10 Tips for Rving with Dogs to Keep them Happy and Safe

Many of us travel in RVs because it makes traveling with our families comfortable and convenient. This is especially true when you’re traveling with pets, since you can almost always find a hotel room for you and your children but may be refused if you have several dogs with you. This is often a factor in owning an RV, explaining why up to half of RV owners are rving with dogs. 

Here are 10 Tips for Rving with Dogs below!

Tip 1: Have a Way to Secure Your Pets 

RVs may feel like home. Your dogs may try to sit in the front seat or lay on the floor. However, you’re in a moving vehicle. This means your pets could be injured if you come to a hard stop or get in a wreck. One way to keep pets safe is by having the dog in a pet carrier that is secured in place.

Another option is a crash tested seat belt harness that holds the dog in the seat if the vehicle comes to a sudden stop. Don’t let the dogs run around in the vehicle while you’re driving. They become a danger if they’re curled around your feet and get in the way of you hitting the brakes.

Don’t put the dog in a towed trailer, because that could tip over on a hard turn. Never tie the dog crate to the top of your vehicle with the dog in it, since you could lose both if the crate flies off the roof when driving.

A side benefit of these containment methods is that it prevents the dog from jumping out when you get out to check the tires or fill up with gas. 

You could give the pets a little more freedom when the RV is stopped by putting a pet gate between the driving section and living section. Then they can walk around the back but can’t jump out an open driver’s side door. 

Tip 2: Include the Pet’s Needs in Your Itinerary 

Traveling with pets requires a little more planning that travel with children. After all, your children would be able to use the RV bathroom, but your pet can’t. Plan on stopping every few hours so that your dogs can relieve themselves. 

Research in advance whether the campgrounds or parks you’re visiting allow pets. 

Tip 3: Pay Attention to the Weather 

Many of us are aware of the danger of leaving a young child in a hot car. Yet our pets face the same risk when left in a car – or RV. When you’re rving with dogs and have to leave them in the RV, take steps to ensure your dogs don’t get overheated. 

Leave the windows down far enough to give them fresh air but not so low the dogs can escape. Give them extra water. 

Tip 4: Create a Pet Information Packet 

A pet information packet will have pictures of your pet, vaccination information and licensing information. The pictures of your pet are invaluable if your pet is lost. The vaccination and licensing information allow you to prove that your pet meets local regulations.

For example, if your pet bites someone or is bitten by another animal, you may save your dog from being detained or even destroyed if you already carry the documentation proving they are vaccinated against rabies. 

Tip 5: Train Your Dog Before Traveling 

There are several dimensions to this advice. First, socialize your dog before you take them traveling. They cannot be taken to campgrounds and parks if they see every person walking by as a threat. 

Second, house train the dogs before you take them in the RV. If it is bad enough to have to clean up a dog mess in a house, it is even worse in an RV since you can’t really get away from the smells it creates. 

Tip 6: Pack the Right Gear 

Take extra supplies of the items that are hard to replenish when you’re on the road. You can come up with makeshift water bowls. Your pets could eat human leftovers in a pinch. You would be hard pressed to find more pet waste bags and leashes if you run out.

Carry plenty of treats, since you are more likely to need them to get a loose dog back to the RV than you would getting your dog to come back inside your home if they get out. 

Tip 7: Give Your Dog Their Own Space in the RV 

Dogs are territorial. They need their own place, even if it is only a dog bed. Try to create a space for your dog that they can retreat to when tired or tired of the unfamiliar. If your dog is crate trained, take their crate with you so they can stay in their familiar space.

In other cases, it is their dog bed or a bunk space. 

Tip 8: Introduce Your Dog to the RV before Driving with Them in It

If you want to minimize the stress your dog experiences while traveling in an RV, allow your dog to have ample time to become comfortable with the RV. Take them to the RV to explore it, and let them find a place they are comfortable in.

This is a good place to put their dog bed. Get the dog used to going up and down stairs. Train them where they are not allowed to go.

Learn what you may need to do to make the RV pet-proof before go RVing with dogs. 

Tip 9: Understand Local Leash Laws and Regulations 

Research the local leash laws before you visit a location. For example, many places require you to have your dog on a short leash. Even in national parks and wilderness reserves, you may be legally required to have your pet on a leash.

Learn about the rules and regulations in effect at venues you want to visit. You may be allowed to take your dog to a historic place as long as you don’t take the dog into the buildings. 

Tip 10: Be a Considerate Pet Owner 

Be considerate to other RVers and campers. Clean up after your pets. Don’t let your dogs bark late at night when everyone else is trying to sleep. Keep your dogs on a close leash, so they cannot attack others’ pets or even other people.

If you tether your pets so they can spend time outside, ensure that they can’t break free. This is especially true if you’re staying somewhere with a lot of wildlife.

After all, your dogs will want to chase after all those deer and squirrels. 


Follow these steps, and you’ll be able to keep your dogs safe and happy while traveling in an RV. You’ll also avoid the worst case scenarios that make many pet owners regret traveling with pets. 

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John S.

Hello guys! I'm a 37-years-old author, traveler, writer, blogger, and a camper. I enjoy life as much as I can and love to visit beautiful places in my RV. That's why while traveling I have decided to dedicate some time to share my experiences with everyone that might be interested in traveling, camping, and RVs.