Considerations for an Alaska RV Trip with Dogs
In 2022 my wife, our dog Polly, a 46-pound Labradoodle, and I drove from Washington DC via Canada (Buffalo) to Alaska and back via Oregon, California, and back. The trip took 98 days and was 12,200 miles. We were in a 30-foot Winnebago Vista 29VE class A with a Jeep Cherokee tow. Polly was between 12 to 15 months old and did very well. Here is what we learned:
1. Alaskan National Parks do not allow dogs in buildings or off paved areas except in campgrounds. Thus, outdoor activities like the Denali bus, plane/helicopter rides, and wilderness hiking are limited to the time you are willing to leave your dog alone in your RV.
2. Just like everywhere else you are not supposed to leave your dog alone in the RV. Just like most people, we did. We chose to limit our time gone to 4 hours, others might choose longer. NOTE: We didnít crate Poly in our RV as she does not damage items that are not her toys and she is not a barker or whiner.
3. If you plan well ahead, boarding kennels are available in Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Homer. Also, there is limited pet sitting in Seward and possibly other places. Be warned PLAN AHEAD, space is limited
4. Health certificates. We understood you needed one within 10 days before crossing the border. We had a very difficult time getting a veterinary visit for the certificate to come back. So plan ahead. That being said we were not asked for Pollyís papers at our two Canadian and two USA crossings. Note: for both crossings into the USA we were asked about plants, including fruits and vegetables. We had to give up all fresh produce with seeds. Also, you must keep the original dog food bag that the food came in or the CBP officers will confiscate your dog food.
5. Many days we walked Polly 5 miles. We were careful to check with the locals about bears and often (like on the ALCAN) walked along the road or in the very few towns. We always made a lot of noise and carried bear spray. When in doubt we didnít go on our 5-mile walk.
6. Most KOA campgrounds have dog parks, a great boon for Polly to make doggie friends. Perhaps 1 in 8 non-KOA parks had dog parks.