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Taking your cat or dog on the road is one of the most rewarding aspects of RVing. Especially when you consider travel alternatives such as flying to a destination, staying in a dirty hotel, and leaving your beloved pet behind in the care of a pet sitter, or even worse, a boarding facility. Or, there is always the other great alternative - flying and taking your pet with you. I have experienced flying with my pets first hand in a number of ways, and it is not a good experience for the pets or for the owner's heart condition. (I was a nervous wreck every time I flew with my pets).
So, once you decide to bring your pet with you while camping, you will probably need some supplies, medications, food, kennels, and various pet accouterments. Over the years, I have found that I save myself a lot of time (and money) by ordering what I need ahead of time on the Internet.
And, sometimes, you just need some free information regarding pet issues. I have also found the Internet useful for this, providing that I stay with well-established and trusted sources of information.
So, let’s look at a few super-expansive pet supply websites. Then, we will visit a few informational websites which may be of use.
Pet Supply Websites:
There are a gadzillion websites out there for pet supplies, or at last count 64,200,000 - if you type in "Pet Supplies" into Google. However, there are a few of websites which have been established for a long time, have a great selection of products, and have a good reputation. Here are a few of the top overall pet supply websites:
1-800-PetSupplies.com is a subsidiary of PetsUnited, LLC. PetsUnited, LLC, founded in 1969, is the parent company to a wide variety of pet-related websites, including dog.com, horse.com, bird.com, fish.com, ferret.com and statelinetack.com. They have a broad range of competitively priced pet supplies, as well as community forums and partnerships with several national and local rescue and adoption facilities. Check out their pet forum – they contain a wealth of knowledge and conversation is available from around the world, around the clock!
As a full-timer though, I did have one shipping issue with this company. They don’t allow you to ship to a different address than your billing address.
This website established itself as a catalog for pet medications many moons ago. They have since grown into a pet supply powerhouse. They have a very large selection of products particularly in the medication arena including:
• flea & Tick
This is one of the two large nationwide chains of super pet stores. You can find a huge selection of pet food and products here. However, one note, you won't find any really fancy specialty pet boutique products. You will need to go to some of the smaller specialty pet product sites for those products (like a diamond studded collar, a Mercedes dog bed, etc.).
PetSmart, Inc. (PETM) is the largest specialty retailer of services and products for the lifetime needs of your pets. According to their website,
“They have more than 1,149 pet stores in the United States and Canada, more than 161 in-store PetsHotels cat and dog boarding facilities and Doggie Day Camps, and are a leading online provider of pet supplies and pet care information. PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet supplies, and offers complete pet training and pet adoption services.”
Pet Information Sites:
Now, let’s visit a couple of informational websites which may be of use.
This website is sponsored in association with VIN (Veterinary Information Network). They have a lot of very useful information which you may find handy when you are out on the road with your pet. They won’t replace a veterinarian visit, but they might give you some piece of mind. You can even try different search parameters to find what you are looking for. The information on this website is written by veterinarians for pet owners.
This website is produced by the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association). There is a lot of information about vaccinations, parasite control issues, and pain management - just to name a few.
In our book, Camping and RVing with Dogs (published by Woodalls), we devote an entire chapter to talk about environmental issues while traveling with your pets. You really need to understand the environment and potential harm that can exist for your pet. One of the best examples is that we seen people leave their cats out on leashes (unattended!) in the desert. This is the equivalent of putting out a pile of steaks in Africa and hoping that the lions don’t eat them! A coyote will have no problem coming right up to your RV and taking your cat for a tasty appetizer. The ASCPA Poison Control Center also has an excellent website if you're wondering if a plant, chemical, or food is toxic to your pet.
Do you travel with your Dog? Here is a new Facebook Group founded by Julee Meltzer which is dedicated to Camping and RVing with Dogs. Please join us!
Camping and RVing with Dogs
This a group which welcomes anyone to share their photos, ideas, and anything related to Camping and RVing with Dogs. According to
, almost half of all RVers travel with a dog.