RV+Dog:
7 Things You Should Take on Your Trip

color photo of white Poodle looking out window of RV

My dog now enjoys his occasional trips in an RV, but it took us all awhile to work out our living arrangements.

Remember, dogs love routines and the more you can maintain his normal one; e.g., walks, bedtime and feeding at usual times, the happier he's likely to be.

If you're going to be a full-time or almost full-time RVer, it's easier to keep a second set of everything important for your dog in your RV.

Based on our experiences, here are 7 doggy things that I never leave home without.

1. Nature's Miracle Stain & Odor Remover

This enzyme cleaner is great for potty accidents as it cleans up odors so your dog doesn't use the scent to establish a new potty area.

The excitement and stress of new surroundings and travel is enough to make almost any dog have the occasional accident.

2. Collapsible pen or crate

You need some way to restrain your dog when you're outside, such as barbecuing your dinner, and can't keep your eyes on him. Never let a dog run lose in a campground. It's dangerous for him and likely to get you kicked out of the campground.

I don't like tie outs because of the possibility that your dog could wrap his leash or chain around his neck. Other animals or people could attack him. He needs to be safely contained or under your control and sight at all times.

We use the Pet Gear Travel Lite Octagon Pet Pen with Removable Top.

3. Pet first-ad kit

Accidents happen suddenly. Please to keep the most common first aid items (such as a thermometer, sterile bandage wraps, Benadryl) in an easy to reach kit.

I carry the AKC Pet Safety Kit, Small, 20-Piece, Red plus Benadryl and Pepto-Bismol (works on canines or humans) but you can build your own kit with the same items.

4. Food and water from home

If you use a grocery store or pet store dog food, there shouldn't be a problem buying it on the road. If you use a brand you get from your vet, make sure you have an extra bag so you don't have to pay a new vet to get a prescription brand food.

Many dogs get upset stomachs from unfamiliar water. This is especially important, for instance, if you have a water softener at home but will have access only to rural or well water that may be hard with all kinds of unfamiliar minerals. Distilled water is always good for drinking.

5. Favorite toy or blanket

What are the one or two items your dog loves the most or takes to bed with him every night?

6. Important papers

Have copies of health records such as rabies and other vaccinations and any problems plus a copy of any prescription medicines. Proof of current rabies vaccination is crucial and required by law in many states.

Have several current pictures of him in case he should get lost or stolen. In addition, have one or two photos of the dog with your family members to help prove ownership. These are not photos to post. They are to have on hand for the authorities to help prove you are the dog's owner.

7. Dry shampoo and/or wet cloths

He's going to get dirty but you may not want/be able to bathe him as you would at home. You may not have the room, or the available water may be unacceptable. If don't want to use a professional groomer, there's always dry shampoo.

I don't love any brand as most leave some white residue and are difficult to get completely off a dog's coat. I use the human brand Matrix Design Pulse Clean Remix Instant Dry Shampoo Aerosol Spray for my dog and myself (and only as a last resort).

You can make your own dry shampoo with equal parts cornstarch and baking soda. Sift the ingredients together to eliminate any lumps and put in a salt or other shaker to apply to your dog. Some people like to add a few drops of good smelling oils but when you're in the great outdoors, you probably don't want your dog to attract too much attention.

Whatever you use, do the grooming outdoors. The powder or spray from the shampoo will get over everything especially if your dog tries to shake it off.

It's nice to have a box of moistened wipes by the door to clean your dog's paws before he comes back in the RV. I take along Walmart's Equate Everyday Clean wipes (hypallergic and fragrance free). You can use soap and water but I find wipes much less messy.

Have a great time!!!!

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