August 29,2017 (by Angela)
This past weekend, in one of the Facebook RV groups, someone asked how others handle situations where they want to do something where they can’t take pets but don’t want to leave them alone in the camper. I shared how we handle this issue for Chewie, and I received the following response back via private message.
“My husband posed the question about leaving the dog in the RV. You were the only person who responded with helpful information. So I am messaging you about the discount . . . We will take him with us whenever it is feasible. However we both know dogs cannot go every single place. Thank you for the positive response.”
This experience got me to thinking. Though Jim and I have shared in passing throughout our blog how we deal with traveling with a pet on the road, we’ve never addressed it directly, so I think I will do so today.
Chewie is a part of our family and has been for 10 1/2 years, since he was 4 months old. If you love your dog, you just deal with the dog hair and all of the other things that go with living with and caring for your fur baby. Living in an RV full time doesn’t change things much except in terms of continuity. You may not be able to always take your pet(s) to the same veterinarian or groomer, and you certainly may not be able to have him/her/them cared for by the same people when you need to be away for an extended period of time. It is possible to manage, though.
Unless something unexpected comes up, many people may arrange for annual pet vetting to occur at the same time they have their own medical check ups, returning to the home base for these appointments. Some choose to go with a chain like Banfield that is located inside of PetSmart stores around the country. We’ve done a little bit of all, but we’ve never flinched from or had a problem in getting Chewie care when needed on the road.
Chewie eats a particular grain-free dog food that we purchase in Tractor Supply Stores (TSC), and I can’t recall a single state of the 28 in which we have been that has not had a TSC.
No matter how much I sweep or vacuum, there is always a baby Chewie to collect each time (fist-full size of dog hair). Because of this, we have to have our furnace cleaned well at least annually because the hair gets inside where I can’t clean, and it can cause issues with the furnace operating properly (has only actually happened once when I thought we could forego the cleaning one year).
Now, for the big one – the one that got me to thinking about this post – what do you do when you want to go somewhere to explore or to an event where dogs that are not service dogs are not allowed?
- First, we take Chewie with us when we can, as you can see from photos above.
- If we feel that we will be gone for a short enough time that he will be fine with AC or heat (as appropriate) set to come on as needed, plenty of water is available, and the radio or something is on, we go do whatever it is. I try to provide a key accessible to someone in the campground office in case of emergency, letting them know of our abscence.
- Longer day trips may require making arrangements for someone in the campground to walk Chewie and check his water. Usually, we make these arrangements at the campground office and provide a key. On ocassions where we have been in the park long enough to feel comfortable with a fellow camper, we have once or twice had the fellow camper walk him for us.
- For longer day trips, we’ve used Doggy Day Care, like when I went to Canada for the day. We’ve also used overnight home stays, which we like better than traditional boarding. When Jim was in Alaska, and I attended a wedding in Cleveland (a whole-weekend event), we used Dogvacay/Rover.com. (Dogvacay merged with Rover last year).
Rover provides vetted (pun intended) animal caregivers for consideration. Information is shared on the website about the caregiver(s), other animals in the home, the home and yard information, etc. along with the prices for services rendered. Once you locate some folks you would like to consider, then you make contact to discuss, set up a Meet ‘n Greet (if appropriate), schedule the time, and pay online. I’ve never had a problem finding someone suitable in the area in which we have needed a caregiver, I’ve never had a bad experience, and the average cost paid per night for overnight stays has been about $25 – $28, but it does vary from area to area and caregiver to caregiver. Chewie seems happier than using traditional boarding at a vets office, etc. (while that is still a valid option), and it is more affordable for us. I love the fact that I can check in at any time and receive pictures of what he is doing while we are away.
Should you wish to try Rover, below is a refer-a-friend link. The way it works is that you follow the link to their web site and set up account at that time. Then, you should receive a credit of $20 for your first stay. I will get a referral credit at that point attached to our account. Rover offers a variety of dog care services, but the ones we have used are the Doggy Day Care and Overnight Stays.
However you handle traveling with pets, do what is right for your fur baby(ies) and you, and have a great time traveling!