This Monday we’ll answer a question we get in many forms, but all regarding the same topic. For anyone on the road (or making plans to be), we encourage traveling with a furry friend. Here’s this week’s question:
How do you travel with a dog?
We love traveling and experiencing life with our dog River. She adds a kind and loving energy to our journey. However, traveling fulltime with a pet offers a unique set of challenges. We’ll talk about these challenges and discuss our solutions.
Running Errands / Grocery Shopping
During hot summer days, running errands with our pup can be quite difficult. Since she loves riding in the truck (and hates being left alone in the camper), we’ll all load into the truck and run our errands together.
This simply means one of us will stay in the truck with River while the other goes inside a store, postoffice, etc. It’s an easy solution for us, but poses more challenges for a solo traveler.
If the weather is cool or overcast, we’ll leave River in truck with a Kong Ball and some food – she’s usually “people watching” in the front seat when we get back!
Visiting National Parks
National Parks are hard to explore with a pet. If you really want to hike the dramatic trails or watch the videos in the visitor center, we recommend leaving your dog behind. For us “behind” means boarding her for the day at a local vet or “doggy daycare”.
It’s not often we leave River behind, but in Moab & Carlsbad it was a great option for us to really experience the parks. Some of the national parks offer pet crating on site; the conditions of these crates seem sketchy, but it’s an easy option.
Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas was one of the few parks that allow leashed dogs on all the trails.
There have been many times we’ve left River alone in the camper. If we’re attending a pot-luck, hanging out with friends at an RV park, or really doing anything in close proximity to the camper, we’ll leave her alone for a few hours. We’ve found this usually works best in the evening when she’s ready to wind down.
Whether its for her peace of mind or our own, its nice to be able to stop by and check on her while we’re out socializing.
Exploring Towns & Cities
All three of us love exploring new places; walking around a community is something we can easily do together. Many of the towns we visit offer free doggy-waste bags, too!
If we decide to go out to eat we’ll consult the BringFido app or just look for a restaurant with a patio. We always bring a backpack when we’re out walking with River – it has her water bowl (she’s picky about what she drinks out of) and an extra chain leash. After a few learning experiences, we realized River like to chew through her cloth leash while we eat our lunch. The chain leash works as an easy solution.
Keeping River healthy is a big priority. We make sure to buy her good quality food – anything with corn as the main ingredient is a “no-go”. If we have extra money (and a good shipping location) we’ll order her the high quality stuff from Amazon Prime.
Buying River her HeartGaurd medicine has been easier than expected. Over the past year, we visited a vet in Texas and Washington to stock up. We’d call the local vet in advance and let them know that we travel fulltime – from there we give them River’s primary vet information. The whole process took less than thirty minutes both times.
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