Are you looking to hit the road but think having a furry companion has to keep you stationary? Or maybe you think you have to leave your furry best bud behind...think again!
For anyone that's new to Hale.On.A.Trail, hello and welcome! My name is Olivia and I travel with my husband, Colton, and our 2 rescue pups, Bonnie and Stella. I have been a travel nurse since September of 2020 and we all live in a 2004 Class A Fleetwood Bounder. Leaving our doggos behind was never an option for us- and I'm here to assure you, it doesn't have to be for you either! Like anyone else with a pet, I know firsthand just how much they are another member of your family. Luckily, bringing your furry friends can be a totally doable option when hitting the road. This blog post is dedicated to helpful tips and tricks that will make the transition not just easier but sustainable, too!
Keep Copies of Records
Just like all of us, our pets will eventually get sick or need a check up. I recommend keeping an organized binder of any vet records on the road with you to prepare for such times! Having the binder ready to go will make any visit to the vet a breeze!
Is It Dog Friendly?
If you're like us, you love hitting any and every hiking trail! Making sure trails are dog friendly is something we've gotten into the habit of doing. Luckily, AllTrails is an outdoor app that makes finding dog friendly trails easy. Not only can you customize your trail search to be specific to dog friendly trails, but if you're looking at a specific park or area, the app usually lists it in the trail definition!
Know Before You Go
Most campgrounds nowadays are dog friendly, however we have noticed occasional restrictions on certain "aggressive breeds." Breeds we've seen categorized as aggressive are German Shepherd, Pitbull, Doberman, Rottweiler, etc. We know that aggression is not determined by breed, but some people don't agree. No matter what breed your dog is, remember that new people do not know him/her and may be fearful of dogs. Ensure your pups are on a leash and/or harness for the comfort of others around you.
Our Bonnie is 105 pounds and tends to think everyone is her new best friend, so we've found a harness keeps her under better control!
Keep Boarding Shots Up To Date
Although we always want to bring our pets adventuring with us, sometimes it's just not an option. Keeping vaccines necessary for boarding up to date will save you the headache- especially if you're a last minute planner!
Pick Up That Poo
Most RV parks offer dog runs and free poop bags. If this isn't the case, we've gotten into the habit of using those pesky, extra grocery bags as a replacement! Always clean up after your pet- if you don't, you may be fined or force the parks/campgrounds to restrict the presence of dogs in the future!
Keep Lint Rollers Stocked
Shedding is inevitable when it comes to most dogs. This occurrence can seem heighten when deciding to downsize for life on the road. We've adopted vacuuming as a daily chore in the RV. Having lint rollers on hand is a lifesaver when getting fur off of clothes, pillows, and furniture.
Dog Friendly Hotels
Before we hit the road full time, I had no idea that dog friendly hotels were actually a thing. Do some research before a weekend away so your furry friend can potentially tag along. Sometimes hotels only charge a small fee to allow animals inside!
Keep a decal in the front window of your RV listing the number, breed/color, and names of any pets you have. In an emergency situation, responders will know who may be inside that needs help! At the very least (if possible) let someone who is not traveling know to alert campground staff if not heard from you by a designated time. Or befriend a trustworthy neighbor to pet sit!
Anticipate Your Dog's Needs
Similar to each and every human, every dog is different from the next with unique needs and special quirks. No one knows your pup better than you! Recognize your pet's specific needs and do the best you can to cater to them. For instance, our little girl Stella gets very anxious in the car. We made a point to get antianxiety medication from our vet for long road trips prior to starting travel nursing and RV life!
Be Mindful Of Temperatures
While it is easy to want to save a few extra bucks on heating and air conditioning, remember who it might be harming. Regulate RV temperatures so any pets left behind are comfortable. At the very least, invest in some extra blankets and/or a fan!
Be Patient With Your Pooch
Life on the road is a big change for animals and humans alike! Keep the faith, most pets will adjust better than you initially anticipate. Keeping their favorite treats on hand at all times is always helpful too!
Ultimately, life on the road can be just as enjoyable for your pet as it can be for you! Involve your four legged friends as much as you can. It may just show you they crave adventure, too!