Summer has arrived, and it’s time to start planning your vacation. If you’re looking to take your pets along with you this year, consider hitting the road in a recreational vehicle (better known as RV). You won’t be the only one that has thought of doing so. “According to our spring survey of RV owners, 61 percent of RVers travel with pets” states Kevin Broom, director of media relations for the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association.
He adds that survey data shows that about 90 percent take their dogs along, while 14 percent are accompanied by their cats.
Any time you’re traveling with pets, of course, there are safety concerns to consider. And while an RV might seem homelike, it’s still a vehicle and can pose threats to your pet both while it’s in motion and while it’s parked. Here are a few tips to help keep your pet secure.
Secure The Pet(s)
You might find it okay to allow your cat or dog to move around the RV as the would in their own home. Who among us hasn’t seen a dog with its’ head outside a vehicle before? However, keep in mind that an RV is different than a stable home and it’s a not good at all to allow the pets to move freely in the RV as they would in the house.
The pet should be secured or should stay in a small space. This means placing the pet in a crate that is secured, so it can’t move around, or having the pet wear a safety belt.
Amy Burkert, from GoPetFriendly.com states the following: “We wear our seat belts, and our pets should be wearing theirs, too”. She, along with her husband and pet dogs, Ty and Buster, have traveled tens of thousands of miles in their motor home.
You can find crates in lots of travel shops, pet shops as well as RV specialty shops.
Some safety devices can allow the pet to move around in a limited area while still attached to a few fixed points. A short tether with a swivel can also provide extra mobility, but keep in mind that you never want to give your pet too much freedom of movement in case you need to make a sudden stop.
And don’t even think about letting your cat or dog ride alone in a fifth wheel or a vehicle or something that you’re hauling. It is safer and more comfortable for the pet to be in the same vehicle as you, safely secured in a crate or with a seat belt designed for pets.
Keep It Cool
A lot of persons enjoy traveling in a recreational vehicle or an RV, because of its ability to provide a safe place to leave a pet when the humans are going to dinner, for a hike in a national park or any other place where pets can’t go along. However, similarly to any vehicle, it is possible for the temperature to go up in a recreational vehicle due to exposure to the sun. You have the option to leave the air conditioner running, but power failures are always a possibility.
Clever and safety-conscious RVers use RV accessories such as remote temperature sensors to ensure that pets stay cool. The devices monitor the temperature inside the RV and can send an alert to your cell phone if it gets too hot or too cold — although they cannot be relied on in areas with spotty cell phone reception. Other devices can be set to turn the generator on or off when the RV reaches preset temperatures. Choose a temperature monitor with battery backup in case the power fails.