Before RV seasons starts, there are a few things you should do if you plan on bringing your dog with you.
Take your pet to the vet for a check-up and updated vaccinations including rabies and bordetella. If an emergency arises and you have to board your dog, many kennels will not accept a pet without a current bordetella vaccination that prevents the contagious respiratory disease known as kennel cough.
If your pet is on any medications, make sure you have enough on hand to last through the RV season. Make sure you record your dog's weight to be able to administer the correct dose. Take your vaccination records with you when you travel for proof of current vaccinations.
Ask your vet about appropriate doses of items in a pet first aid kit, such as benadryl for an allergic reaction, and what he recommends for pain should your pet suffer an accident.
Don't rely on human over the counter meds and doses. Tylenol, for example, is poisonous to dogs. Your vet clinic may have commercially prepared first aid kits for sale. If not, you can purchase one in many pet supply stores.
Stock up on flea and worm prevention medicine to keep in the RV. If you're traveling to the Southeast you may want to check with a veterinarian in the area to see what they recommend. Some fleas in different areas are resistant to common brands of flea prevention medications, and a switch may be needed to be effective for your pet.
Make sure tags contain current contact information. Should your dog take off chasing a rabbit at a rest stop, it will give you peace of mind to know their tag has your cellphone number instead of your home phone number, so you can be contacted. However, collars can come off and tags can be lost.
If you haven't had your dog microchipped, you may want to do this before leaving home. This commonly costs between $25 and $50 depending on the rate in your area. It's well worth the price to know you've done all you can do to be reunited with your pet. You won't regret it, but if you don't do it you certainly may.
Dogs are notorious for eating things that just aren't good for them. From food items like chocolate, grapes, and onions that they can't digest properly to poisonous plants, insecticides, cigarette butts, and weed killers, the danger is out there and your dog can find it. Keep these numbers in your cellphone: Call the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-213-6680) to ask if you should induce vomiting.
Know your dog's weight and health issues because they will ask. Some petroleum-based products can cause more harm coming back up, and you may be advised to simply get the dog to the nearest clinic. If you need to induce vomiting, have 3% hydrogen peroxide on hand in the RV along with a turkey baster or bulb syringe and follow the instructions they give you.
You'll also want to pack any routine grooming tools you use such as pet shampoo, brushes, combs, scissors and nail clippers. If you groom your dog extensively, extra towels, conditioners, dematting formulas and tools along with electric clippers can be added. A small fishing tackle box is perfect to stow away with all of the items you need. One romp through the swamp, and you'll be glad you packed them!
Whether you crate your dog, secure him with a harness, or secure his pet bed with a seat belt depends on what your preference is. If you are towing your trailer the safest place for your dog is in the tow vehicle where you have access to him. Never allow your pet to ride in a towed trailer, fifth wheel or toy hauler. If you have a motorized RV, make sure your pet is secured, like everything else in your motorhome.