A lot of RVer's take their
dogs, cats and other household pets on the road as many as two or
three dogs and/or cats at a time. Most, but not all, RV parks and
government campgrounds accept dogs and cats. Don't be surprised,
however, if there is an extra pet charge. You may even be assigned
to an area of the campground designated for pet owners. Some are
now enforcing breed restrictions, specifically on aggressive
The campground or RV park
will ask you to clean up after your pet, keep it on a
leash, and not allow it to disturb your neighbors. RV pet owners who
think these rules do not apply to them are the reason some RV parks
and campgrounds now refuse to allow pets, and some, may even ask you
to leave with a 'no refund' policy.
Some dogs and cats, like people, readily adapt and even look forward
to RV travel while others have difficulty adjusting. Keep in mind
though that your pet(s) will be encountering by new sights, sounds
and smells. They will be in close contact with a variety of
different people and surroundings. This can be stressful for some
dogs and may lead to barking and unpredictable behavior.
Be prepared in case your dog or cat gets away from you. Be sure you
your pet has an identification collar on it. Include your RV's make
and license number as well as your RV's cellular phone number.
Provide a protective travel case
for your pets. It
will prevent them from becoming flying missiles when the brakes are
suddenly applied. It will also keep them from jumping on or
otherwise interfering with the driver. The travel case can double as
a familiar and secure place for your pet to sleep.
You'll want to also carry a valid
rabies vaccination certificate. Many
campgrounds and some RV parks require them. RVer's traveling to and
from Canada and Mexico are required to have a valid veterinarian
health certificate, including a proof of rabies vaccination.
When traveling by air with your dog/cat - PREPARE - contact the
country where you will be traveling at least 3 months prior to
find out rules governing that country. Ensure that you are able to
meet these requirements and specifications. Pay attention to
detail: ensure that your vet's full name and #'s are on each
document and that they also add your pet's microchip type and
number. If you decide to ship your pet by air,
make reservations and arrangements ahead of time regarding
delivery to and pickup from the airports.
schedule boarding and shipping arrangements for your pet to assure
that the pet is well cared for until you are able to receive it at
your destination. Boarding may be necessary. Follow airline
Check the airline's requirements to see if your pet can travel in a
carrier that can be kept under a seat in the cabin or must travel by
Feed the pet no less than five or six hours before flight time. Give
the pet a drink of water no less than two hours before flight.
Arrive 45 minutes in advance if the pet is accompanying you. If
shipping the pet, get to the flight terminal two hours in advance of
your flight. Be certain that names, addresses, and telephone numbers
of the persons responsible for the pet at origination and
destination are clearly marked on the container and on the pet's
identification tag. Label your pet's flight kennel with the same
big letters and information about any special care requirements.
Notify the person receiving the pet that it is on the way. Give them
the flight and waybill number. Pets can usually be picked up within
90 minutes of flight arrival. The air waybill number is useful when
Travel By Car
If your dog or cat is not used to traveling by car, make short trips
with the pet a week or two in advance of the trip to accustom it to
motion and to teach it how to behave. Dogs should be taught to lie
quietly, keep their heads inside, and not annoy the driver or
passengers. Don't let your dog stick his head in the wind. It can
irritate eyes and cause problems.
Cats are often frightened by car
travel, but some cats adjust quickly. Some
persons allow the cat to find its own place in the car; others feel
it is best to confine a cat to its carrier.
Folding kennels or crates especially designed for station wagons can
be most useful for dogs and cats.
Accustom your pet to being on a leash and harness. Always use the
leash when traveling. Even better is a pet harness (available at
most pet stores) that connects to the car's seatbelt; it allows the
pet some movement while keeping it safely restrained. Your pets can
bolt into traffic or become lost in a strange place if not properly
If stopping overnight check in advance to find a motel that will
permit your pet to spend the night. Be sure that your pet is
properly tagged and its rabies tag firmly attached. Pet travel kit should include:
pet food, food and water dishes, can
opener (if needed), a few treats, a favorite toy, a blanket, comb or
Also, to be on the safe side: a sedative (if prescribed by your
veterinarian), paper towels, spray room deodorant if you will be
staying overnight at a hotel or motel, a scooper and plastic bag to
clean up after your pet.
you carefully plan your vacation with your pet, you may make a
smooth transition from your old to new destination But be prepared
for the unexpected; it can and probably will happen.
few states have border inspections of all animals being
transported; others have random inspection by highway patrol
officers. State agriculture representatives are usually present at
airports to inspect pets arriving by air.
Do you have any pet travel tips and ideas you wish to
share? Let us know!