Leaving dogs in RV

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SassyRV

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Aug 11, 2021
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Texas
We have 2 teacup maltese. I’m nervous about leaving them in the RV when we hike. I bought a few cameras but they didn’t work.
 

Jayflight

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Jan 22, 2021
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Recently there has been a lot of talk and changes in leaving your animals in your rv unattended. After reading just this one link there is a lot of nuances to the laws and understanding that anyone that perceives that your animal is at risk can break into your rv. It looks like its all subjective. Of course some of the states with some of the more extreme positions may force you to justify leaving your pet in the rv while probably causing you money and ton of stress.

 

Mark_K5LXP

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Nov 17, 2018
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Albuquerque, NM
Any responsible pet owner would never leave them unattended in a harmful situation so for most this is a non problem. If it's hot I would never leave them alone with A/C running from the genset, I don't trust the genset that much. I'll do that if we're at a store or restaurant though because I can easily check in on it. If we're on shore power I trust it more and the noise from the A/C tends to mask outside noises they may find reason to bark at. There's only so long you can leave them without having to deal with secondary consequences of confinement, so you manage that time span best you can. I'm more worried about them raising a ruckus and having a PO'd neighbors or camp host to deal with. Ideally you'd find a neighbor that knows you're gone and for how long to keep an eye on them and ideally call you if that's possible. Beyond that it is what it is. I've been camping with dogs for a couple decades now, mostly in tents and have made it work.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

John Stephens

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Jan 27, 2015
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Cape Coral, FL
We bought our motorhome six years ago specifically so we could take our aging dogs with us and not have to board them or have them dog sat. Those dogs are no longer with us but we have three more to take their place. We try to take 3-4 month-long trips each year, just returning from a 9,000-mile cross-country journey that took us through 24 states and 18 national parks. Our dogs loved the trip.

When we go on excursions, we always limit our time out of the coach to five or six hours. Our dogs can hold it for considerably longer than that, but we won't make them unless there is an emergency. We leave the a/c on regardless of the outside temperature because even when it is cold outside, the coach can turn into an oven when sitting in the sun. I have two cameras set up; one to watch the dogs that covers the entire coach and one that shows the temperature on the thermostat. Unfortunately, these cameras only work when we have good wifi, which is less than half the time. Since we are visiting national parks on our vacations, we usually are not allowed to take the dogs with us, but when we are allowed, they go with us for exercise.

The only problem we have ever had with the dogs occurred this year when we were at the Grand Canyon. When we returned from our day's excursion, we had a ranger waiting for us at the coach because one of our Collies is a barker and watchdog supreme. The ranger informed us that the dog had been barking for most of the time we had been gone, about four hours. I apologized to the ranger for the problem but told him I thought I could show him why the dog was barking incessantly. The day before (we had been there for three nights already), a family moved into the site behind us that had three pre-teen girls who seemed to enjoy giving off shrill shrieks and screams while they were playing. They had bothered my dogs that night while they were outside but I said nothing about it, not wanting to create problems with my neighbors. It was that family who had called on the barking this day. I went inside the coach, put a leash on the Collie making the noise, and led him outside. As soon as he saw the girls, he bolted toward them, pulling me nearly off my feet because he knew they had been the ones screaming at the top of their voices that bothered him. He wanted to make sure they were all right because he recognizes someone screaming like that usually needs help. The girls began to shriek again when they saw the dog coming toward them. I stopped the dog, turned to the ranger and asked him, "Do you now see the problem?" He walked over to the parents of the children and told them they needed to keep their children quieter if they expected quiet from their neighbor's dogs. End of problem.

That issue has nothing to do with the OP's post but might exhibit other issues that can arise when traveling with pets. The laws regarding saving a pet when its life is in danger apply more to autos than RV's because when parked, your RV is your domicile, not your transportation. Then, laws pertaining to breaking into a residence will apply. To the OP, I suggest using your best judgment when determining when and for how long to be away from your babies. If there is a great chance that your a/c will not properly continue to function while you are away, do not leave them unattended. I have never had a situation like that except on one cross country trip when my a/c stopped working. Then, we didn't leave the dogs for any amount of time. Of course, without a/c, we cut our trip short and went straight home.
 

thelazyl

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Nov 9, 2018
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537
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Molalla, Oregon
We, too, were gravitated to RVs so we could travel with our 2 dogs and I get anxious when we leave them unattended. So far this has only been when we stop for groceries. The last time we did this, while we were walking toward the grocery store, I had a bad feeling about some characters at the bottle return station. Thankfully I doubled-back right away because one of them had made a bee line to our RV as soon as we were out of site. He was looking for an open window and I think he was going to try to steel one of our dogs. I look forward to hearing tips from other RVers on this.
 

Old_Crow

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Mammoth Lakes, California
Total coincidence. I was in the middle of reading this thread and one of my hosts came to ask me what they could do about a dog left unattended in an RV that's barking at it's incoming neighbors.
Since it's only in the 70's today, I don't think the dog is in any danger, so I told them that the only thing they could do was make the dog's owner aware of the dogs actions when he returns. Also told the host that he could suggest to the new neighbors to ask their kids to play away from the dog's domicile. Lots of campground for those kids to play in, they don't have to be right next to the dog's rv.
My own dog has been with me for a number of years, and I know that he actually barks at passersby more when I'm home than when I leave him.
 

Skookum

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Dec 19, 2018
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253
We bring our dog with us wherever we can. Even if that means carrying him in a baby backpack/carrier. He's old and gets tired easily. But, I promised I'd take care of him for life, and I'd rather have him with me than leaving him in an RV, and I think he'd agree!

When we HAVE to leave our dog... The AC stays ON to a set, comfortable temperature.

We have a Marcell temperature monitor that sends us a cellular signal/text message if the RV loses power, or if the temperature goes outside of a programmed range.

I keep the number of our campground in my phone, as well as a way to access the locked RV from the exterior. In an emergency, I would hope a host or someone could help out and check on our dog if we thought he was in danger.

We use the DogMonitor app (OS/iOS and Android) on an old iPad to monitor sound and video. It connects to wifi, which we can then monitor from the peer app installed on one of our phones.
 

Domo

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Nov 8, 2018
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Fort Myers, FL
I trust campground power far LESS than my genny. However, I am very confident in the two of them when we leave the pooch in the RV. We have automatic generator start that often demonstrates it's reliability at state, federal and older campgrounds.

For us, remote monitors/cameras, etc. would seldom work as we're often without reliable wifi (again - don't trust the campground for wifi or your phone for coverage when in the remote regions). So, we make sure to tell our neighbor campers as well as the camp host and office personnel that we have a dog in case of fire or power failure.
 

eaglelmc

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Jul 27, 2021
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Cairo, WV
Total coincidence. I was in the middle of reading this thread and one of my hosts came to ask me what they could do about a dog left unattended in an RV that's barking at it's incoming neighbors.
Since it's only in the 70's today, I don't think the dog is in any danger, so I told them that the only thing they could do was make the dog's owner aware of the dogs actions when he returns. Also told the host that he could suggest to the new neighbors to ask their kids to play away from the dog's domicile. Lots of campground for those kids to play in, they don't have to be right next to the dog's rv.
My own dog has been with me for a number of years, and I know that he actually barks at passersby more when I'm home than when I leave him.
sounds a lot like our Ellie, the white golden, she's a great watch dog and only barks at intruders or passerbys.
 

ziplock

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650
S/b or rv, never leave your pet alone.

Don't own one if you must leave them alone, even for a minute.
 

Seon

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Aug 30, 2011
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399
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Lake Camanche, CA
... only barks at intruders or passerbys.
IMO that's a lot of barking, especially if they're right next to my site.
DW and I have two dogs and walk them together but seldom leave them alone in the trailer but when we do, they won't bark.
 
Last edited:

LarsMac

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Nov 15, 2015
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Colorado Plains
S/b or rv, never leave your pet alone.

Don't own one if you must leave them alone, even for a minute.
That's a bit on the extreme, I think. We have a cat and a dog, and there are too many places we cannot take them. We never leave them in the car. They're too exposed there. But, They are perfectly comfortable in the house or the RV.
A little common sense is in order.
 

Old_Crow

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Mammoth Lakes, California
S/b or rv, never leave your pet alone.

Don't own one if you must leave them alone, even for a minute.
Sorry, if I have a choice of leaving my dog in an RV parked where it might get to 80 inside or taking him with me and leaving him in a car while I go into several stores, I'm leaving him in the RV. I'm not one of those people who insists that my dog is a "service dog" so I can take him into places a pet doesn't belong.
 

PattyShipc

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Apr 5, 2021
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Fort Collins, CO
Recently there has been a lot of talk and changes in leaving your animals in your rv unattended. After reading just this one link there is a lot of nuances to the laws and understanding that anyone that perceives that your animal is at risk can break into your rv. It looks like its all subjective. Of course some of the states with some of the more extreme positions may force you to justify leaving your pet in the rv while probably causing you money and ton of stress.

Hey Jayflight, I appreciate the article you linked to your reply. While I want to believe that most pet owners value and care for their pets, and use common sense, it's good to know the laws.
 

ziplock

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Dec 3, 2017
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If you can't take them with you, then get a babysitter, or leave one person at home to take care of them.

It is not complicated.
 

phil-t

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Jul 10, 2017
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Ogdensburg, NY
If life was just that easy! Sometimes the doggie can't go - no alternatives and they are safe. We go places, together, some the doggie just can't go. Way better off in the motorhome and controlled environment than in a car somewhere, alone. Babysitter is not aleways an option. But I agree, I hate leaving her alone.
 

LarsMac

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Nov 15, 2015
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Colorado Plains
Hey Jayflight, I appreciate the article you linked to your reply. While I want to believe that most pet owners value and care for their pets, and use common sense, it's good to know the laws.
I agree. It i good to be cognizant of the several state laws.

Some of the laws seem a bit over-the-top, though.
Requiring a Law enforcement interaction, in my opinion is far more reasonable than making it OK for any private citizen to break in to your vehicle if, "in their opinion" the animal is not safe.

Unless it's on fire, there is probably no reason for anyone to enter our RV to rescue our critters.
 

Joenew61

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Mar 8, 2021
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53
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Connecticut
We just came back from the Hershey show and found the monitoring options from rvwhisper (dot com) to be pretty intriguing. They had an assortment of units and accessories that could be combined and served as remote monitors that could even tell you if the wifi had failed, the batteries were low, or there was no 110 volt - i.e. the generator or shore power failed, as well as to monitor the temperature directly. I haven't researched them to see what actual owners experience has been with their devices, but their product line seems to give you all the redundancy that you would want. They also allow you to see temperature and power history on your phone or tablet.
 
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