Libbys on the Loose:2 Humans. 2 Great Danes. 1 RV.: Protecting your dogs while RVing

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Protecting your dogs while RVing

fWhen you live in a home, condo, or apartment, you have the luxury of knowing the area you live and what dangers your pets can face.  You quickly learn the places to go and the places to avoid.  When you travel a lot or live a life of the road like we do, a bit more research and awareness is a must! While we only have dogs with us, I think this info could be useful for any pets.

Foxtails - According to this nasty plant has been reported in nearly every state west of the Mississippi (especially California).  In late spring and early summer when the plant heads dry, the bristly plant awns are determined to find their way into your pets nose, eyes, ears, mouths - anywhere!  The awns are barbed in such a way they can only move "forward" which means it could end up anywhere inside together with all of their bacteria causing untold damage.

Snakes - In an urban setting snakes are rarely thought of by most pet owners.  For us, being out in nature is what makes us all the happiest.  Having a strong "leave it" (or similar) command is essential not only to keep your pets safe, urban or not, it's a tool that can be used to teach your pets to avoid potentially dangerous (or even fatal) situations.
Carnivores - Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My!!  Maybe not so much the lions and tigers, but we had a run in with a bear one night while tent camping this past summer in New England.  Any animal can tempt your pet into a game of chase and we have even heard of instances of exploring dogs bringing back animals to camp.  The easiest way to prevent this is to keep your pets on tethers or leashes (never the retractable kind!).  We do use tethers when needed, but not all of the time.  This is against our own advice, but we are fortunate to have one extremely well trained dog, Nyx, that knows her "boundaries" invisible or otherwise. Our boy Moose, still being very much a puppy isn't completely trustworthy so he more often than not is tethered.  We do enjoy letting the kids explore and play just as we do, but we only take calculated risks.

When we are at home in the RV, we use folding exercise pens (we currently have five so we can create a large yard) so we can allow the dogs to run around and play without tethers.  We've had no campground issues using them and most people are impressed that the dogs don't just jump or walk over the fences.  This was accomplished also using boundary training and was in fact where we started.  When away from home, they are trained to about 30 yards radius in which they can explore freely.  If they don't keep to this, they have the command of "too far" which isn't a recall, just to let them know they aren't allowed to go any further.  We have a solid "come" as well and use this if they aren't keeping to their boundaries or it's time to go back on leash.  We also use "behind" while hiking so the dogs will stay between us if we are on a trail.  Proper and consistent training will go a long way to ensuring that your pets stay safe.  We've had some people ask why we are sometimes so strict with our dogs.  It's not because we are trying to be mean!  In fact, it's the exact opposite.  We need to know that if a situation occurs where we need our dogs to listen i.e. something dangerous, that they will listen without hesitation.  This is for their own safety (and don't worry, we give them plenty of love!!!) and allows for them to have much more freedom!

Altitude Sickness - According to, altitude sickness does not affect all animals, but can manifest over 8,000ft (2,400 meters) above sea level.  The symptoms can be but are not limited to: Excessive drooling, vomiting, dry cough, swelling of feet or face, dizziness, or lethargy.  Currently, we are in our second season at over 10,000 ft and neither of our babies have had any issues.  To our credit, we did spend quite a bit of time acclimating at higher elevations before coming to our current elevation.  For instance, before coming to the mountains, we spent nearly two weeks in Denver (5,280') so that we, as well as the dogs, could get used to the altitude.  One very important thing to remember at altitude is that your pets will require more water than usual so make sure that they are always well hydrated.

Fleas & Ticks - Bravecto prevents both, is recommended by the FDA, our primary vet, and all of our breeders.  So naturally, it's what we use.  Each treatment lasts 12 weeks and keeps our kids free from both of these pests no matter where we travel.  It is also much easier and cleaner to administer than Frontline or Advantix since it is administered orally.  We always found the liquid meds to be messy and less than effective.  If you do have the unfortunate circumstance of having a tick on your dog, don't panic.  While it is important to remove a tick quickly, panic will neither help you or your dog.  Ensure that you have rubber gloves, tweezers (or tick removal tool), rubbing alcohol and antiseptic wipes in your pets' first aid kit.  If you don't have a first aid kit, make sure you get one after reading this!  It's imperative for your pets' health and welfare!

Veterinarians - They are available nearly everywhere, but good ones are hard to find and a bit more research is needed.  We belong to several Facebook groups that have members all over North America.  Using reviews and recommendations we can find not only a quality doctor, but one familiar with Great Danes.  We keep all of our kids' records (both paper and electronic copies) from all vets in a file with us so we can easily access any requested info.  Having all the information on hand makes the veterinarian's job much easier and the quality of

Terrain - Cactus, sharp rocks, steep ledges, ice, snow with a crust on it, sand, asphalt - if you wouldn't want to walk bare foot on it, your pet probably doesn't either!  We make it a habit to do a foot check every day to ensure no slivers, cuts, or anything else that can harm them.  In addition, both of our babies each have a set of Muttluks dog boots.

Our dogs are our kids, so their safety is paramount to us.  While traveling does present special circumstances, there is no reason (with the proper preparation and education) that your pets can't be even more healthy and happy than if they stayed in the same place all the time... It's your job as their parents to ensure that your pets are well-trained, well-behaved, and that you are properly prepared in the event some happens that threatens your dog's health.  Safe travels!

Did we get it right? Do you have experience or knowledge about this post? Please make yourself heard! Comment below and we will respond as soon as possible. As always, thanks for following us! Disclaimer: We are not paid writers. We write for enjoyment and to share information about our travels with our families, friends, and our followers. The information that we provide is based on our experiences with the products, services, etc, that we write about. It is 100% non-biased!

1 comment: