Tuesday, November 28, 2023



The ABCs of camping with pets

By Chuck Woodbury

Most American campgrounds welcome pets. Most often there is no additional charge beyond the regular campsite fee, but many commercial RV parks charge an extra fee per night, per pet.

While there are few formal rules about camping with pets, most campgrounds do require that pets remain on a leash or be otherwise contained. Many campers bring along a portable pet fence that can be easily opened up at a campsite to allow a pet some freedom and fresh air without being leashed. Amazon sells these.

Most RV parks that allow pets set aside a plot of ground or grass for use as a “pet potty.” RVers are asked to clean up after their pets. Most roadside rest areas also provide such pet areas, which most often double as an off-leash area where a pet can run and sniff to its heart’s content.

Pets are common traveling companions, especially for RVers. Perhaps a third of them bring along a pet or two, most often a dog, but also cats and even caged birds. We have seen a few bunnies, including one being walked on a leash at an Idaho rest area.

The biggest complaint from campers without pets about those with them is uncontrolled dog barking. Some owners leave their campsites to sightsee, hike, fish or shop, and leave their dogs alone inside their RV or tied up outside for hours on end. Fellow campers are often forced to endure barking and howling until the owners return, a terribly frustrating and even maddening experience for those who must endure the noise.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Even though many campgrounds accept dogs, sometimes they do not welcome all dogs. Jack and Julee Meltzer, authors of “Camping and RVing with Dogs,” believe the best advice for RVers with pets is to always call a campground before showing up with their furry friend. “It may state in a campground directory that a place is dog-friendly, but that may not necessarily be true,” said Julee Meltzer. “It’s not unusual for an RVer to arrive with a large animal only to be told, ‘Oh, we only accept dogs less than 25 pounds.’” BringFido.com has a very comprehensive list of pet-friendly campgrounds worldwide.

Pet owners should also use caution in leaving their pets outside overnight. Rangers at Death Valley National Park keep a tally of such animals that end up as a tasty midnight snack for a hungry coyote.





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Alex (@guest_1611)
7 years ago

We were extremely disappointed by a large RV Park in Yuma. We had to stay in the pet section, even though our cat never leaves the coach. Because if was vacant, many lot owners “walked” their dog there. It was a pitiful situation because most were elderly and unable to bend over to pick up after their pets. They also stared at us, resenting our presence as though we invaded their dog park. Obviously the park operators didn’t give a poop as our lot was loaded with them. We stayed once and will never go there again. Should you encounter an RV Park with a similar pet policy, you should check out the lot before deciding to stay.

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