Featured Image: Our Standard Schnauzer “Rider”
As full time RVers and dog owners, we get the question of what do we do with our dog when we go out and can’t take him with us. Can you leave him in your RV? Here’s the answer to can you leave your dog in your motorhome at an RV park.
Can You Leave Your Dog Unattended In An RV At A Campground?
Yes, you can leave your dog in your RV at a campground unattended, if your dog is not a constant barker that will disturb neighbors, and you have planned properly for your pets’ safety.
You should never leave your pet outside your RV unattended for any amount of time. Most campgrounds have strict rules against this for both your pets’ safety and the safety and respect of your RV neighbors.
Why RV parks don’t want you to leave your dog
RV parks don’t want you to leave you dogs unattended because so many dogs are guilty of barking nonstop when owners leave them alone. This can be very disturbing to other campers in the park. Additionally, RV Parks don’t want the liability of being responsible for your pets’ safety should the power go out in the park during extreme weather conditions making temperatures inside your RV dangerous.
What To Do Before Leaving Your Dog Alone In Your RV in a Campground?
Train your dog! The steps you take before leaving your dog alone in the RV will depend on your pets’ personality and training. We try to take our dog with us everywhere we can, but sometimes we don’t have a choice and must leave him alone in the RV.
We began crate training our puppy Rider as soon as we got him to housebreak him and to keep him from chewing. Crate training our dog made the transition of living in an RV full time much easier on us and him!
13 Steps to Take Before Leaving Pets Alone in Your RV
Install An RV Indoor Temperature Monitoring System
One of the biggest dangers to pets left alone in RVs are unexpected power outages. Before leaving your pet alone in your RV, you should install a temperature monitoring system that notifies your smart phone if the temperature gets too hot or cold inside your RV.
Install or Activate Your RV Auto Generator Starting System
Our Newmar Motorhome has the auto start feature on our generator that senses power outages and will start the generator if the shore power is off more than a few minutes. This keeps the temperature comfortable inside should the power be out for long periods of time.
Install Pet Rescue Safety Stickers on RV Windows and Doors
Place pet rescue safety decals on both the passenger and drivers side windows of your RV to alert safety personnel that pets are inside. Make sure to include the number of pets and your cell phone number.
You can purchase pet rescue safety decals on Amazon very inexpensively, or get them for free by signing up with the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
Check the Weather Before You Leave Pets Unattended in Your RV
If bad weather is expected, you shouldn’t leave your pet alone in your RV. It can be very stressful and might cause them to act out and damage the inside of your RV. It can also be dangerous if the power goes out and you do not have a temperature monitoring system installed inside your RV.
If the worst case scenario happens and your RV sustains damage during a storm with your pet inside, they can be injured or lost. It’s best to not leave pets alone in your RV during bad weather.
Leave Your Radio or TV On Inside Your RV
Leaving your radio or TV on inside your RV (at a reasonable volume) when your pet is left alone will help cover noises coming from outside your RV and may help reduce barking. This doesn’t always work for every dog, but ours seems to enjoy it.
Close RV Windows and Shades
Don’t leave your RV windows open when you leave your pets unattended in your RV. Outside noises will cause them to bark and disturb your neighbors and may get you into trouble with campground staff. Leave your air conditioning or heat on set to a comfortable temperature.
Turn Off Lights Inside Your RV
Turn off interior lights before you leave your dog alone in your RV. This often has a calming effect as it simulates nighttime for your pet.
Put Away Pet Distractions Inside Your RV
Put away all food on countertops and pick up anything that might look tempting for your dog to chew while you are gone.
Leave Plenty of Water
Make sure to leave plenty of fresh water for your dog when leaving them alone in your RV.
Leave a Favorite Toy
Before leaving your dog alone in your RV, make sure to give them a favorite toy to occupy them in case they get the urge to chew something. Better they chew their favorite toy than your furniture!
Walk Dogs Before Leaving Them Alone in Your RV
Take your dog on a walk before leaving them alone in your RV.
Take Short Trips Before Long Ones
We started leaving our dog alone in our RV for just 10 or 15 minutes at a time and gradually began stretching that out to longer times as he became more comfortable.
Install A Wi-Fi Camera
Wi-Fi cameras are very inexpensive and while they are not completely necessary before you leave your pet alone in your RV, it’s fun to see what they are doing when you are not home! We chose the Wyze camera. It is inexpensive and has great features, including sound and motion recording and notification. It even works with Alexa.
What To Do If you Can’t Leave Your Dog Alone in Your RV
If you cannot leave your dog alone in your RV while you are gone and taking them with you is not an option, here are a few suggestions.
- Ask Someone To Check On Your Dog While You Are Away
Have a friend or family member check in to walk your dog while you are out. Be sure they are comfortable with your dog and don’t let them run loose and get lost.
Ask campground staff for recommendations for doggie day care facilities nearby.
- Hire A Pet Sitter
Many campgrounds and RV parks have pet sitters that, for a small fee, will check on your pet (or sit with them) while you are away.