Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

Ten Good Reasons to Bring your Pet Camping

By Julee Meltzer



It has been estimated that approximately 75% of all RVers take their family pet camping with them. This means that conservatively, over 20 million people hit the road with their pets each year. While many of these pets are dogs, more than a few RVers with cats, birds, rabbits, horses, and even lizards.

As a fulltimer RVing with two dogs and three cats, I’ve often been asked why I choose to travel with so many four-legged friends. After all – they ask, wouldn’t it be a lot easier and more convenient to RV without pets? Most of the time, I quickly dodge the question with a bad joke “Yeah but who would drive?”

But in all seriousness, it is a reasonable question and therefore deserves a thoughtful answer. Why do so many of us travel with our pets?

#1 - We’ve always taken our pets.
Nomadic people have been traveling with their pets since the beginning of time. In fact, when early man sat around a crackling fire under the stars, his trusty dog was always at his side. Moving ahead a few years, my family always took Bingo, the family dog everywhere. I figure – why fight history.

#2 - Less guilt.
The official reason we travel with our pets is that they’re part of the family. After all, when we go on a vacation, we don’t leave the kids at home. We bring them. The real reason? If we don’t take them, they give us this pathetic look that makes us feel so guilty – we can’t enjoy the trip. So now you know why you have to take them.

#3 - Most campgrounds like pets.
The majority of campgrounds welcome pets. In fact, some are starting to offer special provisions for people with dogs. For example, some campgrounds schedule informal dog hikes where RVers and their dogs can get to know one another.

#4 - Pets are good company.
Pets don’t usually say a lot, but they’re good listeners. Plus, dogs and cats are always there when you need them. For instance, whenever I’m cooking a chicken dinner – my dogs and cats are always right there to lend a helping hand.

#5 - Pets keep you active.
It’s hard to become lazy or bored when you have a dog. In fact, a recent survey concluded that people with dogs walk twice as much as people without dogs. So who needs a treadmill in their RV?

#6 - Pets help to keep you safe.
Dogs quickly learn that an RV is their home away from home. As a result, they’ll often guard it with their life. Even small dogs help to prevent crime. After all, it’s always easier to vandalize or break into an RV that doesn’t have a dog. Plus, pets guard against other unwanted visitors as well. Because of our cats, there hasn’t been a single insect in the RV, let alone a mouse.

#7 - Pets help you to meet people.
Dogs are terrific icebreakers. If you want to meet other people – take your dog for a slow walk in a busy campground. Best of all, you’ll get to meet other RVers that like animals. See…that’s two things you already have in common.

#8 - Pets love to travel.
You’re not the only one that gets tired of the snow or bored with the mundane aspects of daily life. Dogs and cats enjoy a good camping adventure as much as we do. RVing delivers an endless assortment of new creatures, intriguing smells, and exciting places. From your pet’s perspective, it doesn’t get any better than that.

#9 - RVing with pets is easy.
We have two large German Sheppard dogs, two old cats, and one badly behaved stray kitten. Yet, RVing with all these animals isn’t much harder than living in a house. We always put the dog’s leashes on before we exit the RV and we keep the address of the nearest animal hospital on the refrigerator in case of a problem. Other than that, RVing with pets is the same as living with pets. It’s a lot of work, but it sure beats the alternative.

#10 - Life is short.
Among other wonderful things, RVing gives us a chance to spend time with our friends, our family, and our pets. I’d wager that if our pets could talk – they would tell us there’s no place they would rather be. That’s reason enough to take them everywhere we go.

Julee Meltzer and her husband Jack are full-time RVers who travel in a motorhome with their two dogs and three cats. Their book, “Camping and RVing with Dogs” is a resource that contains information on how to keep your pet happy and healthy when traveling on the road. From what to do in case of an emergency, to how to make drinking water, this book has it all. Questions to the author can be directed to julee@desertwindspress.com.

Read more camping articles.