The ideal moment for fun trips and spending quality time with your friends and family has finally arrived. Get ready to fasten your seatbelts for the holiday season. If you do not want to leave your pets in the kennel, take them as your worthy travel companions. If they are road-tested, there is nothing to worry about. Here are some tips on how to enjoy a pet-friendly RV lifestyle.
Tip 1: Prepare With Confinement Training
Pet behaviors vary, and while some do not get overwhelmed with situational changes, others might behave abnormally. To avoid any trouble, it is smart to train your pet to remain cool and relaxed when confined. This can reduce the level of fear and anxiety they will feel when carried in crates or harnessed inside the RV. This kind of training session also falls within the essential driving safety norms, as a pet’s abnormal behavior might spark an accident.
- Symptoms of discomfort: For dogs, anxiety and fear may induce symptoms like vomiting, passing of stool or urine, restlessness, etc. Apart from that, the dog may whine, howl, bark or seek physical contact with you, which could be dangerous if you are driving the RV.
Tip 2: Acclimate your pet to the RV environment
Bring some of your pet’s belongings inside the RV. Let your pet sniff them and mix its scent into the environment.
Tip 3: Arrange regular training sessions for your pet
While preparing your pet for the trip, you may notice some unusual behavior like pacing, whining or drooling. Do not worry; instead, boost their confidence with your calm and relaxed behavior. Explain to them lovingly that the RV is their home too.
With each successful session, treat your pet with something it loves to eat so that it will associate positive feelings with the RV. Be patient, and conduct these training sessions for some weeks before you start your journey. Gradually increase the duration of the session so that your pet becomes familiar with the environment.
Tip 4: Familiarize your pet with the sound of the engine
Include another family member in this fun training session so that one may sit in the driver’s seat while the other stays with the pet. Bring in your pet with its toys and let it settle down calmly. Then start the engine.
Upon hearing the new sound, some pets will become nervous, while others will not. If your pet grows nervous, stop the engine and sit with it calmly. Do not pick your pet up if it shows signs of distress. Instead, ignore the signs and do something else inside the RV. When your pet calms down, reward it with a treat or some petting and hugs. Repeat this training session until your pet becomes familiar with the engine noise.
Tip 5: Introduce your pet to the idea of motion
Repeat the same sequences of the previous training sessions:
- First, ensure that your pet’s belongings are inside the RV. Then take your pet inside and let it relax in the familiar environment.
- Turn the engine on and let your pet acclimate to the sound of the engine.
For the next step, take a quick trip around your neighborhood. Ignore all signs of distress, and instead give your pet time to calm down. Be sure to reward it when it returns to a relaxed state. Gradually increase your trip distance and repeat this session until you are completely assured that your pet can cope with the stress of a long distance journey.
Most pets will show signs of improvement as they go through these training sessions. Those who do not may need the help of holistic anti-anxiety strategies. Continue to follow us for more information on the subject.