This post is dedicated to our four-legged companions, family members with fur, and children with whiskers. It’s dedicated to their safety and comfortability when RVing.
About 67% of RVers travel with animals, and out of that 92% are dogs.
Still, many of the same principles regarding weather, camp rules, camera monitoring devices, noise, and separation anxiety pertain to other pets such as cats, chickens, and birds.
There’s a bunch to consider when leaving a pet alone in an RV. It’s a bit different from leaving them alone in a house- assuming you live in a standard or small-sized RV.
So, here we venture 8 Does & 11 Donts and to answer a few questions regarding leaving pets in an RV:
- Is it illgeal to leave a dog in an RV?
- What steps should you take when leaving a pet alone in an RV?
- How can we keep our dogs safe and cool in an RV?
- How to keep a dog from barking in an RV?
Related: Is RV Antifreeze Toxic to Animals?
Leaving Pets in RV: Is it illegal to leave a dog in an RV?
Campgrounds and National Parks Pet Policies:
First and foremost, if you are visiting a campground, make sure that you check their rules and regulation as it pertains to animals. Some campsites and Nationa Parks have their own way of dealing with pets in or outside of the RV.
Also, keep in mind, the campsites that state dogs should not be left unattended, unattended usually means “your pet should be monitored at all times”.
Basically never leave your dog’s side.
Often the word “unattended” gets misinterpreted. People have thought the word means “don’t leave your dog outside off his or her leash” or “outside in a cage, pen, etc.”
If the policy isn’t clear, just ask someone before going kayaking, hiking, shopping, or whatever adventure you are about to embark on.
Can you Leave a Dog Unattended at a Campground?
Yes, generally, you can leave your dog IN your RV at a camping ground unattended. As mentioned above, check the policies.
If your dog barks uncontrollably should take them with you. You don’t want to disturb or interfere with your neighbors’ peace.
But, you should never leave your dog unattended at a campground outside of your RV. No matter how long you plan to be away.
It’s just not cool for you, your pet, and your neighbors.
Is it Legal To Leave My Dog In The RV?
No, it is not illegal to leave your dog in an RV in all states, although most NP’s and campgrounds have strict rules about leaving pets outside your RV.
So, legality on a state-wide basis doesn’t matter when it comes to the camping policies.
This may sound contradictory, but…
Yes, it is illegal to keep your dog in an RV unattended depending on what state you are in. This has nothing to do with RV parks, campgrounds, camping, boondocking, etc.
Simply, some states have laws that state you can NOT leave a pet in a vechile at any time just check your local laws if you plan on leaving your pet in your recreational vechile.
The actual laws state-wide are vague because the state doesn’t want to regulate your pet parenting.
Most state laws have these as common issues regarding leaving your pet alone:
- Time Left Alone
- The Weather
- Proper Ventilation
- Food and Water Availability
Note: In the U.S. 19 states have laws that deal with pets in parked cars. Under most of these laws, a violation occurs only when a person confines an unattended animal in a parked vehicle and the conditions endanger the animal’s life.
Dont’s: Reasons Dogs Should Never Be Left Alone in the RV:
- Separation Anxiety
- Avoid Heat Stroke: Weather/Temperature Changes
- Rules Are Made To Be Followed
- Dog Theft
- Sudden Injury
- Chewing Hazards
- RV Malfunctions
- Sometimes we just have to leave our pets alone while we run an errand, mountain biking, or go to a place with big signs stating “NO pets allowed”. If that’s the case, try to make your RV as comfortable
Related: Best RV Vacuums For Pet Fur
Does: Steps To Take Before Leaving Pets Alone in Your RV:
- Take Them For a Walk First
- Keep TV or Radio On
- Install A RV Wi-Fi Camera
- Have a Dog Sitter or Someone To Check on Them
- Remove All Hazardous Temptations
- No pet distractions. Remove food off the counters, handing towels or wash clothes, etc.
- Pet Toys!
- Check RV Park and Weather Forecast
- Install An RV Indoor Temperature Monitoring System
- Place an Ice Pack on their Bed
- Place Pet Rescue Stickers On Your RV (Get them for free here)
- Get An Auto Generator Starting System (It senses power outages and start the generator after a few minutes)
How Can I Keep My Dog Safe in an RV?
You can keep your dog safe in an RV by making sure it is feed, at a comfortable temperature (not too hot or too cold), water is available and walked.
It won’t hurt to tired them out with a little run, game of ball, or whatever activity you and your pup enjoy. You can invest in a dog monitor camera with wifi so you can look in on your dog and even talk to them.
- Other RV Dog Monitoring Devices:
- Location Monitor: When leaving your dog in an RV pet fence outside you can get a Garmin GPS Dog Collar to find your dog.
Check the “Does” section above for any more ideas for keeping your dog safe while you’re gone.
Also, check this podcast episode here.
How to Keep Dogs Cool in an RV?
There are a few ways you can keep your pet cool is by parking in a space with shade for starters. Consider installing remote temperature sensors that can alert your phone if the RV gets too hot or cold.
You can also invest in a cooling dog bed for that extra bit of coolness.
Related: How To Keep Moisture Out Your RV
How to Keep Dogs from Barking in RV?
This is how you keep your dog from barking in an RV:
There is no one fix for this without involving technology. We suggest you start “no barking” training early to keep barking at a minimum when you leave your furry friend alone.
OR “No Barking Devices” like:
- BarxBuddy: Anti Bark Dog Training
- Elopaw: Dog Barking Deterrent Device
- MODUS Ultrasonic Dog Barking Deterrent
RV parks and NP’s don’t want you to leave your dogs unattended because lots of dogs bark nonstop when owners leave them alone.
Barking can be very disturbing to other campers.
RV Parks also don’t want the liability of being responsible for your pets’ safety should the power go out in the park during extreme weather (Thunder Storms, freezing or hot weather) conditions making temperatures inside your RV dangerous.
Can Dogs Ride in Travel Trailer?
No, never let your dog ride in in the travel trailer. Your pup should ride in the same vechile as you.
The TT can overheat and fill up with exhaust.
Don’t take the chance of leaving your dog in a pull-behind camper.
Note: Develop a habit of leaving them alone in short stents so that the longer trips won't hit as hard.
See Ya On The Road
We hope this helped all pet and dog owners in our community. RVing is special no matter who you’re doing it with; solo, family, friends, or just you and your dog.
Laws that do exist are laws made to prevent the tragic deaths of pets left in parked cars.
No matter the mix of people and animals, we just want you to be safe about it. Especially when it comes to those who don’t have control of their surroundings whether it’s legal or not.