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5 Best Perks of Traveling with a Dog

| Updated Jul 11, 2022

Traveling with a dog may seem like a hassle for some, but there are so many great perks that every RVer should consider. Here are the best perks of traveling with a dog…

Jennifer and I have been traveling with a dog for over 10 years now. Since day one of our RV Lifestyle, we’ve had a furry travel companion. A BIG furry travel companion.

Our pioneering travel companion was Tai, a 75-pound Norwegian Elkhound. The idea of traveling with such a big, hairy dog was a little daunting at first, but there was no way we were going to leave him behind. 

So, we made it work, and it was wonderful!

When Tai traveled to his final destination in the sky, our RV travels just weren’t the same. So, we soon after got another hulking Norwegian Elkhound, named Bo. 

The experience of traveling with Bo has been the same: wonderful! We wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, for those who are debating whether or not to go traveling with a dog, we’re going to list out the perks for you.

5 Best Perks of Traveling with a Dog 1

5 Best Perks of Traveling with a Dog

Before we get started, it’s worth mentioning that traveling with any kind of pet has its perks. We know people who travel with cats, birds, reptiles, and more. We’ve even shared 8 Purrfect Tips for Including Cats in the RV Lifestyle.

Each type of pet has different perks, so I wanted to hone in on dogs for the purpose of this article. That way, we could really dig into the perks of traveling with a dog in particular.

So, let’s get started!

1. Dogs Help Keep Us Active

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Unless you have severe dog allergies, dogs are good for your health. LOTS of studies have proved as much. Many studies have proved that any pet is good for our health, but dogs really seem to take it to the next healthy level.

One BIG way dogs improve our health is by helping us to stay more active. People these days are more likely to stay inside or on their behinds than ever before. 

You may think that since RVers are travelers, they don’t suffer from this problem. But they do! Sitting Disease is a real health risk for RVers.

Whether we’re sitting for hours on end while driving or sitting for hours on end in a camping chair, RVing can easily lead to a lazy lifestyle.

When driving long distances, a dog forces you to stop and take breaks so they can, well, take a potty break. When sitting in a camping chair, a dog’s desire to run and play will get you on your feet and down the trail. 

2. Dogs Help Us Relax

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The RV Lifestyle is known as both an active and relaxing lifestyle. The long-timers learn how to strike this balance so they don’t get worn out or bored with the RV Lifestyle.

Dogs are naturals at striking this balance between activity and relaxation. They love to play and explore, but they also love to nap and snuggle up (especially after a big day of playing and exploring!). 

But dogs help us do more than just sit down and take a load off. They help us truly relax

Many studies have shown that dogs help lower the stress hormone cortisol and boost the feel-good hormone oxytocin.

Essentially, traveling with a dog helps us let go of stress, fight depression, and relieve anxiety. A perfect recipe for enjoying real relaxation.

3. Dogs Help Us Not Feel Lonely

Humans are social creatures. Even if some people don’t like other people, they usually still crave companionship of some kind.

So, even if you embraced the RV Lifestyle to get away from the world and from people, that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to be alone. A dog helps you fill that need.

This perk of traveling with a dog is especially applicable to solo RV travelers. Having a pet travel with you helps combat loneliness. It helps you enjoy experiences even more because you’re sharing them with someone you love.

Mike and Jennifer's RV Lifestyle hat collection

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Who needs a hat?

Who needs a hat? You do! Dad hats aren't just for dads. This comfy one's got a low profile with an adjustable strap and curved visor. Just the thing to wear on your next RV Lifestyle adventure.

4. Dogs Help Us Meet New People

Dogs are amazing companions all by themselves, but they also help you make more friends. In fact, one of our main tips for making friends while camping is letting your dog be your wingman.

Like humans, dogs are also social creatures. So, they like to wag their tail and say hi to new people. And people like to say hi back!

Traveling with a dog is like traveling with a walking icebreaker. It’s an easy way for anyone to start a conversation. 

What’s your dog’s name? What kind of dog are they? Do you always travel with your dog?

All of these easy questions can lead to easy conversations and easy friendships!

5. Dogs Help Us Explore More Places

Mike and Jennifer Wendland and "Bo"
Mike and Jennifer Wendland and “Bo” in the Adirondacks

People often think that traveling with a dog will prevent them from visiting a lot of places. They’re worried they’ll encounter No dogs allowed signs more often than not.

It’s true that dogs are not allowed in many places, but it’s also true that they are allowed in lots of places! We learned that you’re more likely to encounter leash requirements than no dog restrictions. 

Keeping your dog on a leash at all times is highly recommended anyway. So, these leash requirements aren’t a big deal. You can still find plenty of dog-friendly hikes and dog-friendly beaches, especially if you keep them on a leash.

But what about all of the places dogs can’t go?! Including lots of national park trails! 

Well, first off, national parks are widely pet-friendly. There are some trails that prohibit dogs but there are almost always trails that allow dogs, too, in the same park.

Second, you don’t have to take your dog on every excursion with you. Certainly, you’re not going to take them into museums and city destinations with you. And that’s okay! 

You can safely leave your dog in your RV at times or use a dog-sitting service.

Advice for Traveling with a Dog

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Most dogs make excellent travel companions, but not all are cut out for the RV Lifestyle. If you already have a dog, take them on a close-distance, short camping trip first to see how they fare. 

If you’re looking to get a dog to become your travel companion, do your research! Some dog breeds are better suited for travel and living in small quarters than others. 

Granted, a big, hairy Norwegian Elkhound probably isn’t at the top of any list for great travel dogs. But since we have experience with the breed, we knew how to make it work (or at least figured it out even more on the road). 

Also, keep in mind that you don’t have to take your pet on every road trip. Sometimes, depending on the destination and your itinerary, it is better to leave your pet at home. We’ve certainly left Tai and Bo with family and friends before and will surely do it again.

Lastly, you want to be sure to be prepared with the best pet accessories for your dog while camping. It’ll make the trip easier and more enjoyable for you and your dog!

Mike and Jennifer's Ultimate Michigan and Great Lakes Bundle – THREE ebooks

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This bundle contains our ever-popular Michigan Upper Peninsula 7-Stop Adventure Guide PLUS the NEW LOWER Michigan Adventure Guide PLUS the US Side Tour of the Great Lakes! This ULTIMATE Bundle will help you keep enjoying Michigan and the Great Lakes for years!

Mike Wendland

Published on 2022-07-11

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

32 Responses to “5 Best Perks of Traveling with a Dog”

November 30, 2022at12:23 pm, Ruth Ebbinghaus said:

We absolutely love traveling with our two mini Doxies, Hildee and Tanner. We would be stressed to leave them behind. Sometimes they can be a little vocal and territorial, but for the most part, they do really well.


December 02, 2022at4:13 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

We understand completely — It is hard to leave our pets and glad yours do really well. Thanks for sharing! Team RV Lifestyle


November 28, 2022at8:23 am, Beryl Stoots said:

Our Australian Cattle Dog puppy, Pepper, is new to camping, but loves to get in our 5th wheel! She can’t wait to go!


November 28, 2022at11:32 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

That is great! Having a dog with you really adds to the camping adventure! Team RV Lifestyle


November 23, 2022at10:13 am, Katie JCMercyGrace said:

We used to have a Norwegian Elkhound, (AND a black lab and a lovely brindle greyhound).
Now we only have a MaineCoon cat that we travel with. (I’d like to add a dog, but both Husband and Rosie the MaineCoon would need to agree). Rosie needs to stay comfortable in the RV, even when we’re not there with her. So a Waggle would be helpful to us.
We watch you on the utoobs and enjoy watching. Thank you.


November 23, 2022at6:43 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

So glad you enjoy watching – thanks for sharing, Katie and the MaineCoon cat sounds like a great travel companion – Team RV Lifestyle


November 22, 2022at8:58 pm, Soumyadeep Bidyanta said:

Would love to travel with my dog!


November 23, 2022at6:44 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

One of the benefits of RV Life – happy trails! Team RV Lifestyle


November 21, 2022at11:04 pm, Cherie G said:

We also love traveling with our dog!!


November 23, 2022at6:44 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Dogs are the best! Team RV Lifestyle


November 21, 2022at12:27 pm, Suzanne Berhow said:

Our dogs have been from Texas to Canada many times


November 23, 2022at6:42 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Those are some well-traveled dogs! that is awesome – Team RV Lifestyle


November 21, 2022at10:39 am, Teresa Sanders said:

We have been full-timing since 2019 with our fur babies. We have had a Cavalier King Charles with us and they just love to be with you no matter where! So it has been a breeze. You are so right. Walking your dog is a great way to meet new people


November 23, 2022at6:41 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Indeed it is! thanks for sharing, Teresa – Team RV Lifestyle


November 19, 2022at2:17 pm, Lynda Tenbusch said:

Dogs are truly the best. We lost our Golden Retriever, Sadie. She was such an amazing dog. We plan to get another dog when I retire.


November 20, 2022at2:01 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Sorry about the loss of your Sadie – dogs do add so much to our lives. Happy Trails – Team RV Lifestyle


November 19, 2022at10:42 am, Glenda Steffee said:

I’m looking forward to my first adventures – new dog, first RV!


November 20, 2022at2:00 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Have a wonderful time making memories! Team RV Lifestyle


November 15, 2022at11:59 am, Sharon T said:

I love that we can travel with our dog and not have to worry about finding a place to stay that will allow dogs. We take Mr. Max with us everywhere we go. Altho we still haven’t figured out how to take him to Italy without having to quarantine him for weeks. Thanks for the tips you provide, they are quite helpful to us as first-time RVers.


November 16, 2022at2:36 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for the feedback, Sharon! Happy Trails – Team RV Lifestyle


November 14, 2022at9:19 am, Dave White said:

We have lived with dogs all our lives, and can’t imagine not having one (or more) in retirement.


November 14, 2022at11:18 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Dogs are the best! Happy Trails – Team RV Lifestyle


November 14, 2022at11:19 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Dogs are the best! Happy Trails- Team RV Lifestyle


November 14, 2022at3:20 am, Christopher King said:

My dogs go everywhere with me. They are teacup Chihuahuas so they take up no space an can carry them everywhere. I even have a side car on my bike, they love it, an there is no one i rather travel with or be with for that matter lol


November 14, 2022at11:19 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

How wonderful you can bring them with you everywhere! Those are some lucky pups! Team RV Lifestyle


November 14, 2022at1:40 am, Mark Noakes said:

Enjoy your show very much. We will br picking up our new puppy on November the 18th 2022. Your doggie related content is super helpful.


November 14, 2022at11:14 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thank you so much for the encouragement and congratulations on your new puppy! Team RV Lifestyle


July 12, 2022at10:34 am, michael michael said:

You missed the top ten reasons NOT to travel with a dog!


July 11, 2022at3:28 pm, Valerie Werne said:

Thank you for the information on the app to help find locations for sitters on our travels. I have downloaded the apps mentioned so they will be conveniently available to us on our next trip. Our pair of pups are of our most concern when we make decisions about travel plans. Thank you again.


July 13, 2022at11:02 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for the feedback – so glad it will be useful for you. Team RV Lifestyle


July 11, 2022at11:20 am, John Warren said:

Mike, this article on traveling with your dog was great. My wife and I have a Jack Russell Terrier named Riley. He is a big Jack Russell coming in at 25+pounds. I’ve not RV for the past year because of back surgery (almost healed and eager). You are correct about a dog getting you outside and going. Riley and I walk every day. This has helped my healing and forced me to get going. He is also a great intro to other people. Thank you again for the article.


July 11, 2022at3:01 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thank YOU for sharing your experience and for the encouragement! Team RV Lifestyle


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