Tips for Walking Your Dog When Camping

Seven tips for walking your dog when traveling in your RV

Like their human counterparts, dogs are eager to explore their new surroundings at pit stops along your travel route and once the RV has reached its destination.

But before putting the leash on your four-legged friend to explore the area or hit the trail, consider the following seven tips:

RV park pet parade © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Plan Pit Stops along Your Travel Route: You will need to stop for bathroom breaks as often as you would let them out at home, so don’t expect to cruise down the highway for hours and hours; make sure to plan adequate pit stops along the way.

RV park pet parade © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Adequate exercise is essential when traveling with dogs. Not only does exercise keep them healthy, it prevents bad behavior stemming from boredom or anxiety. Plan for at least an hour pit stop for each day of driving so that your dog can let off some energy.

RV park pet parade © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Right Leash For Dog Walking: Prior to taking the first steps on the walk, make sure you’re using the proper leash. Retractable leashes are great for expansive areas with lots of room to explore. However, if you’re setting out on a narrow trail with deep underbrush and heavy foot and bicycle traffic, you’ll need to be able to keep your dog from wandering into danger. In that case, keep your dog on the proverbial “short leash.”

RV park pet parade © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Dog Walking Location, Location, Location: Be aware of the hazards and distractions that might stimulate your dog during the walk. Does your pooch dart after other dogs or people? If the answer is “yes,” try to avoid walking during high-traffic periods.

You might also scout out a less-busy walking area. If your dog’s unruly walking behavior is a problem, consider training options.

Guard dog at Hilltop RV park, Fort Stockton, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Walk Your Dog This Way: Always avoid allowing your dog to poke its snout into underbrush or exposed crevices under rocks; these habitats are homes to skunks, rattlesnakes, and other dangerous critters.

At the same time, avoid letting your dog get deep into the shrubbery or tall grass. During tick season, these little parasites like to perch at the ends of branches, just waiting for a free ride on your pet. Also, make sure your dog doesn’t venture into another RVer’s campsite. Not everybody loves dogs as much as you do!

RV park pet parade © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Man-made Dog Walking Hazards: Be careful when walking your dog on lawns. Pesticides and fertilizers can be toxic to dogs. Also, exercise caution around flowers. Some dogs have an appetite for tulips and other pretty blossoms that might be planted throughout the RV park—these can cause stomach problems for canines.

Guard dog at Hilltop RV park, Fort Stockton, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What to Bring When Dog Walking: Regardless of the length of your walk, you should always pack plastic bags for waste—you never know when nature will call.

Water is another essential—even on relatively short hikes, dogs can become dehydrated. Portable water bowls will make drinking convenient for your pooch.

Last but not least, don’t forget dog treats—these will come in handy when you want to reinforce good behavior.

RV park pet parade © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Train to Win At Dog Walking: Consider enrolling your dog in a training class before hitting the trail. Training will address problems your dog might have when it comes to dealing with other dogs, strangers, and wildlife. A well-trained dog means a happy human, and that will go a long way toward making your walk much more pleasurable.

Dog washing station at River Plantation RV Park, Seviereville, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

More RV parks than ever are laying out the welcome mat for pets. Creating a safe, nurturing environment inside your home-on-wheels ensures that everyone stays happy no matter where the road takes leads.

If you plan ahead and are prepared, camping can be a rewarding, memorable experience for both owners and pets.

Worth Pondering…

If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.

―Mark Twain