Whether you live in your RV full time, take your camper out on weekends and vacations, or are on a road trip in a car, traveling with your dog is one of the greatest joys of dog ownership. Our dogs are always up for a fun adventure and time together. However, because of their inquisitive nature and the fact that dogs explore the world with their mouths and noses, we here at RV PetSafety encourage you to prepare for emergency situations and illnesses while away from home.
Traveling with Up-to-Date Veterinary Records
Technology has made it easier to access your dog’s veterinary records. However it is still important to bring paper copies of your dog’s medical information with you. This will protect you in case you do not have power or internet access at your campsite.
Paper Copies of Important Information
We recommend that you organize your veterinary information in a folder or binder that you can store in your recreational vehicle or camper. Some of the information to take when camping or traveling with your dog includes:
- Vaccination records or titer test results
- Medication name, dosage amounts, and instructions
- Most recent annual or bi-annual checkup report, including heart worm test and fecal results
- Microchip information
- Information on all chronic or re-occurring issues
- Your dog’s allergies
- Your veterinarian’s contact information
- Your emergency contacts
- Recent photos of your dog
- Pet insurance plan information
By including your dog’s microchip information, recent photos, and your own emergency contacts you can ensure that you also have information that you would need if your pet were to be lost or stolen while traveling or camping.
Many veterinary clinics now offer access to applications that allow pet owners to make appointments, send messages to their veterinarian and access all their pet’s records via mobile phone. You can contact your vet’s office to find out what application they use and how you can access your account.
Cloud Based Storage
If your veterinarian does not have an application for you to use, you can scan or photograph your past records and upload them to a cloud based storage system like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud or OneDrive.
How to Find An Emergency Veterinarian
In the same way that you can plan ahead and take paper copies of your veterinary records, it is a good practice to plan ahead and write down contact information for veterinary clinics at your destination and along your route. You can include this information in your pet care folder or binder so that everything is in one place. This way you will have information if you are camping where you do not have a cellular signal or power.
Here are some resources for finding veterinary clinics:
American Red Cross Pet First Aid App
This app includes information on pet first aid topics and includes a veterinary clinic finder. We recommend searching your destination in advance and taking screenshots in case you do not have a strong mobile signal, especially if you are boondocking in your recreational vehicle.
American Animal Hospital Association:
Use the AAHA to find accredited veterinary hospitals on your route and at your destination.
VCA offers regular and emergency veterinary services in 43 states and 5 Canadian provinces. Many locations are open 24 hours a day and on holidays. You can search for a location at this link: https://vcahospitals.com/find-a-hospital
This popular business locator is a good source of veterinary clinic information. It also usually includes reviews from past clients. You can find directions, business hours, the phone number and other important information.
Do you remember using the Yellow Pages to look up business information? You can still order copies of paper phone books at the Yellowbook website. We suggest ordering one for your destination as a backup to your smartphone. https://www.yellowbook.com/order-directory
Pet insurance has become more common, and owners have a robust list of providers from which to choose. Most pet insurance policies cover accidents, illnesses, and emergencies. All these things can become very expensive very quickly, especially if you are traveling and not able to get to your regular veterinarian. Some pet insurance providers have mobile applications that allow pet owners to access their veterinary records and other information about their pets.
Related: Is Pet Insurance worth it?
Pet First Aid Kit
In addition to knowing how to access veterinary care when camping with your dog, you should also carry a basic first aid kit for your dog when you travel together. We have gathered up some links with information on what you can include in your kit.
American Veterinary Medical Association:
American Kennel Club: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/dog-first-aid-kit-essentials
We created the RV Pet Safety Monitor to prevent dog health issues caused by excessive heat or cold, and we hope that you never encounter a situation in which you need to locate emergency veterinary care while traveling in your recreational vehicle or car with your dog. However, we also hope that these tips are helpful so that you can plan in advance and not caught off guard in the event that your pet does become ill when traveling together.