RV Pups: Piper & Ella

RV Pups: Piper & Ella

When we started living on the road full-time, one of the most asked questions we got was “How are the dogs adjusting?” And to be honest, we had a bit of a…ruff start. (it’s ok if I’m the only one laughing.)

First, meet Piper & Ella. I adopted them when they were just tiny little nuggets weighing about 5 pounds each.  They were just 6 weeks old,  born on a farm in rural Virginia to a beagle mom and a pug dad. They were the last 2 girls left in a litter of about 6 and I just couldn’t split them up. They have been inseparable from day one and are the snuggliest little pups around!

Back to the transition into RV life…

The first time they ever rode in the RV was actually during our test drive at La Mesa in Fort Myers. It was coincidentally the first time we had ever driven an RV and they actually did ok during the ride. I was optimistic that once this became our home, the transition would be smooth. Unfortunately, Ella (who had finally just adjusted to car rides) had tremendous anxiety when the RV was in motion. She would shake and pant uncontrollably and it just broke my heart. Piper would sort of just hunker down on her bed behind the driver seat and deal with it. After research, consulting a vet and asking friends, I found treats with melatonin to help calm Ella during long travel days. We’ve gotten to a point where she doesn’t need the treats all the time and I am happy to report that as I type this from somewhere on the road in the middle of Florida… she is actually laying down! That’s major progress for her.

Traveling full-time with our fur babies has been wonderful. We get to spend so much time with them and watch them experience new places and adventures. They have gotten to run on the beaches of Florida, hike in the mountains of Canada, watch the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain in Maine and about a dozen other awesome things in between.

If you plan on traveling with your pet, here are a few recommendations that have helped make it a great experience for us and them!

  1.  Invest in a webcam with a temperature sensor in it. Ours will send us an alert if the temperature inside rises or drops to a certain predetermined level. This is a necessary safety precaution in case you are in a warm climate and the AC/power goes out, you’ll know to get back to camp quickly. I also like having the ability to check on them periodically when we are out because I am an obsessive dog mom.
  2. Make sure they have a spot of their own. Just like at our previous home, when it’s bedtime, they know where to go and seem to feel comfort having their own space with their bed and toys. Bringing their bedding from our last house helped to establish that this is now home.
  3. Lastly, always travel with their up-to-date shot records. Most state parks will require a copy of a rabies vaccination. If you are crossing the border into Canada or Mexico (or back into the US) border patrol could ask to see a copy as well. Keep these in a location where they are easy to get to quickly.

If you travel with your pups, what other helpful tips do you have?


Katelyn & Howard Newstate

Katelyn & Howard Newstate

Howard and Katelyn Newstate have traveled over 80,000 miles in their Winnebago Navion Class C RV, exploring from Alaska to mainland Mexico since 2018. Joined by their adventure pups, Piper, Ella and Scout, they share how to “Live Like a Local” in every New State they explore. For more information on their travels or the 51 Parks in 52 Weeks tour, visit NewstateNomads.com/NationalParks

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