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ruby7167 02-18-2006 09:23 AM

Hello All,

I am a new subscriber. My family is considering a new puppy and I was hoping you could give us advice on rving with pets and three children.

ruby7167 02-18-2006 09:23 AM

Hello All,

I am a new subscriber. My family is considering a new puppy and I was hoping you could give us advice on rving with pets and three children.

ISLAPP 02-18-2006 11:23 AM

Well, first of all, WELCOME to irv2
You will find lots of good people and lots of great info here. We hope to hear more from you about your adventures and any questions you may have or knowledge you can share.

Now as far as pets goes. First thing you have to look at is where do you usually camp. In Pa. for example, only a fraction of their state parks allows pets. Then the areas within those parks are limited. In Ohio, most parks allows pets, but will have certain sections assigned for them.
As far as private parks goes, most that I have seen allow pets. BUT some restrict size to maybe 25-35lbs and quite a few dont allow what they call vicious breeds.
Some dogs are what I call the yippy kind. High tone barks, barks at everything that moves, etc. You know the kind. Those are fine for camping, but keep in mind, you dont want to be bothering your neighbors with your barking dog. The breed should be the "friendly" type so that you dont have to worry about other kids in the campground coming up to the dog and getting bitten. And believe me, when you are sitting outside the camper or walking the dog, kids will want to come up and pet it. The dog or course has to enjoy traveling. Now I dont know how you know if a puppy will enjoy traveling or not. I think most dogs are ok but I have heard of some that get car sick, just like kids.
When the dog is outside, it must be kept on a leash. No offense to those that may do this, but i hate to see dogs in those pens outside the coach or trailer and they stay there the whole time. Alot of those then bark at everyone and everything that walks by and I feel that is very annoying.
So I guess what you think is a nice family pet is probably ok for camping. Just remember, you are sharing that space with others campers and you need to respect their space and peace.
We have a Bichon. Very friendly, lovable, and one of the things I like the best----IT DOESNT SHED


TXiceman 02-18-2006 02:12 PM

Everything Mike said, but we have miniature schnauzers as they do not shed or get a doggie odor.

Also, buy some of the poop bags and DO pick up after the dog. Our two love to take long walks which is also good for me as well.


Doggievet 02-18-2006 02:31 PM

Rather than buy a pup, visit your local humane society or animal care facility and adopt an older dog. I've had two- each was house broken when I got it, they get along well with people, they don't bark excessively, and each loved to travel. Each was leash trained and would stop on command when I got them. Each was a small dog and didn't take up much space. Doggie, the first, loved kids. She is now deceased. Sparky, my second, doesn't care much for kids so I keep an eye on him when he's around them. Dogs from the humane society are neutered so you don't need to worry about unwanted pups. Check out for available dogs in your area.
Annie K. and Sparky, the long-haired chihuahua
03 Journey DL 36LD
04 Saturn L300W
Brake Buddy

Paul Heuvelhorst 02-18-2006 04:06 PM

If you are truly set on getting a dog, I second the suggestion made by Doggievet. We had excellent results with our dogs, too.

However, you need to understand that a pet requires addtional care, and may limit you to some of the places you go. For example, many state and national parks will not allow dogs outside of the campsite. They are not usually allowed on trails even with a leash.

We no longer have a pet because our living and travel practices changed considerably after our kids "left the nest."

Consider all aspects of pet ownership, including costs, before you make your decision. Owning a dog can cost you more than $6,000 over its lifetime for food, vet bills, etc. You'll live with that choice for many years. Make an informed decision, then enjoy it.

Lorna 02-18-2006 08:42 PM

We have a 65lb Husky/Borzoi mix (rescued from Humane Society) and a 16lb Tabby Cat (also from the Humane Society). We camp with both. Both wear harnesses (cat has been in a dog harness and on a leash since the day we got her as a 3mo kitten). We stay 99% of time in public campgrounds and have never had a problem with having such a large dog (except she takes up so much room).

Our dog is the third rescued dog and the cat is the 2nd rescused cat (camped with all). We don't pick our pets, they pick us (except for this last cat... she was picked by the dog to replace our previous "antique" cat... KC has a strong Husky pack sense so the "pack" had to be brought back up to the right number).

Give your pets filtered water in the campgrounds (or bring water from home). We use a faucet filter because I think our antique cat acquired a water-bourne parasite and never fully recovered (due to her age). Make sure your pets have all shots (don't forget distemper) and watch for worms (or use a worm prevention medication... yep, KC got roundworms from a campground). ALWAYS carry the shot records with you as well as the Vet's number (some campgrounds will require proof of rabies shot in high risk states). Post a note on your RV stating that there is an animal inside (we use a Beware of Dog type). We also have our cell phone numbers on the sign in case of emergency (both critters stay in the RV... KC needs to hold the bed down as it may float up to the ceiling

When I walk KC or she is outside in the campsite, I have kids wanting to pet her. When they ask if she will bite, I always say "Yes, all dogs will bite if provoked". I have problems with little kids opening the door to "play with the pretty doggie". You need to watch out for that. Also other dogs (mine thinks the little ankle-biters would make nifty snacks). I use scented baby diaper baggies (from DollarTree) to pick up after KC. It helps to cut down on the smell (KC doesn't like to poop in our site... she requires a walk around the entire campground). If I don't drop the filled baggie (tied in a knot) in the dumster or site trash can (not all sites have a trash can), I will place it in a trash-bag-lined 5 gal bucket with lid and either baking soda or fabric softener sheet (we get buckets from a restaurant... former pickle chip bucket but you can buy them from most home improvement stores).

TXiceman 02-19-2006 07:39 AM

I second the suggestion of a rescue dog. There are plenty of breed spscific rescue centers around the U.S.A. Just do a Google seach for the breed you desire + rescue.

Our almost 4 year old female schnauzer was a resuce about 2 years ago. The good shelters keep the dogs a period of time for a health check and to evaluate their behavior...good with other dogs, does OK with kids or prefers older more sedate life.


6x5er 02-19-2006 12:06 PM

Believe it or not...we camp with 3 dogs (rat terrier, mixed terrier and black lab) and 2 cats. All are shelter saves. Our dogs aren't yelpers or barker...which is nice. The two large dogs are outside dogs who come in the laundry room at night to sleep, so when we camp, they sleep together in a large dog crate with bedding and a cover which sits under the awning of the camper. The rat terrier is more spoiled and has run of the camper. All are crate-trained and leash well. We were blessed to be taught camping pet etiquette by a retired couple who RV full-time. We've not forgot all they taught us...which basically is to respect your fellow camper and his/her campsite.

The care of our pets is important and we make sure that their care is included in all scheduling. We carry proof of vaccines as well. We plan accordingly and have not had any problems with reservations.

We purchased travel safe pet carriers on Ebay and researched all we could about traveling with pets. It's worked and we wouldn't trade our adventures with them.

Jackm 02-19-2006 01:07 PM


You received some good advice, although many people mentioned a lot of pet camping restrictions. Don't be discouraged by a few state parks that don't take pets, just go to a different park! I wholeheartedly recommend that you get a dog and take it camping with you. The one piece of advice I can give, is to call ahead to the campground, because some can have extra charges or restrictions. We travel with 2 dogs and 3 cats and we have written a book as well as some articles on Camping with Dogs. If anyone would like to receive a free list of essential items to bring when camping with dogs, just email me offlist.

Jack and Julee Meltzer
dogs camping

Lorna 02-19-2006 02:04 PM

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jackm:
...although many people mentioned a lot of pet camping restrictions. Don't be discouraged by a few state parks that don't take pets, just go to a different park!... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

And there's parks that don't take kids either (and I don't think they mean baby goats). You will always find campgrounds that don't allow something. That's why there's always another campground to stay at. Even the public parks sometimes restrict pets (several of the FL state parks won't allow pets due to the fragile state of the natural surroundings).

AL 02-20-2006 05:21 AM

Hi Ruby,

Welcome to irv2 as you can see this site is full of info, on just about any subject! We have traveled with two kids & two dogs all over, with no problems. Sometimes we even had a cat added to the above mix and still no problems! The important thing is that the pet has to like to travel or it won't work! We got our Boston when she was 6 weeks old and we were on the road for about 3 weeks that trip and now we can't leave in the rig without her. The pug was 2 years old when we got him from a rescue group, and being a Pug he don't care oneway or another about anything, so he also travels well, but does not mind if we leave him home with the kids!

On another note I see you are also from NJ, so I want to make sure you know that the NorEaster's are haveing there Rally in Cape May,NJ this June! Hope you will join us if you can! You can find more info about this under the Heading "Regions, Rallies and Campouts" in the North East Region!

Lorna 02-20-2006 09:40 AM

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by AL:
...The important thing is that the pet has to like to travel or it won't work!... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

For anyone considering traveling with a cat...

It took several car rides before our cat got used to riding (I mean a years worth). A cat's inner ear is very sensitive to motion. We gave our cat Dramamine (vet recommended Dramamine for babies). I couldn't ever find the baby one, so I cut the tablet to the size said on the bottle label, dissolved in water then used a medicine syringe from the vet to "shoot" it into her mouth (foamed something awful... chemical reaction). After a few trips, she was fine except for our very winding road the last 5 miles to our house. Always got sick at that point, either going out or coming in. Now it's no problem traveling with her, short or long trips. I put her in a soft sided pet carrier and she is quiet and usually sleeps (non-medicated). I have had several vets comment on how well she travels (we get her rabies shots at "shot clinics" held at various places). Taking her to the vet isn't as traumatic for her as it used to be... just another trip.

In the campgrounds... the noisy diesel trucks scare her. Which is odd because her favourite place to lay is in our unfinished bus and when David cranks up the engine, that doesn't scare her (she will sit right next to the bus to see what he is doing to "her" bus). She also likes to take early morning walks (daylight but no one out and moving around). She walks on a lightweight long strong string attached to her doggie harness with a tiny aluminum carbiner like on key rings (she slipped the figure 8 cat harness in 3 seconds flat) and I go where she wants to walk. Sometimes I can coax her to where I want to go by gently tugging but this is something that has taken a while to train her to (Cats are definitely not like dogs). We will also let her "wander" around the campsite while attached on a very long strong string that allows her to walk around a little but will still let her get back into the RV to "hide" in a "safe" place.

ronstan 03-14-2006 06:25 PM

A year ago we adopted a little toy poodle from a rescue group. He has been the best little camper. He loves to play ball and the people that we camp with will throw it for him and he will bring it back and do it over. As far as cost goes. We just paid around $190. for dental work. Poodles are know for having tartar real easy. But he is worth it. Check out the shelters.

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