rving with dogs
Travel With Dogs

Vroom Vroom! 14 Essential RV Accessories for Dogs

Nobody would really judge you if the very first time you got behind the wheel of your RV and thought about all the road trips you were going to take, you started humming the chorus from Born to Be Wild (because who wouldn’t?).

If you are that excited to head out in your lean, mean, machine, then the thought of taking your four-legged friend with you shouldn’t give you born-to-be-mild vibes, should it? In order to maximize your RV adventures with your beloved pooch, there are a few essential items you’re going to need.

Related read: Paw-fect Partner in Adventure! The 9 best dog breeds for RV travel

Different Dogs Have Different Needs

Don’t you hate it when people refer to dogs as “just dogs”? What nonsense! A dog is much more than that. Your dog is a member of your family, and if you’re planning to take an RV trip with your family, you need to accommodate your four-legged child as well!

All of these RV accessories are going to be helpful for your dog. However, every dog is different, so only you can tell precisely which of these items is going to be the best for your RV adventure with your beloved dog.

1. An Access Ramp

This one is only essential if you have an older pooch, or one with mobility issues. You can’t be lifting your dog in and out of the RV each time (unless you want to end your vacation with a visit to the chiropractor).

Here are a few key features that an RV ramp for dogs needs to have:

  • A non-slip surface for added traction.
  • It has to be collapsible (for easy storage).
  • It should be as long as possible so that the incline is as small as possible as your dog walks up the ramp (aim for a minimum of 6 feet in length).

Your dog will have to get used to using the ramp, but they will need a small amount of training, which is as basic as leading your dog up and down the ramp while they’re on their leash. Just make sure to try this before you leave home.

Your Best Bet:

Try the GoPlus Portable Pet Ramp (which is adjustable).

Goplus 8FT Pet Ramp Portable Aluminum Folding Lightweight Dog Ramp for Car Truck SUV, 15" Wide 250lbs Capacity
Click the image to read reviews on Amazon

2. A Car Seat Cover

Now that they’re in the RV, where are they going to sit? It’s not so safe to allow them to wander freely around when the RV is in motion, so they’ll need their own designated seat. You can buy a specific dog car seat cover that is designed to be waterproof and can be wiped clean.

Alternatively, you can just buy a classic (synthetic) sheepskin car seat cover. The fibers of the cover will trap any hair your dog sheds, and it can be easily removed and put in the washing machine at the end of your road trip.

Your Best Bet:

Try the Aegis Cover Sheepskin Easy-Fit Cover. 

3. A Seat Belt Harness

Your dog needs to have some protection in the unlikely event that you’ll have an accident while driving. You wouldn’t let your kids not wear a seatbelt, would you?

Your dog needs a harness to wear while driving, which can then click into the existing seat belt buckle.

Your Best Bet:

Try the IBuddy range of seatbelt harnesses, which are available in a range to suit all breeds (and sizes) of dogs.

iBuddy Dog Seat Belts for Cars of Small/Medium/Large Dogs,Adjustable Pet Seat Belt for Dog Harness with Dual Safe Bolt Hook and Elastic Durable Nylon Dog Safety Belt for Car
Click the image to read reviews on Amazon

4. A Picnic Blanket

This is such a simple idea, but it’s going to be so darn handy. There will be a lot of relaxing, sitting around and just generally chilling during your RV adventure.

Your dog is going to need a place to do that, often with protection from the cold (or hot) ground, or with something that allows them to roll around and get comfortable, without damaging the RV’s flooring and upholstery.

Read next:  It's Not Im-paws-ible! Follow these 7 blogs to get inspired to travel with your dog!

Invest in a waterproof picnic blanket, with a soft surface and a nylon base. Even if your dog is wet and dirty, this gives them a place to sit and be comfortable.

Your Best Bet:

The ZOMAKE range of waterproof picnic blankets are just what you and your best friend need.

ZOMAKE Picnic Outdoor Blanket with Waterproof Backing, Portable Machine Washable Oversized Mat for Beach,Camping,Park,Music Festivals (80"x 60")
Click the image to read reviews on Amazon

5. A First Aid Kit Especially for Dogs

A dog’s body is not like ours. This is of course obvious to a certain extent, but you will only really think about that difference when your dog requires first aid. Which is why any RV with a pooch onboard needs to have a first aid kit for dogs.

You can buy a pre-assembled first aid kit, or you can make your own. Here is what it should include:

  • Antibiotic ointment.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide and sterile cotton swabs (to disinfect wounds).
  • Pressure bandages and a splint (which should be long enough for your dog’s legs).
  • A first aid book that relates to dogs.
  • Any medication your dog needs (nausea pills, or any prescriptions).

Ask your vet if you’re not quite sure. As long as you cover the basics, though, you should be able to deal with any minor problems.

Related read: How to Stop a Cut Bleeding on a Dog’s Ear

Your Best Bet:

The FabFur First Aid Kit for dogs is a great choice.

FabFur Gear Pet First Aid Kit- Certified Cat & Dog First Aid Kit - Home Travel Hiking Camping Emergencies, Vet Approved Dog Emergency Kit-Perfect Kit for Dogs, Pets, Animals-Bonus Collar, Guidebook

6. A List of Emergency Vets

This is one you can do right now. Download a list of emergency vets in the state (or states) you’ll be passing through, and archive them for offline viewing. You might not be able to Google this information when it’s urgently needed, so you should at least have a list that you can quickly refer to.

Your Best Bet:

Use this list, but be sure to download the specific information for the state (or states) you and your dog will be traveling through.  Ask your vet too, since they might have some specific suggestions.

7. An LED Collar

Your pooch is less likely to become injured if they don’t wander away from the RV. Upgrade their collar to one with rechargeable LED lights that allow you to visually track them if they suddenly decide to escape into the woods while you’re packing up your RV at night.

Make sure it has a remote control, so you can quickly activate the collar’s lights when it seems like they’re about to run after something that has suddenly grabbed their attention.

You could also go with a training collar (with LED Lights) so your dog might notice when you’re trying to get their attention (thanks to the vibration feature).

Your Best Bet:

For a basic model, try the GlowCity Light Up LED Dog Collar.

8. A GPS Tracker to Prevent Wandering

Even with an LED collar, you might need to take some extra precautions to prevent a lost pooch when you’re on your RV odyssey. Invest in a GPS tracker designed specifically for dogs. It clips to their collar, and if they wander off, you can track them using your smartphone.

Make sure your chosen model is compatible with your phone’s operating system (Android or IOS).

Your Best Bet:

You want something that’s effective and easy to use (and is easy enough to clip onto your dog’s collar), so you’ll want to try the Tractive GPS Dog Tracker System.

9. Dog Boots

You might want to think of their poor little paws, even if they’re not going to be running away (thanks to that LED collar and GPS tracker). Dog boots are commonly worn by pooches working in emergency search and rescue, but your own dog might appreciate them if hiking is going to be a part of your RV adventure.

Dog boots offer protection and extra traction for your dog’s paws, which is great for walking across rocky, and potentially dangerously hot surfaces.

Some dogs freak out when something is put on their feet for the first time (which is both hilarious and adorable), so be sure to let them try out their new boots and walk around in them at home before you hit the road.

Your Best Bet:

The Ruff Wear Collection is going to have a great option for your dog.

RUFFWEAR - Summit Trex, Twilight Gray, 2.25 in (2 Boots)
Click the image to read reviews on Amazon

10. Rain Protection for Your Pooch

When the rain pours down, are you just going to sit in your RV all day? Well, as both Bobby Brown and Britney Spears would suggest, that’s your prerogative. But you probably have a raincoat so you can get out and about, regardless of the weather, and your dog needs one too!

Read next:  Have a Paw-some Trip! What to Look Out for After Flying with Your Dog

The style is up to you, but the jacket needs to be synthetic, ideally with a rain hood, and it might need to offer warmth, depending on the weather conditions during your RV adventure. Machine washable is best.

Your Best Bet:

If you want to treat your dog, (and we mean really treat them), go with the Driza-Bone range for dogs. They’re fleece-lined, ultra stylish, and come with pockets (so there is less for you to carry).

11. A Collapsible Bowl

Sure, you can just take a regular water bowl for your dog, and that’s hardly going to take up too much space in your RV. But, you will be leaving the RV during your vacation, so you’re not going to want to carry a full-sized bowl with you.

A lightweight collapsible bowl can just be packed away for full mobility when you explore your new surroundings, so your best friend can avoid dehydration.

Your Best Bet:

The Comsun Collapsible Bowl comes in a double pack, so there’s one for food, and one for water.

COMSUN 2-Pack Collapsible Dog Bowl, Food Grade Silicone BPA Free, Foldable Expandable Cup Dish for Pet Cat Food Water Feeding Portable Travel Bowl Orange and Yellow Free Carabiner
Click the image to read reviews on Amazon

12. A Dog Sleeping Bag

Is your dog going to be sleeping inside the whole time? If so, then their regular blanket needs to be packed, and will be perfectly sufficient. But what about during those winter months inside the RV, and what about if you would prefer for your best friend to sleep outside?

Related read: What Are the Pros and Cons of Sleeping with Your Dog?

Your dog is going to need their own sleeping bag, and the best choice depends on their breed (and size). A dog sleeping bag is durable, so it shouldn’t be scratched by your dog’s claws as they move around while they sleep.

Their head just pokes out of the bag, while the warm materials cocoon your dog for a comfortable snooze, no matter how cold it might be.

Your Best Bet:

Try the Ruff Wear Highland Sleeping Bag, designed specifically for dogs, on the highlands or the low lands.

RUFFWEAR - Highlands Sleeping Bag, Meadow Green
Click the image to read reviews on Amazon

13. Sunglasses for Your Dog

Would you go outside on a bright day without sunglasses? No? Well, neither should your dog.

Since your RV vacation is going to involve a lot of exploring the surrounding countryside, you need to protect your dog’s eyes. Sunglasses for dogs are more like goggles, with an adjustable elastic strap so they stay on your dog’s head.

Make sure they offer adequate UV protection, and if you’re going to be taking your dog swimming, you might want to choose a watertight pair.

Your Best Bet:

Give the Doggles K9 range a go. Doggles, as in goggles for dogs. Cute, right?

14. A Dog Pen for Your RV

Yes, your dog is like your child. But also, yes, you might not be able to supervise your fur baby all the time when you’re on your RV vacation. A transportable dog pen is your answer (and if only you could do this with human children, right?).

The pen doesn’t have to directly connect to your RV (which can damage the paintwork), so look for something that is lightweight (which still being durable) and is collapsible, so it can just squash down and be packed away.

It’s just a smart and easy way for your pooch to stay outside the RV without wandering off, and without having to be chained up.

Your Best Bet:

There are so many different types of portable dog pens available, but the smart money is on the Pet Trex 24 Inch Pen. It’s portable and adaptable, which is all you really need.

You already know that you and your dog are going to have an amazing adventure in your RV. Just think of it, your best friend by your side, and the open road before you. The accessories on this list are going to make your amazing adventure just a little bit easier.