Last week we asked our Question of the Week; “How do you keep your pet comfortable and safe when you go truck camping?” Here’s part two of your responses.
“Dear Angela – We are Spicy Rose and Geisha Rose Cat Kelly. Our person mentioned you were seeking advice on keeping your pet comfortable and safe when truck camping. Since we began truck camping about a year ago at age fifteen, we have decided to pass along our tips.
First of all, make sure your person carefully introduces you to the camper. Spend a bit of time helping your person put things away, making sure there is plenty of cat food, treats, and litter. Best to lounge on the bed, which is always a very safe place to be, and watch carefully.
Second, be sure your people prepare a comfy place for you to ride. Our persons bought us a Pud Pod (it’s actually a doggie play yard, but don’t tell the Girls. sk). The Pud Pod is a six-sided canvas and net container with a net top that zips on and off. If you want to see it, here is the url: http://www.precisionpet.com/detail.aspx?ID=138
Our Pud Pod is big enough for us to move around comfortably. It is on a soft, folded blanket on the backseat floor rack of the truck cab. When it is time to travel, our persons put us in the Pud Pod, zip the top, and cover the top with our fuzzy blanket so we can hide. There is a puppy training-pad inside in case we have an accident or get sick, but that is rare. Sometimes we like to come out and have some lap time, but mostly not. The view out of the window is scary! We don’t have a pass-through in our rig so we don’t know about that.
Third, go to your vet (ugh, we hate doctors!) and get a little something to take the edge off the first day or two of driving. No use getting carsick or hoarse. On our first trip, we drove for two days then stopped for several to camp. Camping was nice and helped us adjust to traveling. When we drove on we didn’t need any medicine.
Fourth, when we’re at the campsite, our persons carry us from the truck to the camper. We can use our box (it is in the shower stall), or grab a snack or drink (food and water dishes are on a plastic pet mat under the dining table) on our way to the cab-over bed. Now we can supervise our people and enjoy the (non-moving) views out of the windows. Our camper has padded benches below each window that are just perfect for kitties to sit on and look out.
Our persons usually camp after five to six hours of driving. If they don’t, we yell at them to remind them it is time to stop.
I’m Spicy Rose and I’m very curious about the outside, but I don’t want to be outside on a leash. We cats generally like to explore but on our terms where we can be under things for safety. My sister does not like to explore!
Last, even though we don’t like to go out on leashes, Mom insisted that we learn about the camper steps. She put our harnesses and leashes on, took us outside and helped us climb up into the camper and then the truck. Now we know if we got outside, the steps are the way to get back to safety. We have to practice every time we go on a trip.
Our people are really glad we’re good travelers. Old dogs may not be able to learn new tricks but old cats certainly can. We are experienced Camper Cats.”
Michael and Sherrie Kelly, Spicy Rose Kelly, Calico Cat, Geisha Rose Kelly, Calico Cat
2006 Ford F-350, diesel, DRW, crew cab, 4X4
2006 Bigfoot 25C10.6
“Camping with house rabbits brings us a lot of attention, from young to old, at whatever campground we stay in. When traveling, Miss Ivy and Mr. Pepper ride in a cage in the extended cab portion of the truck situated so I can see and talk to them as we travel. The cage is lined with baby quilts so they are very comfortable.
When at the campsite, the rabbits are never left alone in their outside pen. As they are a prey animal, I am not about to provide someone a free lunch. When staying in our Bigfoot truck camper, Miss Ivy gets the front of the camper with her litter box on the floor by the step up to the bed. Mr. Pepper gets the back half of the camper with his litter box next to the back door. As there is just the three of us, I have no problems maneuvering around the litter boxes, food, and water bowls.
The only problem we have ever had was staying at Patapsco Valley State Park in Maryland. After setting up our campsite, the Park Ranger stopped and informed me that rabbits were classified as livestock and as such were not allowed in the park. After negotiations we were allowed to stay but the rabbits could only come out of the camper after dark so no one would see them.”
Miss Ivy, Mr. Pepper, and Rich Balling
“Hi Angela. It seems that when we see another camper, we see pets! We travel with two Maltese; the small one is Buttons and the larger one is Dozer. They are well traveled dogs and they get very excited when we start loading the camper with lots of running and jumping.