your RV.
Whenever you open the door to your RV, it’s tempting for your dog to rush out and explore. That quick exit, ahead of you, can be dangerous if there’s wildlife in the area. Training your dog to wait for you to leave the RV can give you a chance to do a quick scan of the area to be sure there isn’t a skunk or bear waiting for him.
Soothe Rashes and Tired Paws
Your dog is bound to get into something new — a cactus, bush, rocky terrain, you name it. It’s all part of adventuring.
If your dog is allergic to grass, you might notice a rash popping up where your dog has been rubbing against the blades of grass. Having a natural ointment to stop the itching and scratching is essential to keeping your dog happy while at the campground.
Likewise, your dog’s paws are also bound to get a little extra sore if you’re hiking further on trails than he’s used to. Having ointment on hand to help soothe your puppy’s tired paws can help stop him from licking and keep your entire family a little more comfortable while at the campground.
Not-so-subtle-plug — we strongly recommend PetAid by Doc Spartan (also available in the Cruisin’ + Campfires camping dog gift box). This natural ointment rolls directly onto your dog’s paws just like you roll on deodorant each morning.
What Are Your Tips for RVing With Dogs?
These tips only scratch the surface of what you need to know about RVing with your dog. What are your best tips for keeping your pups happier at the campground and safe while traveling? Send us a message on Instagram and let us hear!