Lots of RVers like to take their pets with them while traveling, but that creates a lot of opportunities for our animals to get lost, one way or another.
That’s a big deal. It can be like losing a member of our family.
But there are steps we can take to prevent lost pets and find them if they do get separated from us.
That’s according to someone I interviewed not long ago for the RV Podcast: Texas-based Pet Detective Cindy Gordon.
Gordon is one of several dozen trained through an organization called the Missing Animal Response Group.
“Our work is based mainly on animal behavior, not so much police investigative type work,” Gordon said.
I did an informal survey of readers last year and estimated about 70 percent of us travel with animals – mostly dogs.
Gordon put it bluntly: RVers do have a challenge when it comes to pet ownership and pet safety.
“You frequently have unfamiliar surroundings and unknown dangers,” she said, adding that traffic also is another problem.
A big mistake Gordon says she sees often is when people get complacent with their animal’s behavior. She points out that unfamiliar settings might “spook” our dogs or have them following their noses due to new scents they pick up.
“The same thing that every single call I get in common are the words ‘My pet never,’” she says, adding pet owners should never predict future behavior based on past behaviors.
She has some very practical advice for all RVers who travel with pets:
- Microchip your pets, and immediately register the microchip with your personal information. A great tip is to keep all of the microchip information for each pet as a contact on your own phone. Keep the chip number and the phone number for the chip company. Immediately report as lost if they escape, and call them and be sure the chip info is up to date.
- Identification collar embroidered with your phone number
- Kennel your pet during transport. If you want to read more about the kind of crates that are available, there’s a good Facebook group called “Dog Sport Vehicle Ideas & Set-ups” that has a lot of reviews and specifics about different brands, etc. Here’s the link to that page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DogSportVehicleIdeas/
- Use a harness lead for walking pets.
- Lastly, and most effective, a Marco Polo tracking system which is a radio tracking device (not a GPS tracking device.) Visit them here: https://eurekaproducts.com/
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