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traveling with petsAs we get ready to hop in our RVs for our great summer adventures, there is one thing that we cannot overlook before we hit the road. So many of us travel with our pets these days, and we can’t just take their comfort, health, and travel-readiness for granted.

Here are a few things to think about before you leave the house so that Brutus and Lily have as much fun on vacation as the rest of the family.traveling with pets

Health Check – Double check to make sure that all of your pet’s vaccinations and shots are up to date. If you’re taking care of your vet appointments on a regular basis, this shouldn’t be a problem, but don’t assume that every thing’s in order before you leave – check your records, and take a copy with you.

In addition, if your pet has any ongoing medication that is required, make sure your supply is stocked for the length of your trip.  The same holds true for heart worm, tick, and flea meds. The worst thing would be for your puppy to get sick on your trip, and for you not to have what you need, or for you not to have quick-access info to show to the local vet.

Safety Check – Make sure you have all the tags on your pet’s collar current. At a minimum you should have a rabies tag with your vet’s information, and an ID tag with your pet’s name and your phone number. ( cell phone, not home – because guess who won’t be home to answer the phone if you’re on vacation? )traveling with pets An extra tag that would be great is a scan tag from a place like PetHub. Scanning with a smart phone opens access to your phone number, a back up number in case you can’t be reached, all of your pet’s medical information including when they receive their heart worm pill and flea and tick drops, rabies shot records, and even pictures of her.

Micro-chipping is something that many breeders are doing now as litters are being born, and it is a wonderful thing for your pet to have. If your pet did not have it done at birth, it can still be done, it is not expensive ($15-$50) and worth the price for the peace of mind. If you become separated, your pet can be scanned by any veterinarian, animal shelter, or animal hospital, and returned to you safely.

Before you leave for your trip, think about what kind of cat or dog you have….

  • Inside Only – If your pet darts for the door every time you open it, this means you’re in for some major training before you hit the road.

  • Outside Only – Don’t expect an outside pet to willingly be ‘stuck’ inside your RV all the time. You’ll need to devote a lot of time walking and stimulating your pet before going on the road. Bring your cat or dog inside daily to get them used to life inside.

  • Inside and Outside – A great start for an RV-friendly pet. Practice “escaping” and “recall” at your home; understand which toys or treats will get your pet to come back inside when you call them.

traveling with pets

Transition Brutus to RV travel:

  • Load your pet into his pet carrier and take a few short (20 miles or so) trips in your car. He may cry the majority of the time – maybe not if he’s used to the car from trips to the vet. Do this a few times over a one-week period.

  • Next, take your pet on a drive around town in the RV. Make sure you get some highway travel in on this trip.

  • If all goes well, it’s time to take Brutus on his first camping trip. Be cautious for escapees. Don’t assume he won’t run through the screen door. This trip should be focused on pampering him with treats, petting, and toys–do everything you can to make him feel comfortable.

traveling with a petPacking List – There are a few things you must have for Lily while traveling:

  • Hard-sided pet carrier – A soft-sided carrier never proves to be sturdy enough. Your pet might end up ‘living’ in the RV as if it were home, instead of needing the security of a carrier, but it’s good to have one just in case.

  • Airtight food storage – BPA-free airtight containers will keep pests out of any extra food you have on board (and keeps the food fresh).

  • Good litter – If you have a cat, this is obviously a MUST. No matter how big your RV is, it can never be big enough to prevent the litter box aroma from taking over, so purchase the best odor-fighting litter you can find.

With a bit of training and pampering, and a little extra preparation on your part, your whole family – furry members included – ( no – i’m not referring to Uncle Bernie ) will be ready to hit the road with you! Happy Travels!!

traveling with pets

Safford RV…  your Virginia RV Dealer

6101 Mallard Rd, Thornburg, VA

540 735 1100 / 800 719 3507