FTC Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through some of the links in this article For more information, visit our Advertising Disclosure Page.


Good Sam Roadside Assistance
Over 500,000 Customers Trust Good Sam Roadside Assistance! Plans Starting at $49.95! Learn more!

11 Things You Should Pack When RVing With a Big Dog

There is nothing more exciting than RVing with your big dog

11 Things You Should Pack When RVing With a Big Dog

There is nothing more exciting than RV camping with your ever-enthusiastic big dog. RVs can give you a place to unpack all your belongings and enjoy your vacation with a comfy bed, accessible bathroom, and a fully stocked kitchen. RVing offers you an opportunity to enjoy the greater outdoors with your dog in a fully stocked home on wheels.

After all, your dog loves the outdoors, and the fact that they love exploring new grounds with their owners is a bonus. But sharing such a small space with a big dog for a few days poses some new challenges. So before heading out to the pet-friendly RV campground, make sure your RV has all the necessary supplies your dog might need for the trip. Lack of proper planning can turn a great RV camping trip into a disastrous experience. So, we recommend that you pack the following supplies for your big dog:

Things to Pack When RV Camping With Your Big Dog

1. Food and Water

Changing your dog’s diet just because you didn’t carry enough food from home might not be a good idea. Changing your dog’s meal might affect their digestion process and behavior at the campsite. So, make sure you pack their regular food for the trip. Remember, some big dogs like German shepherds are known for skin allergies and sensitive stomachs, so if your dog is on a special diet, make sure you carry the right food for a German Shepherd. Remember, he/she will need more food to account for the high energy expenditure while hiking, so make sure you pack more than enough food for the RV camping trip.

When choosing the best camping site, make sure you confirm the availability of water. And if your dog has a sensitive stomach, then allowing them to drink directly from a lake or river might not be a good idea. So, to be on the safe side, it’s good to ensure that you carry an unlimited supply of clean drinking water from home or purchase more bottled water for you and your dog from the nearest town.

2.   Dog Outerwear

Depending on the weather conditions and your dog’s size, you might want to carry a vest or coat for keeping him/her warm when hiking. It would be best if you packed a cooling collar or water-soaked vest to help him deal with the heat when hiking in summer. But most importantly, rent an RV with a reliable Air Conditioning system. You can even carry some booties if you plan on walking a lot. 

If kayak fishing is part of your camping adventure, then you must get him/her a life jacket that fits properly, suggests Fishermen’s Pond. A doggy life jacket can keep your dog safe when he/she falls out of your kayak or boat. And if your RV can carry large kayaks, you can look for a larger kayak that will have more than enough space for your dog and your fishing gear. 

3. An Exercise Pen



11 Things You Should Pack When RVing With a Big Dog

Photo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6w5nO1QiUc

If you are traveling with multiple large dogs, make sure you pack a big exercise pen and set it up outside your RV. An exercise pen can help you keep your dogs safe and prevent them from running around the campground or even playing with other dogs.

4. An Elevated Dog Bed

An elevated bed is ideal for larger dogs or the ones with joint problems. These beds come with breathable materials that will keep your dog dry when it is outside your RV. Remember, your dog needs fresh air outside a smaller RV, so a place to relax during the day outside might not be such a bad idea. Plus, the fact that it is off the ground means that your dog will be comfortable. If you are camping in the fall, make sure you carry an extra sleeping bag for your dog.

5. Doggie Backpack

11 Things You Should Pack When RVing With a Big Dog

Pictured above OneTigris Dog Backpack

Some larger dog breeds like German Shepherds were bred to be working dogs. Therefore, your big dog won’t mind helping you haul their water and snacks when hiking. So make sure you get your camping buddy a fitting for a doggie backpack. Lightweight backpacks can be perfect for storing their snacks and water. But, make sure you introduce him/her to this accessory a few days before the trip.    

6. First Aid Kit

The greater outdoors exposes your pooch to numerous opportunities to get into trouble, and in some cases, this can result in him/her getting injured. Your dog can step on thorns while running or run into poison ivy or Poison oak. So, you should prepare for any occurrence by carrying a fully equipped canine first aid kit.

Your dog’s first aid kit should include Tecnu, flea repellent, and hydrogen peroxide other than the standard items. Don’t forget to take your dog to the vet before the trip for all the necessary shots. You can even carry his medical record and also look for the emergency number for a vet in the place where you plan on camping.



7. Water and Food Bowls

Don’t forget to pack his water and food bowls together with some toys for the camping trip. A dog-friendly water bottle and a collapsible bowl can come in handy when you want to feed them along the trailside.

8. Poop Bags

Even if you are in the woods or wilderness, you should be considerate of everyone else in the campground. So, clean up after your dog! When backpacking, make sure you bury their poop away from the water bodies, campground, and trails.

9. ID. Tags

Your dog should have a collar with a legible and accurate tag. You can also add a temporary ID tag with your camping site’s exact location and even your RV’s plate number on their collar. All hikers should purchase a GPS beacon for their canine pals as well.

10. Microfiber Dog Towels

Your canine pal is bound to get soaked, muddy, sandy, or even dusty when hiking. Therefore, make sure you have a dog towel to wipe them clean before entering the RV. The best towels for RV camping trips are microfiber towels as they dry quickly. 

11. Leash

Since you will be away for some days, you should pack several leashes (both long and short ones). The short leashes can come in handy when hiking or enjoying your evening walks, while the long ones can help you keep your dog safe at the campsite. But, make sure you carry a backup.

Final Thoughts    

RV camping trips are excellent getaways for you and your family. And with your dog being part of the family, leaving him at home is not an option, especially with the many pet-friendly campgrounds around the planet. Plus, including them on the trip can be an excellent way for them to bond with the family. However, traveling with your big dog requires a lot of planning. So make sure you pack everything you think he will need for the trip.

You might like these


Get Your Article Published on Everything About RVing

If you have written an article about RVing, Camping or the Great Outdoors and you would like us to publish it on Everything-About-RVing.com, please visit our Submit An Article Page.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic?  You can add them to this page by using the comments section located near the bottom of this page.

New! Comments

Do you have a comment on this topic? You can leave your comment in the box below.

Return To The RV Lifestyles Articles Page