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  • Lisa

Tips for Traveling with Pets

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

When we first started thinking about full time travel, we knew we wanted to bring our pets along as they are part of our family! That being said there are a few tips and tricks to help you travel with them and make it easier! We have a dog, Oopsy and cat named Shadow!

This is important! If you can, get your animals accustomed to the trailer before you start your adventure! We lived in our trailer for about 4 months before we left and it was the best thing for Shadow and Oopsy. They got used to being in a smaller space together and Shadow figured out the best places to sleep, and get away from Oopsy when needed.

Also if they arent used to being in a vehicle in a carrier or harness, try to get them use to them. We leave Shadows carrier out all the time so shes used to it and she'll actually sleep in it alot! With Oopsy, she didnt wear harness much so I started walking her in it, going for shorter drives being hooked to her seatbelt with her harness. We also have a bed for Oopsy on the seat so shes more comfortable and we got a small bed for Shadows carrier that fits perfect so shes comfy as well.

Good rule of thumb is to try to only drive for about 4 hours a day.  You can also offer them water everytime you stop. Both Oopsy and Shadow really wont drink much, if anything at all but at least they have an option. Some people will leave the cat box in their vehicle during travel days which is fine, we however chose not to do this as we didnt have rooom and also we knew weren't going to drive more than 4-5 hours.

After travelling now for 3 months, Oopsy just sleeps in her bed and Shadow, with a little coaxing, will get in her carrier, sleep and just hang out. Sometimes she needs a little attention and Josh will pet her, but we try not to let her out of her carrier. We also do a lot of rewarding with treats and talking to them. Highly reccommend all these if you can and have time.

General Ideas

First off, the best thing to do is make sure you have a good thermostat and either have it be bluetooth so it can alert you when temperature thresholds get to hot or cold. Also we found if we have to leave the trailer for any reason we have a camera so we can check on the animals and make sure they are doing good.

Second, food storage is something people might not think about but its absoulety essential. Luckily, we have a ton of storage space so we were able to find room for their food. But it doesnt hurt to get creative and find cabinets, or under storage that might work. For Shadows food, we had a spare cabinet next to our couch that we put her cans of wet food in, and her dry food we leave next to her food dish in a container. For Oopsy, I had a big container that fits a big 40 pound bag of food and its rodent and waterproof. We keep it in our passthrough.

Thirdly, think about where they are going to be during travel days. We have a fifth wheel and a truck so they both stay in the back seat. We got these seatbelts that can clip to a harness or carrier. They work great and arent super tight so Oopsy has room to move around if she needs but can't jump up in the front. DON'T clip these to a collar as they can cause serious harm to your pet. The trailer get so small when the slides are closed up and things can shift and fall during driving, so its much safer to have them in your vehicle.

Getting Creative

With living in such a small area storage space is limited so getting creative is essential in trailer life. What we found is it helps if an item has mulitple purposes since space is limited. As most trailers have a dinette table and chairs, ours was no different. We had a bench on side and chairs on the other, but because Josh works remote and needs three monitors, we decided to take the table, bench and chairs out and put his desk there.

We know Shadow loves having a perch to look outside and also sun bathe, so what we did was took two of these 6 cube orgainzers (ad) that you can find here, stacked them screwed them into the wall with L brackets. We also added our old kitchen floor mat (ad) and cut it to fit and screwed that on the top so Shadow has a comfy spot. (She used to sleep on it all the time at our apartment which is why we did that). We also took old carpet my parents had laying around and stapled it to the side so shadow can claw on it and have a spot to rub on. Not only is it functional and give us more storage options, but its great for Shadow as well.

Litter Boxes

As we all know, cat litter can be smelly, messy and just kinda of a pain. We found this PetSafe crystal (ad) cat litter that doesnt clump and has NO smell! It is so amazing for the trailer since smells can linger in such a small space.

Where to put it

Then there is the issuse of where to put the litter box. We talked about several options from putting it in the shower and taking it out everytime we wanted to shower, put it in the livingroom next to Joshs desk, cutting a hole in the stairs that leads to the passthrough storage and having it in there and more.

Shower option

We choose not to put it in the shower because you need to make sure you dont get any litter down the drain and having to either tap the drain everytime, or cover it and then the logistics of taking it out all time just didnt work for us.

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