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Gizmos That Make RVing With Your Dog Easier Part One

"There are all sorts of travel gadgets available for dogs to make even the most gizmologically infatuated wriggle in an ecstasy of agonizing over the choices”

Gizmos That Make RVing With Your Dog Easier Part OneGizmos That Make RVing With Your Dog Easier Part One

By Holly Stephens

There are all sorts of travel gadgets available for dogs to make even the most gizmologically infatuated wriggle in an ecstasy of agonizing over the choices.

First on the list is usually a spill proof watering system. Most RVers who travel with pets insist on a good one, if not on their first outing, then before the second. There are various ways of accomplishing this, from something as simple as a bowl built like a wide funnel over a reservoir that allows your dog access to the water but won't allow the water to slosh out, to systems that control the amount of water that will flow down from a container into the trough as your dog drinks. If you'd rather control your dog's water intake while traveling, a simple clip and cup device that attaches to a half liter sport water bottle that allows you to squeeze the water into the cup in portions can do the trick and allow you to water your dog and keep track of when the next potty break is probably going to be necessary.

Considerations that need to be taken into account when choosing the right watering system for your dog are the size of your dog and your dog's muzzle as well as the amount of water your dog needs to have access to regularly. The funnel bowls can be a problem for large muzzled dogs if the opening isn't large enough, and if your dog is a heavy drinker, one with a small reservoir isn't going to cut it. If your dog is contained in the back of the vehicle and doesn't have ready access to you, then a water source that you control isn't a good choice.

Another gadget that's handy if you're the kind who doesn't like stopping to eat is one that will allow your dog to dine without spilling food. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use interactive treat dispensing toys or toys, like the Kongs, that can be stuffed with food. They also serve to keep your dog entertained during long drives. Not many dogs see the point in games of punch buggy, so prolonged mealtimes that also serve as entertainment can go a long way -- literally. There are also travel bowls that have nonslip bases and spill resistant designs. They just aren't as much fun.

If you're the sort of RV road warrior who loathes stopping at rest areas, even for the dog, there is always the option of teaching your dog to use any of several similar products known by descriptive variations of the term “wee pads.” When traveling, the pads by themselves might tend to slide around, but there are quite a few different holders made to accommodate the pads or even plain newspaper; some incorporate plastic grills or grids over the absorbent layer to keep your dog from getting wet feet and tracking. Solids sit on top of the grid and can then be easily dispatched to sanitary waste bags to be disposed of at the next stop or “flushed” down the RV's waste system.

As well as some of the pads that can be used with these systems are supposed to work at trapping odors, they aren't going to clear the air completely, especially in the summer or winter when the air conditioner or heat is on and the windows are shut. They also don't do anything for the occasional flatulence our dogs are prone to -- or are so kind as to accept the blame for from time to time. Fear not, there are sleek, stylish air purifiers designed to keep the vehicle free of pet -- or otherwise caused -- odors that work off of a 12 volt system and will run quietly and unobtrusively as long as they have power.Silent But Deadly has met its match.

Remember, seasoned road warrior or not, no matter how much you detest losing time to stops and how well you've managed to create an environment that makes rest stops unnecessary, it is always in your best interests to get off of the road every few hours at least and get out and stretch and breathe some air that hasn't been cycled through the heating or cooling system. Get off the road, pull into a rest area or a truck stop, put the dog on the leash and walk around, go in and get some truck stop coffee, and maybe talk and swap dog stories with another fellow traveler who's stopped to walk the dog. 

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