Family Vacation Traveling with your Pet

Family vacations are no longer just for our two-legged, human-type children. According to the RV Industry Association (RVIA), 54% of RV owners travel with their pet(s). RV travel provides all the comforts of home and makes traveling with the four-legged “children” much easier than any other mode of transportation. For your pet’s safety and comfort on your next trip, here are a few things to make sure to take along:

The Basics

Food and water are the most basic necessities that your pets will need. Have bowls available for when you stop and feed them. For water, pick up travel bottles made for dogs or cats. These spill-proof bottles make it easier to provide each pet with water while on the road. Depending on what you feed each pet and how long you’ll be traveling, consider storing their food in resealable containers that are easier to store, rather than having to lug bags of food around.

Tags and Leash or Crate

It won’t always be safe for your pets to roam free. Whether you’re at a rest stop or campsite, keep your dogs on a tether or in a crate if they’re going to be unsupervised. This helps keep them safe and reduces their risk of getting lost. Also, you might have to keep your dogs on a leash, depending on the rules in certain locations. Make sure each pet wears a collar with their ID tags on it at all times.

Medications and Health Records

If you have a pet that’s on any type of medication, make sure you’ll have enough of it for your travels. That way, you won’t have to worry about finding a local vet on your trip. You should also bring a record of each pet’s vaccinations and, of course, make sure those vaccinations are up-to-date before setting out. Although you don’t need vaccination records for travel throughout the US, you’ll need to present them if you plan on crossing the border into Mexico or Canada.


Although your pets might spend the majority of their time on the road sleeping or watching the world go by outside their window, they might get bored or restless at times. Bring chew toys or puzzle toys that you can fill with bite-sized treats to keep them occupied. Puzzle toys, or hollow toys, are a great option because they also wear dogs out mentally, as well as physically.

Safety Items

Put together a first aid kit for your pets before leaving home. This kit should contain gauze, bandages, adhesive tape, hydrogen peroxide, a digital thermometer, a muzzle, activated charcoal or milk of magnesia (in case of poison ingestion) and an eye dropper. Pick up a basic pet first aid book to refer to so you’ll know what steps to take if you have an emergency. If you’ll be traveling with Wi-Fi access or using a GPS service, you can easily find the closest animal hospital in case of an emergency. If you won’t have access to this technology, print out a list of animal hospitals and emergency clinics that are in the places you plan on visiting.