Traveling The Country With Dogs? What Are Your Most Pet-Friendly RV Options?

If you've recently retired and are planning to travel the country with a furry friend, you may be scouting used and new RV sales in your area to find your new home away from home. While today's RVs have more amenities and creature comforts than ever before, not all are designed to be pet-friendly -- and you may discover too late that your pet doesn't enjoy his or her new home nearly as much as you do. What factors should you keep in mind when purchasing an RV that will house a dog? Read on to learn more about your most pet-friendly RV options. 

What factors should you consider when selecting an RV in which a dog will travel?

The right RV for your new lifestyle depends largely on your dog's size and agility. A small dog will benefit from narrowly-spaced stairs (or even a special pet staircase) and a pet door that allows him or her to travel outside to use the bathroom during the times you're parked. On the other hand, a pet door sufficient in size to accommodate a larger dog could pose a security risk if you're parked in a relatively public RV area, so you may want to opt out of a pet door and instead focus on traveling toward parks and recreational areas with large fenced dog runs. 

You'll also want to consider your dog's comfort while you're on the road. If he or she tends to be a nervous car traveler, the vibrations from an RV's engine can be especially frightening. You may want to select an RV with a small closet or other semi-enclosed area where your pet can retreat and feel secure until you're parked again.

What should you avoid when making your purchase?

Although some comforts are certainly optional, there are a few safety issues that can make a specific RV a bad idea for your dog. If the RV you're considering has an oven or other hot surface within your dog's reach, you'll need to commit to cooking only when your dog can be safely confined in another area until after the burners have fully cooled. Otherwise, a curious or hungry dog could inadvertently burn his or her paws or even face in an attempt to find the food.

You'll also want to make sure your RV is sufficient in size to accommodate a kennel or other way to secure your dog when needed -- if you run into a bad storm or other potential danger, being able to keep your dog safely caged can prevent him or her from breaking free or being hurt by broken glass.