Tag Archives: Dog

When to Change Your Pet’s RV Lifestyle

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For those of you who read this blog, you’ll remember that last month I gave some suggestions about how best to travel with your pet (in my case, my dogs).  That post prompted an emailed from one of my readers asking about how to deal with a dog’s car sickness.  I’m fortunate that that hasn’t been a problem for me personally – Scamp and Rambler have always tolerated the motion as we drive along.  They’re relatively young, too, which I think helps, but what do I know, I’m not a vet. 

I’ve compared notes with other RV friends and acquaintances who travel with their dogs, and recently I’ve been hearing about a drug called Cerenia®.  I think it comes in tablet form, and from what I’ve heard, it’s worked pretty well for combatting car sickness for a number of dogs.  If your dog is demonstrating car sickness, especially when he or she hasn’t before, I suggest you call your vet first to ask about this drug, but this might be just the ticket.

This whole issue of animal health on the road has given me pause lately to really think about the idea of how long I’ll be traveling with my dogs.  As much as Scamp and Rambler seem to enjoy the experience, I realize that they can’t really tell me how they feel, so it is important for me to keep a close eye on their health and happiness.  We all make decisions for  our pets and hope they’re the right ones.  I mention this because I had a couple of friends recently who had begun to ask themselves about their aging dog and how well he was tolerating the travel.

Joe and Hazel have been retired for about four years and bought their Class C RV so they could enjoy the travel they’d never had time to do when their kids were growing and “life got in the way,” as Hazel put it.  Their dog, Festus, had been a part of the household for about seven years when they started to hit the road to see the country and visit their grown children who had spread all over the map with their families.  They told me that up until recently Festus had tolerated the travel very well, usually riding up front with them, and accompanying them on their adventures.  Sometimes it was difficult to tell who the grandchildren were happier to see, Grampa and Gram (as Joe and Hazel were called) or Festus, who became the immediate center of attention when Joe and Hazel pulled in.

But, as Joe told me, Festus began to be out of sorts more often when traveling and he’d had a couple of times when he’d acted as though he was car sick, once when they had been traveling a mountain road with its switchbacks and frequent turns.  Joe was the first to bring up the subject of whether or not it was time for Festus to “retire from the road,” as he put it, but Hazel didn’t want to talk about it at first. 

Knowing that Joe was right (he usually was), Hazel finally suggested they ask if Festus could spend his “retirement” living with their middle daughter, Cleo, and her husband, Paul.  They were fortunate in the fact that Cleo was a stay-at-home mom and Festus could be around people all day as a play companion to their two girls.  And, of course, they’d be able to see Festus when they visited Cleo and her family.  So, on their last trip, Festus stayed behind when Joe and Hazel pulled out.

Hazel had a hard time leaving Festus but knew they were doing the right thing.  She simply missed her companion.  But, as she told me one night as we sat enjoying the night sounds after a dinner we shared, “We make choices for our pets and it’s important to remember that those decisions not be just about us.  It has to be about them, too.”  For me, hearing this story made me aware that I may face the same questions some day with Scamp and Rambler.  I love having them with me but what’s best for them will always be the priority.  I hope the same will be true for you.

Livin’ the love,

Robin

*Disclaimer: RV.com, which is owned by Dometic Corporation, sponsors On the Road with Robin.  Neither Dometic Corporation, nor RV.com, provide this blogger with free Dometic products, and this blogger does not receive a commission on click-throughs from links on this blog to RV.com, Dometic.com, or any other site.  All references made to product brands are made in an attempt to provide readers with the knowledge necessary to recreate the experiences mentioned in this blog.

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RVing With Pets: Transporting My Most Precious Cargo

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You may remember that before I traveled to Kentucky for Thunder Over Louisville and stayed around for the chance to see the Kentucky Derby I made the decision  not to take my usual traveling companions, Scamp and Rambler, my dogs.  They instead enjoyed a vacation from me thanks to the kindness of my two favorite Nashville friends, Anne and Chet.  When I got back and pulled in to their place towing Max, my Airstream, and the dogs got a glimpse of their home on the road, it was difficult to contain their enthusiasm.  (I’m not sure who was most excited – the dogs or Anne and Chet.  Scamp and Rambler can be a handful.)  I’m thankful these separations are rare and they make me realize how important my dogs are to me.  They are part of my family.

Traveling DogWhen I was in Kentucky, I told a couple I met at the campground that I had left my dogs behind with friends in Nashville and they asked me about the experience of traveling with Scamp and Rambler.  They said they were considering getting a dog to join them on their travels and wanted to know about my experiences. 

I talked to them for several hours and later I thought I would make it the subject of this blog.  However, it’s such a broad topic I decided to confine this blog entry to things to think about while you’re actually on the road with your dogs.

Keep Your Pet Safe When Your Vehicle is Moving. 

Years ago, I let my dogs sit next to me in my pickup truck while we drove but after reading about some tragic accidents in which pets had been injured, I made the important decision to fit them with restraints.  I use seat belt harnesses for both of my dogs.  I won’t give you a brand name because there are a lot of alternatives for how best to keep your pet safe, including harnesses and plastic or wire travel crates, and it has to be a personal choice for each pet owner.  But I would urge you to research all of the possibilities and pick what’s best for your situation.  Your pet will thank you.

Take Up-To-Date Records.

Make sure you take up-to-date veterinary records for each of your pets, including vaccinations, and license tags, of course. A lot of campgrounds require you to have certificates of things like rabies inoculations.  It’s a good idea, if you plan your trip ahead of time, to learn of veterinary resources where you’re going and emergency numbers.  It’s also a good idea to have a picture of your pet, digital or printed, in your file.

Take plenty of Rest Stops Along the Way.

This is not only for – how shall I say – the “relief of nature” but also for a little exercise.  Every few hours is a good rule of thumb.  Make sure you take plenty of disposal bags and clean up after your pet.  Remember, you love your pets, but many others do not, and you would not want to be thought of as a nuisance.

Stay on Schedule.

Try to keep your pet’s feeding schedule as near to your home timetable as possible.  Routine is important for them even when you’re all on the road.

Pack supplies.

Cleaning supplies are a must, of course, because accidents do happen and car sickness is not a problem confined only to humans.

After covering much of what I’ve written here when talking to the people who had asked me, I perceived a look on their faces of “Uh oh, this sounds like a lot of trouble.”  I would be lying if I didn’t concede that taking a pet – in my case, two dogs – on the road requires a major commitment of time, patience, planning and, yes, expense, but I can tell you quite honestly it’s more than worth it.  Scamp and Rambler are like my children, and I wouldn’t trade my experiences with them as an RVer for anything.  There is nothing quite like taking them on a leash to walk a trail in a wilderness or to sit around after dinner in camp and listen to the night sounds. 

Be awakened just once by a cold nose nudging you in the morning to get out of bed and you will know the joy that I feel when I think about Scamp and Rambler.  They’re more than my pets.  They’re my traveling companions.   

Livin’ the love,

Robin

*Disclaimer: RV.com, which is owned by Dometic Corporation, sponsors On the Road with Robin.  Neither Dometic Corporation, nor RV.com, provide this blogger with free Dometic products, and this blogger does not receive a commission on click-throughs from links on this blog to RV.com, Dometic.com, or any other site.  All references made to product brands are made in an attempt to provide readers with the knowledge necessary to recreate the experiences mentioned in this blog.