If you are a dog owner, you likely consider your pets to be part of the family. Of course, when you set out on an RV vacation, you want to be able to take them with you for the experience. And, in fact, that is one of the best advantages of owning an RV – you can take your dogs with you without having to worry about finding a ‘pet-friendly’ hotel or some other accommodation.

While it is great fun to travel with your dogs, there are some things you need to avoid doing in order to make sure everyone has a fun trip from start to finish. Take note of the following points and you should be able to look forward to a fun and memorable vacation for all involved.

Don’t Let the Dogs Roam Free in Transit

You might think that you can just let your dog walk around the motorhome while you are driving to your campsite, but that would be a bad idea. Not only are you putting your pets at risk when you let them roam around, but you could also be creating a dangerous situation for yourself (and everyone else on the road) if your dog comes up into the driver’s area while you are on the freeway.

Instead, make sure your dogs have a place in the RV where they can be secured during the trip. They will likely be more comfortable this way anyway, and they may just nod off to sleep until you reach your destination. The sofa in an motorhome is often a good place to secure them, but you can look for a solution that works for your needs based on the size of your dogs.

Don’t Forget a Pet Gate

The nature of RV travel is coming and going from indoors to outdoors on a regular basis. You likely travel in an RV because you love being outside, so the door to your RV is going to be opened and closed frequently. With that in mind, it is a good idea to use a pet gate to keep your dogs contained while you come and go. You can use the gate to keep them in the back of the RV, for example, so they aren’t able to slip out the door while you are packing/unpacking.

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Don’t Drive All Day Without a Break

Just like humans, dogs should get out of the RV from time to time during a long day of travel. Make it a point to stop at least once every couple hours during a long road tip to let the dogs run around for a minute (and go potty, of course). There are usually rest areas along the freeway with specifically designated areas for pets to stretch their legs.

Don’t Take A/C for Granted

Even if your RV has air conditioning, don’t take it for granted that you will be able to keep your dogs cool enough on a hot summer day. If the grid is overloaded at a campground (from everyone running their air units at once), you could lose power and your dogs could suddenly be stuck in a hot rig (if you are away). Be careful and always error on the side of caution to make sure your pets are safe throughout the trip.

Don’t Assume Everyone Loves Dogs

This last tip is out of consideration for your neighbors in the campground. Even if a campground is dog friendly, and even if you love your dogs and know they are harmless, you shouldn’t assume that everyone around you feels the same way you do about pets. Some people are afraid of dogs, and others simply don’t like them. Whatever the case, show consideration for those around you and keep your pets under control at all times.