Expert Advice

The Top 9 Must Haves For RVing With Dogs

Jesse and Lauren Stuart share their expert tips for RVing with dogs.

Getting ready to hit the open road with your furry-four-legged friend? Adventure and fun are just on the horizon, but what do you bring when you're RVing with dogs? Just like you, your little pooch definitely requires some essentials. From safety to fun, we have a complete list of things you should plan to take with you so that dog of yours is prepared and ready for that RVing road trip.

Must Haves For RVing With Dogs

1. Dog Bed or Dog Crate

Create a place for your dog in your RV. Bring their favorite dog bed or blanket. Whether it's placing their crate under your dinette or plopping their favorite blanket on the bed, having a little place your dog knows is theirs can help with anxiety and make the RV feel like a familiar home.

2. Pack The Perfect Dog Leash and Lead

We never leave home without making sure we have our dog's leash and 25-foot wire lead. Both are essential for the campsite!

A 6ft leash is a must for walks around the campsite, tackling any nearby hiking trails, or just exploring around the town/area you're in. And for most campsites and trails, a 6ft leash is a standard size accepted.

Switching to the lead. The long wire lead is fantastic for camp! Attaching the lead to your RV not only gives your pup more room to roam the campsite, but it ensures they don't wander off and or get into something they shouldn't be. And the wire lead ensures that rascal pup of yours can't chew through it.

3. Don't Forget Your Dogs Medication & Vaccination Records At Home

Between accidents happening and trying to get your pup into a Doggie Day Care for the day, having vaccination and medical records with you is an essential item to have with you when RVing with dogs. Definitely don't forget their daily medications, flea and tick treatment, or monthly heartworm pills at home either!

Another item is an update-to-date and clear photo of your dog. Whether it's printed or on your phone, having a picture of your dog to show around in the event your dog gets lost is something no one likes to think about, but a great thing to have in times of need.

4. Bring Grooming Essentials To Keep Your RVing Dog Clean

The hard truth is that dog of yours is going to get all sorts of dirty and stinky, especially if you are RVing for a few weeks on end! Our dog loves (and we do mean LOVES) dirt — a big fan. So for us, we needed to find a way to keep him as "clean" as we could without going through our fresh water tank.

  • Dog Brush: Brush the dirt and thistles right out of their coat. TIP: make sure you have the correct brush for your dog's type of fur. Trust us, it makes a world of difference.
  • Dry Dog Shampoo / Waterless Dog Shampoo / Dog Wipes: All of these options are great to get your dog on the cleaner side without wasting water in your rig. If water isn't an issue for you, you can go the regular dog shampoo route, just be mindful to make it as environmentally friendly as possible.
  • Towels: We always pack rag towels with us to wipe our dog's paws or help dry his coat if we get caught in a storm. Basically, have a set of towels you don't care to get dirty and use those to clean up your pup!

5. Portable & Collapsible Food & Water Bowl

Collapsible dog food & water bowl are not only great for space-saving in your RV, but fantastic and easy to take along with you on outings with your dog. Be it a day hike or just a patio hangout at a restaurant in town, having portable and collapsible water & food bowls is a great and convenient item to have when RVing with dogs.

6. Eco-friendly Dog Poop Bags Are A Must for RVing With Dogs

Yes, dogs poop. And instead of using your hand dandy pooper scooper at home, you have to resort to poop bags. Opt for eco-friendly dog poop bags to help lessen the impact you and your dog have at the campsite, or wherever you and your dog are roaming.

7. Make Sure A Temperature Monitoring System Is Set Up When RVing With Dogs

If you are unable to run heat or AC in your RV, leaving your dog alone inside could be a recipe for disaster. Depending on where you are and the time of year, outside temperatures can spike or plummet through the day or night. Leaving your dog trapped inside an RV during these spikes could cause significant harm or even death to the dog.

By having a temperature monitoring system in your RV, you can check on the temperature inside your Rig throughout the day to ensure your dog is safe and comfortable. Do your best to only leave your pup for a few hours at a time when the weather is most moderate (morning or early evening). If you have to leave your dog for longer periods of time and the weather is iffy, we suggest finding a Doggie Daycare or using a Pet Sitter app to have your dog taken care of. Better safe than sorry!

8. Have A Reflective Dog Collar and Outdoor Harness

Reflective wear is a great addition to any dog wear. By having a durable and reflective dog collar and harness, you ensure your pup can be seen at night. Whether it's by campers walking the campground or rigs pulling into camp or leaving in the evening hours, the reflective material will alert others, and you, where your dog is.

Tip: You can add an extra level of safety by having a collar light on your pup too!

9. Pack The Quiet Campsite Toys When RVing With Dogs

One of our favorite tips for RVing with dogs is quiet campsite toys! Squeaky toys are annoying. Just being honest. Instead, opt for Kongs, dog-safe chew bones, puzzle treat-finding games, and squeak-less toys (yes, they exist!). Providing your dog simulation and fun, while not having them squeak your ear off is the definition of perfect balance. Trust us, you and your campground neighbors will be thanking us!

RVing With Dogs Wrap Up

Of course, bringing dog food and treats is a no-brainer. Our only tip, make it easy on yourself by placing food in easily accessible, lid containers vs using the bags they came in. Cleaning up dog kibble off your RV floor is not fun.

Some other items, while not essential, are good things to consider when packing up your RV.

  • Pet Shoes or Paw Wax: To help protect your dog's feet if you are going to be over hot, cold, or salty pavement.
  • Pet First Aid Kit: We personally don't have one for our dog specifically, but we do have a first aid kit for us that has a lot of appropriate treatments we could use on our dog
  • Pet Cot: Let's be honest, this is far from essential. It is nice to help keep your dog as clean as they can be while outside.

Last but not least, make sure your dog has an ID tag on at all times and is microchipped. You want to make sure they can always get back to you if they wander a little too far from the RV!

Jesse and Lauren Stuart

The Wandering Stus

Lauren and Jesse Stuart, a travel blogging couple, along with their dog Huey cruise the country in their travel trailer sharing travel tips, itineraries, and their adventures along the way!