How We Travel With Our Dogs

If there’s one thing we’ve seen with RV’ers, it’s that they like pets. Dogs and cats are the usual, but we’ve seen people with birds and other exotic animals. I wouldn’t be surprised if half of the RV’ers out there travel with pets. Since so many people travel with pets we thought it would be a good idea to show everyone how we do it.

Laura worked as a registered veterinary technician for six and a half years, five of them in an 24 hour animal hospital emergency room. Sadly, she had seen the aftermath of pets not being secured in vehicles far too many times. That’s why we’re religious about seat belting the dogs in whenever the vehicle is moving. To do this we put harnesses on the dogs, and the seat belt attachment clips onto the harness with a D-ring. Not only does this system protect them, but it also prevents them from trying to jump into the drivers lap and cause a wreck. It’s a win-win.

To get the dogs to and from the truck we use high visibility, reflective, retractable leashes in conjunction with Gentle Leader nose harnesses. To actually get Bullet into the truck we had to make more special arrangements. The truck isn’t lifted, yet it still has pretty decent ground clearance. To add to the height problem, the running boards are rounded chrome tubes with just a plastic step beside each door. Try telling an excited Labrador to only use the step and not the slick chrome, it won’t go well. Kimber is small enough, and calm enough, that we can just lift her into her seat. However, with Bullet we thought it best to get him steps that he climb up and down with. Since Lab’s have so many knee problems (knowledge courtesy of being married to a vet tech) providing him a way out of the truck instead of jumping was important, those surgeries are expensive.

It’s also important to us to keep our dogs as comfortable as possible while driving. Being in a moving vehicle freaks Bullet out enough already, we don’t want him to be uncomfortable as well. That’s why we put his bed, security blanket, pillow, and stuffed squeaky cow in there with him. Having the things he’s used to sleeping with, and on, just helps keep him calmer.

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9 thoughts on “How We Travel With Our Dogs

  1. Teresa says:

    We are still trying to sort out the issue of getting our dogs in and out of the front-entry class A we’re buying. Your lab sounds like our boy, a big, goofy excitable dog. I think he’d bound up whatever steps or ramp we had, and get into the coach no matter what. But not without damage to it or his thin-skinned feet and legs (one of the few downsides of Greyhounds).
    We have an older female I’m equally worried about. She lacerated a vein trying to avoid a ramp into our SUV. How that could happen with a plastic ramp with rounded corners is beyond me.
    Glad you guys found something that works for you & your dogs.

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      • Teresa says:

        Not yet. I read somewhere about a sort of stackable platform solution one RVer had used that would support even human body weights. Might try that, but then once you get past that to the shallower, steeper steps I think it’ll be another roadblock so I don’t know.

        Right now we’re carrying our girl up and down the steps. Maybe we just figure out a way to stand at the coach door & do a handoff or something. We’ll be taking weekend trips for a while to sort this and a hundred other questions.

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      • Hebard's Travels says:

        Well I don’t have any more ideas for your dogs. However, I think Brian and I would have A LOT to talk about. I’m a disabled infantry vet and I worked at a gun store and range for a while after I retired. When I was still in the army I had a pawn shop directly off base try to sell me a “new” AK47. The idiots could clearly see that I was military. And when I pointed out all the brass shavings and the carbon I the chamber as evidence of it begging previously fired (a lot) they still insisted it was new. And they wanted like $900 for it. Of course this was in 08 when the gun scare started.

        I hope gun appraisals will find your adventures. God knows too few people get them and lose money, or buy junk because it “looks cool. “

        Liked by 1 person

      • Teresa says:

        Oh, wow. Yeah. I never get tired of Brian’s dinnertime stories, although I feel bad that sometimes his days have one too many of those experiences.

        Perhaps one day soon we can all get together over a campfire & beers and tell the idiot gun stories we don’t want to put on the Internet.

        BTW we have a kid who’s in the Army right now + one that was in for 10 years.

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      • Hebard's Travels says:

        That’s awesome. Have you guys got in the road yet? We’re currently in New Mexico heading to Washington state. This fall we’ll drive through the Midwest down to Alabama. Will we cross paths anywhere?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Teresa says:

        Not on the road yet. At this moment our RV is at a service center a few miles away. Hopefully it’ll be in our driveway within the week.

        So many variables in getting on the road. We have to wind down Brian’s business & sell all his tooling, parts, etc., do our estate sale & get our house sold. These are our primary assets/income sources so we can’t just lock up & go.

        Right now we’re *thinking* we’ll be stationary nearby within the next several months while we wrap up the gunsmithing business. Not sure how long we’ll be stationary, but I imagine into the fall.

        We were out yesterday looking at near-ish RV park options and I was getting the willies. That’s probably a reality I need to face. We did find a nice county park that we’ll definitely use for weekend trips and possibly for our stationary months. They only do monthly during the off season, so depending on how everything shakes out we might have to be in a scary park :O

        We are just west of Atlanta (a friend jokes that we live in east Alabama. I would love, love, love to be in NM. Boondocking there and in other desert locations is high on our list and why we want solar ASAP is

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      • Hebard's Travels says:

        Yeah we’ll have to. I hope you get your rig back soon. Our first park was a dump, an expensive dump. Sadly it was the ONLY park in Kansas city. So we sucked it up until I finished school, then we left.

        Liked by 1 person

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