When Carol Carimi isn’t producing television shows, or running Luxury in the Outdoors, she’s exploring the U.S. with her family in their Shasta Airflyte Trailer. She loves hiking in nature and cooking with friends around the campfire.
RVing dog parents know there’s nothing better than taking your furry best friend on a road trip. But RVing dog dangers put their safety at risk if we don’t address these issues before hitting the road. Want to keep your fur kid safe? Ask yourself these questions before leaving home.
The Top Three Hidden RVing Dog Dangers We Tend to Forget at Home
As Charles Schultz is quoted as saying, “In life, it’s not where you go, it’s who you travel with.” And many of us know, traveling with our dogs is sheer joy for both the owner and the pet.
The first glimpse of your pet’s veritable happiness starts when you begin packing the RV. He or she knows that they are about to embark on a close quarters adventure with their favorite humans. But there are a few hidden RVing dog dangers to avoid when camping together.
Does My Dog Have a Registered Microchip Tag?
First things first, make sure your pet has a collar and tag on before you leave the house. Then make sure your pet is microchipped. Dogs often get lost when camping. When dogs do not have a microchip, they are harder to reconnect with their owners.
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a radio-frequency identification transponder that carries a unique identification number, and is roughly the size of a grain of rice. When the microchip is scanned by a vet or shelter, it transmits the ID number. There’s no battery, no power required, and no moving parts. The microchip is injected under the loose skin between your dog’s shoulder blades and can be done in your vet’s office. It’s no more invasive than a vaccination.“How Do Pet Microchips Work and Should My Dog Have One?” by Jan Reisen for the American Kennel Club
But don’t assume that the microchip is registered with a database to locate lost dogs. Your dog might be chipped. But if the chip is not registered and not activated, the chip is useless.
Not sure if your dog has a registered microchip? Ask your vet to scan the chip to get the number. Your vet can tell you if it is registered. If they cannot, you can call any pet microchip registration company to see if that ID number is registered with their database.
If your dog’s microchip is not registered, just select the company you want to use. Pay a small fee and give them your pet’s information. Now the chip works!
Did I Pack the Right Kind of Camping Leash?
Don’t assume your dog’s normal walking leash is safe for camping. For example, if you normally walk your dog with a retractable leash, you may want to reconsider that type of dog leash for camping. Retractable leashes have a thin cord. The circumference of the cord easily snags brush and trees.
Another disadvantage of a retractable leash for camping dogs is that it is difficult to see in daytime, and practically invisible at night.
Instead of a retractable or traditional flat dog leash for camping, consider investing in a “light-up” LED dog leash and light-up LED collar.
See Why Light-Up LED Dog Leashes are Best for Camping
All campgrounds require pets to be on leash at all times. This keeps them safe and prevents them from being an uninvited guest at other campsites. A 6-foot light up dog leash is a great safety tool for walking your dog at night.
Back at your campsite, a 20-foot light-up long leash is ideal.
This camping essential for dogs gives them a safe amount of free range to explore the campsite. Plus, a long leash keeps your dog safe. A leashed dog dog will not wander off. Leashed dogs will not get lost. And leashed dogs cannot stumble into wild animals in the brush.
The only problem with a long leash is that campgrounds are usually quite dark at night. It’s easy to trip over a dog leash of any length! Instead, choose a light-up dog leash. That way you can see where your pet and the leash are located.
A light-up dog collar adds another layer of safety, allowing you to find your pet in the dark in case they slip out of a collar and accidentally gets off-leash.
Did I Forget to Give My Dog a Parasite Prevention Medication?
Before heading to the campground, make sure your dog is up to date with heartworm, flea and tick prevention medicine. All outdoor dogs need it as much for them, as for you. Fleas, ticks, and heartworm can spread life-threatening disease to pets and people alike, including Lyme Disease.
Parasite prevention is no longer a seasonal duty for pet parents, either. Climate change is causing pet parasites to grow and multiply in places they’ve never been, all year long.
Climate change is affecting national patterns of disease in complex ways—and it’s becoming an increasingly important concern for pet owners everywhere. This is especially pertinent for the vector-borne diseases carried by mosquitos, ticks, fleas, and other arthropods. The ecology of insect vectors is intimately tied to climate factors and, in turn, influences the seasonality, distribution, and prevalence of vecto- borne diseases in communities around the U.S.“What to Know About Climate Change and Vector-Borne Disease in Pets,” the Vetiverse
Don’t Let Hidden RVing Dog Dangers Keep You Away from Fun
I don’t want to scare you away from camping with dogs (and cats, too!). Exploring the outdoors together is one of the best things about RVing! Just remember that with a few safety precautions to avoid hidden RVing dog dangers, you and your pet can have the time of your lives wherever you camp.