7 Must-Know Tips for Taking Your Dog in an RV

Anxious about how you are going to manage your dog inside the small space of your RV? Well, there is nothing to worry about. 

Understanding what your dog needs, what will make him or her comfortable and you as well, an RV trip with your dog can be a pleasant experience.  

But how do you do that? If you don’t know then you’re with your best luck today. Because in this article, we are going to give you some important tips for taking your dog in an RV that you can’t ignore.

Tips for Taking Your Dog in an RV

Having a dog live with you not only gives companionship but also provides you with health benefits. The positives of having a dog outweigh the negatives and the number remains the same even when you live in an RV. 

Here are 7 must-know tips for dog owners thinking about going on a long RV trip with their dogs – 

1. Identify a Suitable RV for your dog

RVing is an excellent lifestyle choice as it is not only comfortable and easy but also cost-effective. It is like having your home with you but on wheels. But having to identify the right RV to live with your dog can be a tricky decision as there are some factors that you need to consider for a smooth and comfortable trip. 

Size of the RV & the windows: For a comfortable trip the right size of the RV is very important for both you and your dog. If you have a small dog then the size may not matter as much but in case of a bigger dog, you will have to consider it. Also remember some national parks and states also have restrictions on vehicle size. So, choose the size accordingly. 

The dogs, whenever on the road, love to see the scenarios outside, this is why you will certainly need a window. Now that we have stated the necessity of having a window, the size of the window also matters greatly. Because sometimes the dog being a barker or chaser, may see a squirrel outside and decide to jump at the window which is very dangerous, therefore, avoid floor-to-ceiling windows. 

Necessary Equipment:  Consider choosing an RV without a carpet because it may be difficult to clean. But in case you choose one with a carpet, it is important to have a vacuum cleaner in the RV because you’ll need to vacuum daily. Your RV should also have a washing option. Because you don’t know if your dongs going to be car sick or have other incidents that’ll need washing his things.

Temperature Management: Similar to cars, RVs heat up swiftly. This is why it is very important to make sure that your RV has a working air conditioner to keep the temperature controlled as dogs don’t usually do well at high temperatures. Especially if you plan on leaving him in the RV alone, you must consider temperature control. 

Effortlessly Accessible: You’ll have to make sure that the RV you are going to select doesn’t have too many steps and has a wide entrance. Because your dog won’t be able to jump right in or walk into the RV, you’ll have to help him. So, you’ll need enough space so that you two can walk beside one another.  

2. Familiarize your dog to the RV 

Before shifting your dog to the RV full-time, it is essential that you familiarize him with it. Otherwise, a sudden move to an RV may be difficult for your dog to adjust. So, it is important that you start with small things to help him be familiarized. And to do so, you can follow the below-mentioned steps.

Give him time: We recommend you not to rush into it, otherwise, your dog won’t be comfortable at all. Give him enough time to get used to the space and the environment before and this might take some time. So, wait until you feel he is completely ready to live in the RV. 

Make him comfortable: For the RV to feel like home, your dog needs to be surrounded by his belongings which will make him feel more comfortable and welcomed. So, surround him with his bed, water bowl, blanket, etc. Set these things on a sofa if you can, in this way, he’ll also be able to enjoy outdoor scenarios which will keep him busy and happy. 

Start with short trips: A moving vehicle can sometimes scare dogs. So, the smart thing for you to do would be to take your dog out for small test drives to get him used to the movement and the noises. This way after a few trips, it will get easier for the dog and he’ll be more comfortable with the arrangement.

Go Slow: It is also an important part. As a moving vehicle can be a brand-new experience for most of the dogs, it is essential that you drive slowly. Because of the motion, your dog may get sick or feel frightened. If you go slow it will help him get settled in and feel safe. 

Leaving him alone: Leave your dog in the RV alone as it will help him explore the surroundings and get used to it. First, do this for a short time and see if he reacts. If he does then give him some time. Then keep increasing the period. This will help him get used to the RV as well. Just make sure, you are not pressuring him or being impatient. 

3. Make sure to pack all the essentials

 A dog comes with great responsibilities. And it is important to take proper care of him. Your RV life will not be hassle-free if you don’t provide your dog with all the necessities he requires. Now we are going to talk about some essentials that you’ll definitely need to keep your dog safe and comfortable. 

Aerial Dog runs: As RVs don’t have enough space, it is important to give your dog personal space. So, to give him that and also to keep him close and safe, you should consider aerial dog runs. What you do is attach the leash of your dog to a line between two trees. By doing so you are giving your dog freedom that he requires and also making sure you don’t lose him. 

Wipes: When you live in an RV, it is quite difficult to get an endless water supply. This is why keeping your dog clean becomes challenging. This is where pet wipes come in handy. These wipes smell like lemongrass and help you keep your dog clean and fresh without wasting water. 

Pet Temperature Monitor: We all know that high temperature is bad for dogs. And as power outages are very common in RVs, it is important to have a pet temperature monitor that will alert whenever the safe level temperature is exceeded. 

Cooling mat: Cooling mat is an excellent product for your dog. It provides your dog with a cool and refreshing feeling that lets him rest in peace and comfort which the floor or the couch can’t offer. And it doesn’t have to be kept in the fridge.

Furminator: A furminator helps you get rid of your dog’s extra hair. As all the dogs shade a lot, furminator is an important product especially if your RV has a carpet. Without this, getting rid of loose hair may be a very difficult task. 

4. Measures for your dog’s safety

When you are on the road there are a bunch of things you need to consider for the sake of your dog’s safety. Now, we are going to go through all the necessary measures to help you keep your dog safe. 

Fasten your dog: As RV is your home, letting your dog roam around while driving may seem normal, but it is actually very risky. Your dog should always be buckled up while driving because it prevents injuries if any accident occurs and also refrains your dog from distracting you. So, for the safety of both you and your dog, make sure to buckle your dog up while driving.

Find a Local Veterinarian: You can never know when you will need a veterinarian. This is why wherever you are staying it is important to find a good vet. To do so, you can always count on google reviews if you don’t have anyone to recommend you a vet. And just make sure your vet is licensed to practice in the state because otherwise getting a prescription might be tough.

Wildlife run-ins: Dogs have a tendency of sniffing out animals and tracking them down. So, make sure your dog is not unattended while the RV door is open as he may run off to track something down and get lost. He can also encounter something harmful, which is why it is also important that his vaccines are up-to-date. 

Carry your dog’s info: keeping your dog’s information with you is a very important safety measure. Because suppose you lost your dog on the road, you will need his picture, and also proof that you own the dog otherwise some other person may demand ownership. Besides this, you also need to carry vaccination records, as some campgrounds ask for it to make sure your dog’s condition is well.

Garmin Collars: Garmin collars have a GPS system. Which is very important as it tracks your dog and lets you know where he is. So, you don’t have to worry about always keeping an eye on him and he can also run freely and enjoy it. The collar also has a shock system. This lets you send a shock/tone/beep noise to your dog which lets him know you are looking for him and he’ll come hurrying back. 

5. Make sure your dog gets daily Exercise

Every dog needs frequent exercise. Not getting enough exercise may lead to several health problems and also it can also depress him. Lack of exercise can also cause behavioral problems, obesity, restlessness, excess barking, sluggishness, etc. 

So, to keep your dog healthy and happy you need to provide him with enough exercise. 

Living in a compact space like RV, your dog may not get enough of it. This is why if you don’t have a fenced area, make sure to locate an off-leash dog park where you can take your dog for his walk or exercise. But whatever you do, try not to skip his daily exercise as he needs his mental stimulation. 

6. Measures to leave your dog unattended 

Sometimes you’ll have to do something or go to someplace that is not dog-friendly and so you’ll have to leave your dog alone in the RV. This can be dangerous if you don’t take the necessary measures for your dog’s security. Now we are going to provide you a list of things you need to consider doing whenever you leave your dog unattended. 

Stick a sign on the RV: Before leaving the RV, make sure to stick a note on it with your phone number. So that if anyone needs anything, they’ll call you on that number to reach you. And also mention that you have a dog in the RV so that they don’t do anything to frighten him. 

Give/Hide an extra key: While leaving your dog alone, make sure to keep an extra key with your neighbor or hidden somewhere around the RV so that if anything goes wrong and you can’t make it to the RV, your neighbor or someone can help your dog out and keep him safe.

Doggy proof your RV: Dogs sometimes get nervous when left alone and do stuff like getting on the driver seat to see the outside of the RV to protect their home. They can roll down the window, step on different buttons. It can be dangerous. Therefore, doggy proofing the RV before leaving your dog alone is crucial. 

Correct Temperature: As mentioned earlier, dogs don’t do well at high temperatures. So, if you plan on leaving your dog for a long period then make sure to leave the air conditioner on or at least leave the windows open. 

Keep distracted: As you won’t be there with your dog, you’ll have to leave them with something that’ll keep them busy for a few hours. So, you can turn on the radio which will keep them distracted from the outside world. This way they won’t be able to hear any noise from the neighbors as well as the noise makes them bark. 

7. Be Mindful of Weather Conditions

When you are living in an RV you should always be aware of weather conditions. Especially if you have a dog. Make sure to locate a storm shelter beforehand so that when the storm occurs you don’t have to search for one. 

Always take your dog with you because dogs freak out whenever the storm comes because of the lightning and thunders. 

Dogs can’t deal with hot weather as well. So, it is important to consider the weather condition before leaving your dog alone. Because of outages, you can’t always rely on the air conditioner of your RV and this is why you should take some precautions. 

You can always get an RV with a generator that automatically turns on whenever the thermostat reaches a specific temperature.


Is it okay to leave a dog in RV?

Yes, you can leave your dog in an RV. But before doing so, you’ll need to take some precautions like- making sure the temperature is right, doggy-proofing the RV, leaving some water on the dog bowl, etc. And as leaving your dog unattended for a long time is kind of risky, you should also consider leaving him with someone you trust.

Are all the RV parks dog-friendly? 

Most RV parks are dog friendly but not all of them. So, the smart thing to do will be to call ahead and make sure if they are. 

Is daily exercise important for dogs?

Your dog needs as much exercise as it can get. Without getting enough exercise your dog will not only get depressed, but it will also show some other health issues like- obesity, behavioral problems, excess barking, etc. So, no matter what happens, make sure that your dog gets enough exercise.


If you are a dog lover, you know that everything’s better with the companionship of a dog. Having a dog comes with a lot of benefits that do not differ just because of staying in an RV. 

But it is true that living with a dog in an RV is a bit more difficult than living with him in a home. This is because of the requirements a dog has and the necessary measures you need to take to keep him safe. 

In this article, we have given you 7 tips for taking your dog in an RV and making him comfortable and secure. We have also given you some miscellaneous information about how to lead a comfortable and hassle-free RV life with your dog. We hope this article was of help to you and wish you the best of luck with your new journey.

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