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Roadtripping With Your Dog – Things to Consider

Cooper is my fur baby in every meaning of the word. He is spoiled rotten and I couldn’t imagine making this trip without him. I don’t think either of us would survive. However, bringing Cooper on our RV road trip has not been easy. Long term roadtripping with your dog is not for the faint of heart….especially if you have a needy, thinks he is a human dog like mine.

Cooper the roadtripping doggie

Luckily, Cooper seems to like our little trailer. I think one of the main reasons is because he knows where his people are at all times and it is likely they are sitting somewhere he can get to easily. Once he is sitting on my lap or snoring beside me, all is right in his world. Unfortunately, we can’t always be in the trailer with him. We leave him behind when we aren’t allowed to bring him with us on excursions. All of the windows in the trailer bear nose prints that tell me he spends much of his time watching for us to return. He still seems to deal with it….mostly. His LEAST favourite thing is when we have to be outside but he can’t come. This happens very rarely and usually involves setup or takedown of the trailer. Our poor screen door has taken the brunt of his frustrations. It is more of a door for looks now as it wouldn’t even slow down a bug that wanted through.

Disappointingly, must US National Parks do not allow dogs. Occasionally they have one trail (out of many) that allow dogs. It rarely goes anywhere interesting and it is usually very short. Must also ban dogs from any buildings such as the visitors centre but also ban you from leaving your dog in your car. So on all but the rarest of occasions, Cooper has to stay at home.

Only once had he been a bad boy while staying alone. Evan walked him but I think he actually just sat at the picnic table and let Cooper run around. That doesn’t work for Cooper. He needs you to actually walk him. So…he peed on the bed. Thankfully, everything is washable and it was a one time thing (knock on wood).

Traveling with Cooper also influences our camping choices. If it is even remotely warm, I book a campground with electricity so I can turn on the air conditioning for Cooper. I also give preference to camp grounds with dog parks. Cooper LOVES going to the dog park to play with the other dogs. We never let him do that before but he LOVES it. Thanks to Evan (because I was more than a little scared), Cooper is learning to play with other dogs like a champ.

If you decide to hit the road, definitely consider taking your pooch along. I wouldn’t change our decision for the world BUT make sure you understand what the situation may look like and make sure your set up supports your decision. Boondocking (camping outside of campgrounds without services) may not be for you in hotter areas. You may need to return to camp more often. Overnight hikes will most likely not work. Oh and your ability to stay at a hotel occasionally may be severely cramped.

As with all things…decisions have pluses and minuses. Just go in to roadtripping with your dog with your eyes open and you should be fine!

Roadtripping with your dog


Thursday 26th of October 2017

We did three years in our fifthwheel with cats. Started with three and picked one up along the way. Interesting as none of them were allowed out for fear of them not coming back. We never ran the air....they dealt. We dealt. As you said, just know what you are getting into. We had 400sq ft so we had more room than you do.

Merry Kuchle

Thursday 26th of October 2017

I think you hit the nail on the head....just realize what you are getting into. I also think cats are easier. They don't seem quite as NEEDY as dogs.