Pet and RV Owners in New York, Listen Up

When you’re training your dog, consistency is key. But when you’re a pet owner, who happens to own an RV in New York, consistency is your worst nightmare.  Because you spend time traveling across New York state and beyond,  it’s extremely important to master the art of training your dog while on the move.

Later in the day, you’re talking with another RVer about the benefits of a Class C vs. a Travel Trailer, while your dog is running around your camping area. You’re so wrapped up in your conversation that you don’t realize how your dog has jumped up on your leg and you are rubbing him behind his ear. It’s important to be consistent about only letting the dog jump up when we first tell him it’s okay– and with a command that is the same, every time.

 

Step 1

Watch your dog like a hawk.  This means she goes where you go.  Do not give a new dog total freedom to roam.  This applies to puppies and older dogs that are first being introduced to the RV.  This freedom can come with time, but never ever give it right away.  If your dog is not attached to you with a leash, she should be in a crated.  This should be followed until you are 100% certain that she is RV- trained.  NO EXCEPTIONS. Common times that your dog will need eliminate include 10-15 minutes after eating or drinking, during or after play or excitement, after waking up, or after chewing on a toy or bone.  The general rule of thumb for how long a puppy can “hold it” is number of hours per moths of age, plus one.  For example, a 3 month old puppy should be able to hold it for 4 hrs, even through the night.

 

Step 2

Establish the same type of place outdoors for her to go and take her to this spot every single time (ex. always near a tree).  While here, give a verbal cue such as “do your business” or “get busy”every 5-10 seconds.  Once she begins to go, repeat your verbal cue as she is going.  The second she has finished, give her a treat and lavish praise.  The treat needs to be given immediately, not once she is back in the house.  If you are using “wee-wee” pads, get rid of them.  Wee-wee pads teach them that it is okay to eliminate indoors and can lead to lots of confusion.  There are exceptions to this, but in general I do not recommend wee-wee pads.

Step 3

If your dog does have an accident in the RV, you need to immediately interrupt her.  After interruption, she should be taken to her spot outdoors and be given the opportunity to finish her business.  Care should be taken to to frighten her with the interruption.  You do not want her to develop fear or an aversion to elimination in front of you.

 

Step 4

Clean up any accidents with an enzymatic odor eliminator or another cleaner from Jim’s RV.  These type of cleaners will change the chemical structure of urine and feces and will totally eliminate the scent.  Cleaners and disinfectants found in other stores will only cover up the smell (maybe).  Stay away from anything that contains ammonia.  Ammonia is a component of urine and will actually cause your dog to return to that spot to eliminate.

Step 5

Set up a consistent feeding and watering schedule.  Do not leave food and water down all day long.  Most dogs will need to eliminate withing 10-15 minutes of eating or drinking.  Use this to your advantage and bring her to her outdoor spot before she has a chance to have an accident.  This does not mean withhold food or water, just give them at scheduled times in order to set everyone up for success.

A used RV in Nichols can be the ideal way to travel with any pet. Nevertheless, some animals travel better than others. Only you know your pet’s personality to the degree that you can decide whether or not a RV road trip is a good idea. Keep in mind, the best travelers are confident and accustomed to change and trustworthy around strangers.

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