We’ve all had this happen – grab your pup to go experience the great outdoors, traveling towards the beach only to find ‘pet unfriendly’ hotels along the way! Dang it, talk about a weekend spoiler.
“But my dog is well trained,” you plead in a rather wobbly voice, pushing through the anxiety you feel at the prospect of sleeping in your car, mustering up the self-assuredness required when attempting to talk someone into doing something that they can’t or don’t want to do. “Sorry” is the one word response you receive from the caretaker. Bugger….you think to yourself as you watch the sun set behind the blinking, neon hotel moniker.
This was our experience – my husband, also known as my Better Whole, and me taking weekend jaunts to small towns, only to find limited options for nightly stays that would welcome our three critters. We got tired of explaining that our dogs were perfect, that they never barked, dropped only the perfumiest (is that a word?) of poo, and that if given enough time they could learn to trim the hedges of the hotel lawn! Okay, so we may confused the facts a little – truth be told, dogs are dogs and they can do things that some folks don’t twelcome. So, what did we do?
RV, The Pet Friendly Travel Solution!
We’re campers! Yup, we have joined the ranks of RV campers, and camping with pups is easy as long as you know all the basics. Let me share our rules of the road:
Keep your dog safe while traveling down the road with your RV. The Better Whole has a pretty awesome vehicle with a dedicated backseat section that houses a safe booster-seat set-up to keep the pups seatbelt-harnessed and safe for travel. All in a nice temperature controlled environment while we travel to our destination. Rule #1 for how to RV with your dog: everyone stay safe and buckle up while traveling!
Stop to sip some water, have snacks, stretch legs and take potty breaks. We camp in forests near small towns, and sometimes potty breaks are in less than ideal places. Easy for the Better Whole and pups….not for me. I have the solution! There’s this thing that allows women to join the ranks of free flow-ers (without getting your ankles sprinkled on-ladies know what I mean). Rule #2 for how to RV with your dog: take breaks while traveling to your destination!
Safe Travel 2
Have your pup properly identified, it’ll come in handy if like us, you wander into Canada. Have a copy of your dog’s vaccination or teeter test paperwork on hand, and make sure he is sporting his officially issued dog license and is microchipped. Even well-behaved dogs can get excited when encountering strange creatures they’ve never seen before! Mattie goes nuts every time he smells a cow – squeals, shivers, trying to meet the cows, he even broke free from his leash and swam across a river to meet one. We now carry a pet first aid kit! Rule #3 for how to RV with your dog: keep your dog safe, leashed and near you!
Woohoo – you’ve made it to your ideal camp site, easy for day-visits to nearby towns! We stay deep in the woods, neighbor free, just me and my pups, my Better Whole and our RV (with a compost toilet, no, they don’t smell!), and bring our dog’s comfort and necessity items, and we don’t stray from our dog’s routine meals. Being out in the woods is not when you want to learn if your pup can eat something different – your dog counts on you to keep things under control. Have copious amounts of fresh water filtered for purity available. Relax and in the morning harness up your pup and explore local finds. Rule #4 for how to RV with your dog: make sure you create a normal experience for your dog!
Now that you know how to make travel fun for you and your pup, give RVing a try – you can rent or buy, and even tent. You’ll get more from the experience when you keep your pup safely with you and enjoy pet-friendly travel together! Hike together, explore nearby towns together, bathe together (not literally together, but bathe every now and again), eat and play together, do as much as you can together – and photograph it. Life is short – you’ll cherish those images, trust me!
Thanks for reading, and until next time – take care and keep on lovin’ your dog!
With lub, MattieDog, a little dog making a big impact in this world!®