It is not easy to travel a la solo with pets, esp not 2 or 3 high energy sporting dogs and 1 senior not high energy, doesn’t like to get his feet wet or walk on oh, so many different surfaces, dog. Two of my “tough” pawslinger gang are ball crazy and will do anything to get me to throw for them long and often. One dog likes to pull the lead to see if that shoulder of mine will dislocate, another likes to tangle everyone, one wants to be carried, another is fond of 2 am potty walks, none of them wash their feet and oh, they all agree rolling and rubbing their coats thoroughly in un-nameable gunk is heaven. Sure I could stuff them all into crates and only let them out when I spot a clean perfect romping spot with no stickers, no bugs, no mud, no cars or trucks, no other dogs and none of those ‘no dogs allowed’ signs…  or better, I could uncover a fortune tucked under my mattress and  afford a nice new climate controlled, generator free motorhome that keeps the interior temperature perfect all on its own and that is easy-peasy to drive. Maybe one of those driverless ones so I could take a break once in a while and relax like my canines do.  Can you imagine getting up hills without fretting that everything’s going blow, not cringing at every dip and scrape,  jarring and banging, scarring the dogs, scaring me.  The dogs give me bad looks when the road gets rough, they can tremble and shake.

And what gives with the lack of shade in parking lots!  Really steams me that the little, if  any, shade that there might be is commandeered by luxury sedans or convertibles, anything but a pet car. Don’t those motorists know our pets are not permitted to come inside like the rest of us are? Those left behind NEED SHADE!  The non inhabited empty car does not need shade, cars don’t overheat with the engine off but I guess most motorists have yet to discover this amazing fact?  I’ve been known to troll a parking lot up to 1/2 hr trying to vie a shady spot to run in and get a meal or some groceries, let alone a museum, at least I have my own on-board toilet, an amazing blessing as you often can’t take your dogs to a restroom, not to mention even walking on the grass at a reststop.

Yes, I know there are plenty of awful dog-people who don’t clean up and let their pets engage in all the annoying and obnoxious behaviors that I’m guessing they’d really like to do themselves if they could get away with it. It’s a dog, PEOPLE, a dog, not a wild beast that cannot learn to fit in. Don’t know how to teach anything to a dog?  No Problem, get yourself a stuffed one. Don’t know or care about camping ethics, not sure how to use a trash can, too difficult to figure out how a leash works (and no it’s not a pull rope,)  get yourself a nice dog app on the playstore. And for goodness sake my dogs are not lonely and have no interest in your “friendly” scoundrel racing towards us at top speed, esp one off-leash or on a 20 foot retractable (trip) line to say, Hello?”Really? Invest in a text on dog-to-dog communication and what is a normal (non predatory) way to say hello, and if you can’t read or comprehend all that the very least have your dog go to school with a professional trainer. Mandatory schooling for dogs, not a bad idea, including potty and social manners. Oh I get it, they are dogs, they love to run and tear about, chase things, bring things back, bark, etc…  mine are nowhere near perfect but that’s my job to help them, to remind them, to keep them in line. It’s not easy to travel with your pets. It takes diligence.

A younger shot of the gang before a previous trip.

Here’s a few general guidelines for RVing with one or with multiple dogs…  kinda off the top of my head so not inclusive, just what comes to mind. .

  1. Bring water from home or provide bottled water. The water at location may be perfect for you but differing mineral contents can easily give your dog the runs.
  2. Don’t forget the canine first aid kit, including a cold pack, stuff for disinfecting and bandaging, tick puller, itch lotion, flea comb, meds, nail trimmers, bathing items, warming blanket, cooling pad, hydrogen peroxide, Neosporin, hydrocortosone, I like TZON pet skin care. I always carry stomach pills like Pepcid AC (Famotidine) , Pepto Bismal, Tums or Kaopectate, Pedialyte, saline eye wash, Benadryl, vet wrap, activated charcoal, Vit C (I also keep Colloid Silver,) ginger for travel sickness, Swimmer Ear, deodorizing shampoo, a muzzle, some paw balm, a little oil like olive oil for getting out fox tails, scissors and wraps and whatever else your pet needs.  A hair dryer is a good idea for warming up a cold pet or drying out a soggy one and whatever you use for parasite control and on this trip am bringing apple cider vinegar and cedarwood oil to help make my dogs (and me) unappetizing to ticks.
  3. Teach your pet to come when you call, to stay and to wait. Also teach quiet, leave it, instruct on where to potty and no your dogs do not need to sniff and poop and pee on everything,
  4. Carry pooper bags and clean up. Leave every place cleaner than you found it.  I also bring a rake for those camp sites that are too dirty for my dogs and I clean before I let my dogs out.
  5. Monitor the temperature in your camper…  not too hot, not too cold.
  6. Always provide water and make sure they are drinking enough.
  7. Don’t leave your dogs sitting around barking and howling all day.
  8. Maintain a respectful distance from other pets, children or really anyone unless they specifically ask to pet your dog or if their dog can meet yours and you like the way their dog is behaving.
  9. Nope, they don’t get to chase wildlife, there are lots of other ways to have fun.
  10. Don’t leave your dogs in your camper, tied to a stake or in your hotel room to bark and bark and bark, get a pet sitter. You can train them to wait more or less quietly as long as you don’t abandon them while you’re out having fun.
  11. Keep them on a SHORT leash when in crowded places, A 3 or 4 foot leash is ideal. teach them to sit or lay down when you stop somewhere. Under the table is a great place when you stop for a meal.
  12. Be mindful of things that scare your dog. a calm dog is a happy dog and a happy camper.
  13. Make sure they do have fun. Take them swimming, for a run, let them explore, take a long walk or a hike with them everyday. Establish a routine that everyone likes including a way to keep your space clean and comfortable.
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