Traveling with Your Pet: The Good and The Bad

You wouldn’t consider bringing your dog along for the ride if Fido wasn’t more to you than a four-legged brute. When your pet is a piece of your heart (aaww), you want to find a way to include it in your adventures. You might imagine the wide-open countryside where you toss a ball for fetch as your dog expertly snatches it in the air in a picture-perfect moment. But if you’re on the road, this fantasy might be trampled by the realities of rules around camping and pets. Here are some items to consider before outfitting a bed for your dog in your camper.

The Good:

  • You can take your dog along on your explorations to experience all that nature offers. If your pet has previously been limited to your backyard, watch as it treks through trails and water with the enthusiasm of Lewis and Clark.
  • Nothing beats the constant companionship and undying loyalty from a dog. During a slump on the trip, it could just be the pick-me-up you need.
  • Even if the bark is bigger than the bite, your dog can be a built-in alarm system that can make you at least feel safer when you are alone in isolation. Perhaps the wolf-like howls could fend off a bear?

The Bad:

  • Many national parks and campsites don’t permit pets on trails. That means your furry friend is stuck inside your camper while you’re out adventuring. Don’t expect guiltless fun when you think of your sulking friend back home.
  • If you’re boondocking, consider the varying temperatures inside your home where your dog resides all day. You can escape the heat at the peak times of the day but your pet doesn’t have an opposable thumb to open the door into the fresh air.
  • Opportunities for backcountry camping and overnight rafting trips will try to tempt you away from nights in your camper, but the trade-off is finding boarding for your pet while you’re away. Depending on where you are in the country, that can be both costly and hard to find.
  • It can take you weeks to adjust to the different routine, varying elevations, and daily stresses associated with life on the road. Your pet will go through similar changes that will be tougher to read and help unless you have that unspoken telepathic bond with your buddy.

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