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rving with pets

Traveling with Older Dogs with Dr. Fitz on 'Paws on Board'

Welcome to “Rollin’ On TV’s” Paws on Board.” I’m Dr. Fitz, and this is Champ. If you have a special dog that you’ve traveled with for years, it may be time to take some extra precautions on your trip. Older dogs can have a more difficult time traveling, but when done right, they can have just as much fun as they used to.

A main consideration for older dogs traveling in an RV is the stairs. Many older dogs suffer from arthritis or weak back legs and may have difficulty on the narrow steps. Prepare for this by bringing along a ramp or investing in wider steps for your RV.  Some pet-friendly RVs, like this one, may come standard with wide steps to make getting in and out easier for everyone.

The flooring in the RV may also play a role in your pet’s comfort. Vinyl-type flooring can be helpful for easy clean-up of pet messes, but may be too slippery for arthritic pets. You could opt for a carpet interior or consider small rugs placed where your pet spends the most time. Some owners have also found rubber boots or even little grippy socks to be helpful for their pet to have more grip on the floor.

If your pet has been diagnosed with arthritis, consider bringing along pain medication for the trip. Your dog may want to run and play like normal, even if his body can’t always keep up. Pain medication can be helpful to keep your friend comfortable and happy after a long day of walking or swimming. If your pet is already on pain medication, make sure to bring this along with you or get a refill prior to traveling.

Finally, bring along items to help keep your pet cool, such as a towel, extra water, and even a portable fan. Make sure that the AC in your RV is working prior to your trip as well. Older pets may have difficulty cooling themselves off, as compared to younger dogs. Overall, keep in mind that your pet is older and may not be able to do as much as he used to. The long hikes and days at the beach might be replaced with slow walks and nap time at the campground. Either way, take your friend along for the ride and enjoy having paws on board. 

For more information about traveling safely with your pets, visit Tune in next time for more pet health information. I’m Dr. Fitz. This is Champ. Thanks for watching “Paws on Board.