You love your pet. It’s only natural you’d want them to join you on your RV adventure. But there are some easy and unfortunately common ways to be a bad RV pet owner — ways we’re here to help you avoid.
RVing with Pets Can Be an Enriching Experience
Traveling with those you love, including your pets, makes RV travel even better. Plus, your pet will get to experience more of the world and sniff new, exciting places. You can bond with your pet by traveling and get in some extra exercise.
A pet can join you on fun and exciting hikes. They may even be a great way to meet new people while you’re on the road. And at the end of a fun day of adventuring, there are few things better than settling down in your RV with a loving pet.
How to Be a Bad RV Pet Owner
However, being an RV pet owner differs from regular pet ownership in some crucial ways. Sadly, these differences can all too often result in otherwise good people becoming bad RV pet owners. We rounded up a few of the most common ways that can happen.
Leave Your Pet Unattended Frequently for Long Hours
We all have long days away from the RV on occasion, but you shouldn’t be leaving your pet alone all the time for extended periods. Your RV does not give your pet as much space as a home or apartment. They don’t have to come with you everywhere, but if you can’t give them the care and attention they need, it’s best to leave them at home or with a friend or relative.
Don’t Leash Your Pet
While you might love your dog jumping on you to give you a slobbery kiss, your campground neighbor may not feel the same. People around you may not be as comfortable with your pet as you are. Your pet might also not be at ease around strangers or other animals.
Leaving your pet off-leash in public spaces can lead to trouble and make you a bad pet owner. Leashing up will help control your pet and keep them safe and at a respectful distance from others.
Don’t Clean Up After Your Pet
Pet droppings don’t just disappear magically. Whether it’s at your campsite, around the campground, or elsewhere, your pet needs to “go” somewhere.
You should travel prepared for this, as one of the most common ways to be a bad RV pet owner is to not pick up after them. Bring bags or other disposal solutions and take care of waste as soon as possible. After all, if you don’t clean it up, someone else will have to — and that’s no one’s idea of a good time.
Let Your Pet Howl Incessantly
Many RV travelers hit the road to get away from it all and find a little peace and quiet. A howling pet can quickly shatter the serenity of nature.
Understandably, new situations or places might leave your pet unsettled. However, you should be able to quiet them down before they become a nuisance. If that’s not possible, perhaps camp somewhere without close neighbors or leave your animals at home.
Let Your Pet Pester Wildlife
Animals don’t always get along. When you’re traveling in your RV, don’t forget that the wildlife was here first.
Bad RV pet owners will let their animals bark at, chase, or even harm or kill wildlife. Understand you’re a guest wherever you’re camping, and make sure your pet’s behavior reflects this.
Let Your Pet Run and Potty Off-Trail
Trails exist for a reason, even if your four-legged friends don’t necessarily understand that. That’s why it’s up to you to keep them on track.
Allowing pets off-trail, even for the bathroom, can damage sensitive wildlife. While pet excrement may seem “natural,” it can cause serious problems for sensitive ecosystems. Keeping your pets on the trail and always picking up after them should be routine for pet owners.
Take Your Pet on Trails and to Places Where Pets Aren’t Allowed
Speaking of trails, some aren’t a good fit for pets. Ignoring these prohibitions can make you a bad RV pet owner.
This goes for any other places where pets aren’t allowed, too. If whoever is in charge has decided not to allow pets, chances are they have a good reason for doing so, and you should respect that.
Lie About Your Pet Being a Service or Support Animal to Get It into Places
Some RV parks or campgrounds simply don’t allow pets. Rather than comply, some bad pet owners will lie to take advantage of a common loophole: service or support animals.
By law, service animals can travel just about anywhere. Support animal definitions and rules may vary depending on location, but these pets also enjoy special protection in many cases.
Abusing these rules is not merely dishonest. It’s also harmful to those who genuinely need service and support animals. Campground owners burned by past lies may be more suspicious of true service and support animals.
There are plenty of pet-friendly places to take your RV. Don’t break the rules and cause future problems for others just to get into one specific campground.
Don’t Be a Bad RV Pet Owner
We all love our pets, but RV life can unfortunately sometimes turn even the most attentive pet owners bad. Your pet is a member of the family. It needs attention and care, but also guidance and structure in dealing with new and unfamiliar situations.
Keep these issues in mind, and you and your four-legged friends will enjoy many happy days on the road ahead.
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