2 dogs + 2 cats + 2 humans + 188sqft = us
When people hear we have 4 pets in our 188sqft home, they kinda look at us funny. Head cocked to one side, they begin to examine us, looking for my hidden cat sweatshirt and Kevin for his pet hair covered jacket. Unfortunately, we let those people down. Most days at least, pet hair is a serious issue for our clothing, and I am still shopping for the perfect cat sweatshirt. We are so lucky that our fur babes all get along, but we also trained them to be this way and it definitely takes effort.
Kevin is the brains behind this, and I just follow along. So you are getting the watered down version of it, and I will make sure he reads this and approves before posting so I am not completely making this up. Below you will find our most helpful tips on having pets on the road:
I would be lying if I said having 4 pets in a small space was super easy. We understand that many people think we are nuts for doing this, but the main thing that gets us through is patience. Grizzly (our 5 month old kitty) likes to mess with everything. While we do have many toys, laser pointers, and places for him to hide, he is still a curious kitten who enjoys knocking over plant. Just last night, Kevin played laser pointer with him for 2 hours and he was still knocking pens off the table when we went to bed.
Our oldest pup Luna has the loudest bark on the face of the earth. A German Shorthaired Pointer weighing in at a measly 40lbs, has the bark of a mastiff around 150lbs. It even tickles her ears when she does it. She likes to let us know when people are around with this large bark, which just scares the shit out of us every time. We have just begun feeding her treats when she first sees people walking or driving by our spot and she is slowly learning that people walking by is an okay normal thing. Treats also help introduce new fur babies to the family, Luna was not a fan of Grizzly at first, but when we sprinkled them both with treats when they were together now they are buddies (as much as Luna can be with a cat). They both bonded over treats.
Make kitty hideouts.
Our oldest cat, Nimbus, was the one who struggled with moving on the road full time the most. I would have loved to ask him what would make him more comfortable, but well, he is a cat. So, I had to guess. We had a small open storage spot above our couch that turned into the cat nook! For the first month, Grizzly couldn’t get up there so it was all Nimbus. He loved it. *note loved* Now Griz can get up there (see first pic on this post) and Nimbus isn’t usually pleased about it. That sucked for him for a little bit, then Nimbus realized our bed was usually empty all day long. Now his spot is on our bed most of the day unless he wants love when he comes and stands on us and rubs against us. He still resists getting into the kennel before long road trips, but once he’s in there, he is sleepy and quiet. We are hoping as Grizzly gets older he will get less annoying and Nimby will be happy. Though most days we think he is messing with us because he really enjoys enticing the kitten. Blah, who knows.
Have pet kennels.
We have two kennels. One for the kitties and one for the doggies. Both mainly for traveling, yes they travel in the truck with us in their respective kennels. It’s safest that way. BUT another huge thing we have learned is for some reason our bed feels a lot smaller in the RV then it did in our large apt and it is the same mattress! So we have been kenneling our dogs at night (ok, not everrrrry night), which is a new thing for us. Our quality of sleep is so much better, and we actually get to snuggle which is a new thing fur us also (see what I did there). The kitties may sleep with us for a bit, but usually prefer other places in our RV.
Make time to exercise pets.
Boondocking has been amazing for our little family. One of our dogs lives to run. Luna is that one, and when I say she “lives” to run, I mean it. She could sprint constantly for 4 hours and still be ready for more. Yea, German Shorthaired Pointers need exercise, if you didn’t know. So while we have been parked essentially in the middle of nowhere, we have been able to let the girls run. Foxey tries to keep up, but she usually stays near us while Luna goes out and hunts all the critters. Luckily, she is a scardy cat when it comes to actual dangerous critters, she only points birds, rabbits, squirrels, and critters much smaller than she is. A tired dog is a happy owner.
Have an angel pet.
Notice how our other dog Foxey has not come up at all? She is our angel baby. She is a sweet little golden doodle with the best personality and a little bit of sauce. While she may hump our cats, which seems oddly unproductive, she is our 25 lb happy-go-lucky pup. If she is with us, she is happy.
Have a plan.
Last but probably the most important is to have a plan. For what you ask? Everything. When will you be around pet stores for the next couple weeks, are you running low on food? Check out your weather for the week and plan to leave the camper on a colder day. I won’t say that I don’t get nervous every time we leave the pets, because I do, but having the peace of mind about the heat keeps me sane. While we are on the road we try to stay in the 55-75 range for weather, which is easy enough. When you can’t escape the heat but want a nice day out? Bring them to a pet sitter. Even the hot days that you spend with your pet? Spray them down with water, and make sure they have plenty to drink. This is easy stuff, I am sure if you own a pet you know these things!
Truth is, all of this is the same as having a pet in a apartment or home! Just takes a bit of effort and love to keep your babies happy and healthy!
We love you!