We all love our pets, and it is easy to know their needs at home. It is like an instinct to know what is safe and what is a potential danger in your home or favorite parks when you take your pet for walks. It is a different story when you are about to do something new, for example, traveling with your pets. The first few times will probably cause anxiety to owners and pets alike. You start to think, what do I need? Then you think I have no idea, and here comes the stress and anxiety. 

The same thing could happen if you just purchased an RV or someone is lending you an RV so you can make that road trip you always dreamed of. RVing with pets can be unsafe for your pet if you don’t prepare well. Pets can get lost or suffer trauma due to elevated levels of anxiety. That is why we have reached out to some experts who have knowledge about RVing with pets, or they have the info you need to travel since both go hand in hand. We will also provide specific details about modifications and preparations you will need to make to the RV so it is safe for your pet. 

RV Modifications for your lovely pet

What are some common modifications I need in my RV so I can travel with my pets?

Some of the best RV modifications to travel with your pet can be the easiest to install. For example, a camera and a temperature monitor are easy to obtain and install, yet take away the worry that your pet is doing ok whenever you need to leave them alone in your RV. Just like at home, bringing or installing a collapsible pet gate is an easy and essential modification to keep your pet out of areas they don’t belong.

Along those same lines, we recommend ensuring your RV’s screen door is strong and capable of keeping your pet inside when you need it to be and yet able to get fresh air and be part of the outdoor environment. Lastly, owning a pet means they may make a mess or have an accident. It’s inevitable. Installing easy-to-clean, stain-resistant flooring in conjunction with using area rugs that are machine washable will minimize the hassle of these accidents when they occur.

Steve Reed, Carefree Covered RV Storage

 If you frequently travel in an RV with your pet, what kind of furnishings should you have?

Traveling in an RV is especially gratifying because you can provide your pet with familiar surroundings and everything they need to enjoy the trip no matter where the adventure takes you. Here are just a few considerations when outfitting your RV. Consider accidents when choosing flooring. A cooktop and refrigerator are a must for pets on special diets. A shower or hose for cleaning up after those muddy treks sure does make everyone feel better. Who enjoys traveling if they are not comfortable? If your pet sleeps with you at home, your RV bed should be big enough for all of you. If your pet watches tv with you on the couch at home, consider synthetic leather on your RV couch so they can put their feet up as well. Why should we change their privileges when on the road?

Safety always comes first, and restraining your pet when traveling is the law in many States. Your best friend should travel in a carrier, crate, or pet gate that will protect your pet while the vehicle is in motion. The living area of your RV should have ample air conditioning that will keep your pet cool. A temperature control monitor is a must to ensure that your pet is not overheating. A WiFi security camera will allow you to keep an eye on your pet while you keep your eyes on the road. No matter what kind of pet you have, the experience of traveling with them is one you both will never forget.

Susan H. Smith, PetTravel.com

Do you recommend having a pet crate in your RV?

Having a pet crate is a must-have when traveling in an RV because you never know when a time will arise that you need to secure your pet in a place that they cannot escape from. For example, keeping our cat in her crate has been useful when crossing international borders with Canada & Mexico and when we need to keep our camper doors open for extended periods of time in public places, like at grocery stores, parking lots, or gas stations. We recommend keeping a comfortable blanket and toys inside the crate so that the pet associates the crate as a safe, comfortable space. This makes it easier to keep the pet inside the crate for extended periods of time, when necessary.


Why is it important to have pet-friendly stain-resistant flooring and furnishings when traveling?

Pets are a part of the family and should be treated as such. That’s why it’s important to have pet-friendly stain-resistant flooring and furnishings when traveling in an RV. This will help keep your vehicle looking clean and new, no matter how many times your furry friends decide to take a nap on the furniture or mark their territory on the carpets. Having these materials in place also makes it easier to clean up any messes that might occur, so you can relax and enjoy your time traveling with your pet.

They also don’t allow pet stains or odors to penetrate deep into the material, allowing for easier cleanup should any accidents occur. Furthermore, pet-friendly stain-resistant flooring and furnishings provide added traction for pet paws, making them more comfortable and less likely to slip and slide on slick surfaces.

Finally, pet-friendly stain-resistant materials are usually more durable than traditional materials, allowing you to enjoy your pet-friendly vacation without having to worry about wear and tear during your travels. Investing in pet-friendly stain-resistant flooring and furnishings in your RV is an easy way to keep your pet comfortable and your home clean while you’re away.

Amanda Bowers, VeraVise Outdoor Living 

Prepping Before Travel

What tips can you share when traveling for the first time in an RV with your pets?

If your pet gets nervous about traveling, be proactive and work slowly on getting them used to the RV. This is especially important for motorhomes, as they make noises going down the road, and sometimes things fall, which can scare pets. As you are preparing to set up your RV, invite your pet to hang out with you inside the RV. Give them treats and chews, and feed them all in the RV. Play games with their favorite toys, run through their tricks, and deliver lots of treats. Don’t start rolling down the road until your pet can lie down inside the RV and be totally comfortable in it. And when you do get going, start out with a short trip. Trips to your local campground are always a good idea so you can see how your pet does and what supplies you need to gather for the next adventure.

Find more handy hacks for traveling with pets in the bestseller “RV Hacks” – available everywhere books are sold – and learn more at http://www.rvlove.com/rvhacks

Marc and Julie Bennett, RVLove.com 

What are some of the pack pet travel essentials you will need when traveling with your pet in an RV?

Besides the obvious pet essentials to bring on an RV trip, such as food, bed, leash, etc., the following items can make RV travel for your pet less stressful, more comfortable, and even fun for everyone involved. Remember, you’re putting your pet in an unfamiliar environment that can range from wild and remote to communal and crowded with other pets and people. Anxiety can be the main issue to contend with. Consider these items:

  • Favorite bed, toys, snacks, and other familiar items to help reduce stress
  • Portable fence, outside crate/cage – Allow off-leash relaxation at your campsite
  • Portable water bowls for hikes and around the campground. Think through pet hydration in all conditions
  • Tick repellant – Natural or otherwise. Critical in some areas
  • Retractable leash stake – This can help when a portable fence isn’t an option.
  • Medication – Normal prescribed meds, but also consider medication to aid in relaxation in high-stress situations
  • Registration and vaccination records – Required in some jurisdictions
  • Grooming kit – Foxtails and other invasive plants can be an issue. Plan ahead.
  • GPS Tracker – Air Tag, Apple, or other GPS tracking method, just in case.
  • Carry pack – For dogs, cats, and other pets when they can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t walk the path themselves

Russ Lovell, rvplusyou.com

When packing for your pet, it is essential to bring all the items needed to ensure they also feel comfortable while away from home. You know your pet better than anybody and are aware of their unique needs; however, there are some basics to be sure to include: food, a no-spill bowl, medications and supplements, proof of vaccination, and their favorite toys. Vaccination records are especially important in an unfortunate emergency resulting in a visit to an animal hospital or new veterinarian office. Just like us, pets want to feel at home while they travel. Make space for their bed and belongings in your RV, then hit the road!

Ann Kenny, ROUTE 66 RV Network

What are some important accessories for the pet when RVing?

Dogs are a mainstay of the RV lifestyle and traveling with them comes with its own set of considerations. Some RVers equip their dogs with a GPS collar that can be used to find their dog if lost. I travel with dog beds, portable water dishes, and any other daily use items. Since I have a travel trailer my dogs can’t ride in the trailer while driving, so I have a pretty cozy setup for them in the rear seat of the truck, including beds, toys, and a small gate to prevent front seat passengers. Many RVers find that having a small, portable fence is a game-changer at RV parks, but it should be noted not all RV parks allow this. Most importantly, I always have an up-to-date printout of all of my dog’s vet records in the event we need to visit a vet on the road.

Jim Phelan, AirSkirts.com

A must-have accessory for traveling with your pup is the Link Smart Pet Wearable. This little collar attachment packs big benefits for life at home or on the road, including real-time GPS tracking (especially important when your pup is in an unfamiliar area), customized exercise goals & activity monitoring, and built-in tone and vibration training tools. Features like in-app symptom analysis, 24/7 live relevant services, and digital vet record storage help make life on the road with your four-legged BFF streamlined and easy to manage. Simply attach the Link to your favorite collar or harness and use the companion smartphone app to access everything you need to know about your dog with just a tap! With Link, you have peace of mind no matter where you are.

Andrea Cranston, Link

Do I need to carry any documentation for my pets to travel across state lines or long distances?

When traveling across the United States with your household pet, it is not necessary to carry any particular documentation. However, it is always best practice to keep copies of all medical records for your pet on hand whenever traveling over long distances and durations. We always keep copies of our dogs’ shot records and the most recent annual exam in a notebook that we carry with us wherever we travel in our RV. Of particular importance in most instances is proof of rabies vaccination.

However, having the general medical record is particularly handy in the event that you may require emergency veterinarian care for your pet – which we’ve experienced several times. If you don’t want to keep paper copies of the medical records, you can always scan or take a picture of them to keep on your smartphone or upload to the cloud.

When traveling to Mexico from the United States, it is important to have copies of your medical history for each pet you are traveling with. Although usually only the most recent annual exam and proof of rabies vaccination are required, it is good practice to carry copies of your pet’s entire medical history in the event it requires emergency medical care.

We always have a physical copy of both of our dogs’ medical records, including proof of their rabies vaccination, which we store in a folder that is easy to reach when crossing the border. Additionally, we recommend uploading images of these documents to the cloud so you can access them whenever and wherever you may need them. The digital format also acts as a backup if needed. But note that both US and Mexican immigration authorities require physical copies of the documents in order to cross the border.

Called To Wander

How do you get your dog accustomed to being in the RV to avoid anxiety?

It’s easiest to get your dog to adjust to your RV if they are already happy traveling in your car with you. If they’re currently anxious or get carsick when traveling by car, perhaps it’s not the best idea to start RVing together. Luckily for me, my dog saw getting in a car as an adventure, which made things easier.

The next thing to consider is their comfort. While you likely have a backseat in your car that they can travel on, there might not be a straightforward solution in your RV. My dog was initially unhappy traveling on the floor of our RV, even though he had never shown an interest in looking out the window. Regular trips, lots of pats, and the occasional treat helped him become accustomed to it. Don’t also forget to make sure they are securely fastened in case of an accident.

Shandos Cleaver, Travelnuity

During The Travel

How to keep your pet safe when the RV is moving?

There are multiple options to keep pets safe when traveling in an RV. If there is room for a small dog crate, that can be used for smaller dogs to keep them confined while in motion. There are also quite a few “car seats” that can be attached to seat belts on the RV sofa that can be used for smaller dogs. For larger dogs or any dogs not confined while the RV is traveling, there are folding gates that can be positioned behind the front seats to keep the dog from entering the cockpit area. We have a clear, heavy acrylic, folding gate that works very well to keep the dogs in the living area while we are driving. We have a dog bed with high sides on it that our dogs snuggle in to keep confined on the floor in the living compartment.

Dr. Judy Morgan’s Naturally Healthy Pets

How can you prevent your pets from having heatstroke while driving?

Who doesn’t agree that a dog is the best traveling companion? All they ask for in return is unconditional love. Of course, without question, we reciprocate even though they sometimes make us a little angry when they shred the toilet paper roll or eat your last slice of pizza off the counter. Despite this, certain conditions come with this unconditional love when you take it on the road. The biggest concern for people traveling with their pets is climate control. You can’t just walk off and leave your pet in your RV for hours on end without having the proper heating and cooling set up. Even short trips to Walmart on a hot summer day can be too long for your furry friends.

When traveling with your four-legged friend, air conditioning is key in hot areas, even if you don’t need it yourself, and heating is key in cold areas if you’re camping in the shoulder areas. Sure, they are a lot more adaptable than we are, but who wants to take the chance on hurting our friend that would never hurt us?

Mitchell Rosko, Paved To Pines

RV Parks

How can you find dog-friendly RV parks near you?

Fortunately for campers, it is pretty easy to find dog-friendly RV parks. The vast majority of campgrounds and RV parks allow dogs, though some do have breed restrictions. When searching for dog-friendly RV parks, use the ALLSTAYS apps.  ALLSTAYS is a campground app that helps users find parks, resorts, and overnight camping across the country. This app allows campers to apply a pet-friendly filter when searching for the perfect place to stay. If you have a breed that is not welcome at all campgrounds, call ahead to verify you will not have any issues.

Personally, I love KOA campgrounds for camping with my dog, Ted. KOAs are all pet friendly, and most of their locations have nice, fenced-in dog parks with agility obstacles. Some of their campgrounds even offer private Paw Pens right at your campsite!

Christina, Travels with Ted

What are some pet-parent tips for checking in to campgrounds and RV parks?

The vast majority of campgrounds and RV Parks across the United States are pet friendly. Most have some rules, regulations, or restrictions that pet-owning travelers need to be aware of. Call ahead if you know where you want to stay.

Most facilities require pets to be leash maintained and to have current license and vaccination documentation, and some campgrounds and RV Parks may have certain breed restrictions. Cats are welcome too at most camping locations and RV Parks. Many campgrounds and RV Parks have regulations about how long an animal may be left unattended in a vehicle or chained on campgrounds. Some campgrounds and RV Parks also offer pet-friendly off-leash enclosures as well. Rule of thumb, call ahead before you pull in with Fluffy or Fido. PetParent provides this informational link if you travel to a U.S. National Park with pets.

Rachel Darnell, PetParent

How to keep your dog safe while camping?

Camping with your dog can be such a special bonding experience. However, it should always be introduced to your dog in a gentle way. We recommend pitching your tent in the garden to get your dog used to sleeping in there with you. That way, if something goes wrong, you know you’re safe in your back garden, and you can train what needs to be corrected. When preparing for your first camping trip, take a well-stocked first aid kit, ensure vaccinations are up to date and take measures to protect your dog from fleas and ticks. Ready to roll? Dogs love routine, stick to meal times, so they find the transition from home to tent easier. Plan plenty of downtimes for your dog to recover and rest, and take a long line and stake to attach your dog and keep it under control while you’re busy.

Adele Pember Founder, Dog Furiendly

Can I leave my pet inside my RV while I’m away?

In short – no. In perfect conditions, your pet will likely be fine if left alone in an RV. But there are simply too many variables. They can roast if it gets too hot. They can get scared if a storm comes around. They can become distressed and overreact if other animals get too close. Leaving the windows closed and the A/C running may seem like a good solution for these – but what if the power in your RV fails? Many RV Parks across the country actually prohibit leaving your pet unattended in your vehicle for just these reasons! You may be tempted to leave your pet in your RV while exploring, as many National Parks prohibit pets on their trails. Fortunately, there are often plenty of other parks in close proximity to these hotspots that welcome your furry friends, and the trails will likely be less crowded as well! 

Bryan Donoghue, Editor-in-Chief at Outdoor Travel Planning site Pathloom.com


We hope this article provided helpful information that helped lower that anxiety and turned it into excitement to travel with your pet. If you are an expert and you are reading this and feel we are missing something important, please reach out to us so we can add your expertise. Some of the RV modifications you may need for safety may require metalwork or woodwork. You may need the precise work done, so in this situation, you can always reach out to us at Porch.com. We are happy to help you find the right professional to help you with any modifications.