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
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
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
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.
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
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!
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!
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