While having 3 dogs in a camper along with at least 3 other people at the same time can be a challenge, there are some ways to minimize the chaos and make it fun for all.
First, the park we vacation at is dog friendly, and even has a dog park where the fur babies can run around and play. The park has a strict leash law so letting them out of the camper and off the leash is a win win situation. If you can find an RV spot with a dog park or dog walk areas, that will help you tremendously.
Second, the dirt. Yep – dogs can track in a LOT of dirt! I keep my broom handy and sweep the camper out daily to keep the mess down. Also, there is a small carpeted area in the main bedroom. I purchased one of those carpet sweepers like they use in restaurants (I’ve always called it a Hokey, but that’s probably a brand name). The sweeper needs no electricity and is quick and easy (easier and faster than the broom).
Here are some tips and tricks when camping with dogs:
Make sure your pets are treated for ticks and fleas. The woods are teeming with ticks and if your RV park has a dog park like ours does, chances are there are fleas just waiting to find a host. Be sure to check your pet daily while you are at the RV park and again when you return home for unwanted strays (ticks).
Don’t forget the food and water. We use bottled water for our dogs while we are camping. Even though our sites come with electric and water, we want to be sure our fur babies don’t end up with an upset stomach from drinking water from a source they aren’t used to.
Be sure to bring their collars (with an ID tag listing your phone number in case they wander off) and leashes. ALL pet friendly RV parks have leash laws. And, for your protection, your pet’s protection, and the protection of others, it’s just safer to have them on a leash while you travel. Another great idea is to bring a stake or tie-out, where you can leash your dogs safely outside with you. We have a portable pet fence that we use at our campsite. That allows our fur babies to be off leash while they are safely contained to our campsite. Of course, we only have them out there when we are with them. We do not leave them unattended, and neither should you.
You will want to bring extra towels with you just in case. It’s inevitable that it will rain while you are camping (it always does). You will need extra towels to wipe your pets down when they get wet. Otherwise you are going to spend a lot of time at the laundry or with wet towels if there is no laundry available on site.
Your pets, while they probably will love being with you and camping, will need something to do and some comforts of home. Bring a favorite blanket so they can snuggle on at night. Bring some of their favorite toys so they’ll have something to do at the campsite. I would limit the toys to one per dog. Too many can make your pet confused with too many choices and they may not want to play.
Be a responsible pet owner!!! Bring bags to scoop poop while you are camping. You don’t want to step in a pile of poop and neither do your fellow campers. Make sure to take bags along so you can pick up after your pet when you take them on their bathroom walks.
If your pets are used to sleeping in a crate at night or while you are away from home, be sure to bring the crate with you. This will make them feel safe and give them a part of home while they are away. As mentioned above, a favorite blanket or toy would be good to have in the crate as well.
Yep! Did you know they make insect repellent for dogs?? They do! While you need to be protected from mosquitoes and bugs, so do your dogs. Mosquitoes are transmitters of heartworms in pets, so be sure they are protected! Heartworm prevention is a must as well! See your veterinarian before your travel.
Remember that your pets need attention and care while you are camping. They also want to join in on the fun. Take them on frequent long walks and hikes! Trust me, this will tire them out and a tired dog is a calm dog! Limit the amount of time you leave them unattended inside the camper. Otherwise, they may bark and disturb others in the area. If you are going to be away from your campsite for long periods of time during your stay, you might want to consider getting a pet sitter and leaving them at home!
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