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How to SAFELY Leave Your Dog Alone in Your RV (Cats, too!)

| Updated Jan 6, 2024

What will happen to your pet if something happens while you’re away? REAL RVers share tips on how to safely leave your dog alone in your RV (or any pet)…

Since we hit the road nearly a dozen years ago, we’ve had a furry companion with us. We absolutely love traveling with our dog, but he can’t go everywhere with us.

Sometimes, we have to leave him in our RV, but we’ve taken many measures to make sure he’s safe while we’re away. And we’re not alone.

Many RVers have come up with clever safety hacks to keep their pets safe if left alone in their RV. We’re going to share advice from REAL RVers as well as offer some tips of our own.

If you buy something through our links, we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep our lights on so we can continue to provide helpful resources for RVers. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Your Pets Need MORE THAN Water

dog drinking water How to SAFELY Leave Your Dog Alone in Your RV (Cats, too!)

Everyone knows not to leave their pets alone in a hot vehicle. Everyone knows to leave plenty of water. But what about the “What Ifs” many people don’t consider?

What if something happens to you while you’re away from your RV? Will your pet be trapped and alone until someone finally finds them?

What if something happens to your campsite or RV, like a fire? Will your pet be rescued?

What if your pet sounds in distress, but your camping neighbor doesn’t know how to contact you?

Those are the “what ifs” the following tips will help you answer.

5 Tips to SAFELY Leave Your Pet Alone in an RV

In a recent post in our RV Lifestyle Facebook group, a member named Becky shared how she safely leaves her dog in her RV. We will start with her tips and then share other tips that her fellow campers left in the comments.

1. Use Waggle to Monitor Your Pet

Waggle is an excellent pet monitoring device! It’s what we and many RVers use to give us peace of mind that our pets are okay while away.

Waggle is a safety monitor, not a visual monitor. It monitors your RV's temperature and humidity and alerts you about any potentially unsafe conditions for your pet in your RV. It also alerts you if your RV loses power!

Waggle is easy to use. All you do is peel and stick it to the wall of your RV. Then install the Waggle app on your phone to start receiving alerts and updates. There are two versions Waggle Lite and Waggle Pro – check them both out here.

2. Carry an Emergency Card on Your Person

In addition to Waggle, Becky suggested carrying an emergency info card on your person. That way, if something happens to you, the first responders will find your card and know your pet needs help.

Becky cleverly used Vistaprint to cheaply print a bunch of business cards with pertinent information. She printed emergency info on the front and then handwrites her campground info on the back at every new destination. 

Updating her card at every campground is particularly helpful, especially if you don’t have friends or family who always know where you are. 

Information you can include on the card:

  • Your name 
  • Name & phone number of emergency contact
  • RV make and model
  • Number and type of pets in RV
  • Names of pets
  • Any special instructions for pets (i.e., medication)
  • “Current campground info on back”
  • “Any necessary pet medical attention or boarding expenses guaranteed by owner”

You may also wish to print a picture of your pets on the card. 

WARNING: Be careful not to include too much personal information! Ask yourself, “If I lose this card and someone finds it, will I be in danger?” We recommend only listing the campground name and contact info on the back, not your campsite number.

3. Alternative Emergency Cards

Becky’s cards are particularly helpful because you can customize them however you want. It’s also very smart that she updates her campground info on the back at every new destination.

But you can also order a custom emergency info card on Amazon. This can include emergency information for yourself as well as any pets. Plus, it comes with a keychain.

 Another commentator shared how he wears a Road iD Bracelet when he goes hiking or biking.

These are all quick, easy solutions you can order right now!

Preview Product Price
Road iD Emergency Info Bracelet Road iD Emergency Info Bracelet $24.99

4. “In Case of Emergency” Sticker on RV

Becky and many commentators also have an “In Case of Emergency” sticker on their RV. At the very least, the sticker tells outsiders there are pets inside.

That way, people around your RV are aware there is a pet inside if something goes wrong. If there is a fire, flood, or any emergency, a Good Samaritan may be able to rescue your pet. IF THEY KNOW one is inside. 

Some RVers’ stickers include specific pet information (i.e. pet name, type of pet) and a contact number. That way, if something happens to your pet, a fellow camper is better informed to help. They can call you if your pet is in distress or call your dog’s name if, for instance, they escape. 

This is also a good idea if you worry that your dog might incessantly bark while you’re away. You don’t want to be the bad camping neighbor whose dog doesn’t shut up. Read: Dog Barking While Camping? (How to Stop Your Dog or Neighbor’s Dog).

5. Hire a Pet Sitter

ways to leave pets safely in RV

If you are going to be away from your RV for a long time, you can hire a pet sitter to watch or check in on your pet. Some petsitters will come to your RV! 

We have a list of the Top 7 Pet-Sitting Apps for RVers. (By the way, you can make extra money as a pet-sitter, too!)

Of course, you can always go old-school, too! Ask a camping neighbor if they can check on your pet and leave your number with them. It’s a good way for camp kids to earn a bit of extra fun money, too. 

PLUS! Some campgrounds now offer a service to check on your pets or know a local who does! So, you can always try talking with the campground staff.

Ultimate Resource Guide for RVing with Dogs

RVing with Dogs ULTIMATE Resource Guide

Since we have written so much about RVing with dogs, we thought it would be helpful to do a “round-up” post. It works as a nice little table of contents of all the articles that help you travel comfortably with your furry friend.  

We provide a short description of each article with a link to the whole article if you’d like to read more.

Go to the Ultimate Guide…

Amazon Shopping List: Dog Camping Accessories

How to SAFELY Leave Your Dog Alone in Your RV (Cats, too!) 1

Whenever we discover a new pet product that's perfect for RVers, we add it to this shopping list. It includes all of the products you'll find in the following articles.

So, if you're looking for dog camping products, you can click the link and quickly peruse our favorites. The list has quite a few cat products, too!

Peruse the Amazon Shopping List… 

Tips and Tricks for RVing with Dogs

Like what you see in these videos? We'd appreciate it if you would Subscribe to our YouTube Channel (easy to do right here) and consider “ringing the bell icon” to be notified of any new video from us. 🙂 Thanks!

While we love having our dog Bo along for the ride with us, we know it can be a challenge to make RV life more pet friendly. Here's some tips and apps that may help you along the way.

Looking for a way to keep your dog on your property without using a physical fence? Check out SpotOn GPS Dog Fence™

SpotOn works almost anywhere — but you need a lot that’s at least ½ acre

Why? Because you’ll need to allow for the fence alert/warning zone. The effective boundary for your dog is 10 feet inside the fence boundary that you walk. Walk your planned boundary with SpotOn's dog collar and your phone or draw your fence in the app. Truly, watching this video will show you how cool this technology is! True Location™ technology builds on conventional GPS and makes it better, giving you the most reliable fence boundary that never requires calibration. So your dog can have a great adventure without risking a great escape. Get professionally-developed training programs that’ll have your dog using SpotOn in a few simple steps!

Last update on 2024-06-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-09-02

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.

3 Responses to “How to SAFELY Leave Your Dog Alone in Your RV (Cats, too!)”

December 25, 2023at9:49 am, Dr. Mike said:

Interesting article.
This past September we adopted a 170-pound, purebred Great Dane who stands 32 inches at the shoulder.
We are planning on going to the Tampa RV show next month and it will be our first RV (motorcoach) trip with him.


Dr. Mike


September 02, 2023at4:24 pm, Henry Bowman said:

If your RV came with inCommand, it can be set to notify you if temperatures vary outside a range you consider acceptable. This works best if you have an independent WiFi hotspot in your rig. We’ve also set up an internal Ring camera so we can view our pets and even talk to them if necessary.


September 05, 2023at12:02 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for sharing this, Henry! Team RV Lifestyle


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