Preparing the furry family for the great adventure

Our RV adventure is presently scheduled to start on May 18th, my daughter’s birthday, not chosen for that reason however. Because we are taking four pets with us and time is getting short, I must start all the pet preparation necessary to make this an easier transition.

The most important thing to make sure of is that each furry baby is healthy. Thursday is the first of four veterinarian check ups to be scheduled. It is vital that we know all pets have up to date shots since some places may even require proof. I want to know that if there are any medical problems, they can be handled on the road by any vet. Though Dan and I don’t anticipate any, I want to be certain. I am sure the vet will scold us about our pet’s weight as everything in my house gets overfed. We have started to make adjustments in the diet, but it is too soon to see any major results. Part of the problem is no exercise and we can start to remedy that since Dan’s shift has changed. The dogs will be walked more now. The cats have begun to get exercise by using a laser to play with them as often as I can manage.

The changes made to their diet involve using diet foods for all of them and giving the dogs less dry food. A couple months ago, we stopped topping their food with a little bit of wet dog food. We have started topping their food with vegetables which pleases them with much less calories. Ending our terrible practice of giving the dogs human food treats too often has been harder. They are getting less treats of every kind. The cats had always had free access to dry food, so have picked it up more often giving them less access to it.

The dogs should be fairly easy to handle on the road as I believe they both will travel well. Mr. Owen is a very large Black Lab/Great Dane combo and needs less exercise since he is older and cares for less constant movement. Jessie on the other hand is only two and still hell on wheels. She is an Australian Cattle dog mix and is very active. She would spend every moment outside and running if possible. They will get much more exercise than at present simply because they will run loose much less often with no yard, but will need to be walked a couple times a day to go potty.We will search out every dog park or run available though.

The two cats who will accompany us have always been able to run free and should present more of a challenge. They usually hate collars so we just left them off. I just have purchased collars again to let them get used to them again So far they are fighting them much less. After a couple more weeks, I will start to leash train them so they are less fearful of that. I also will buy another crate for the times they need fresh air and cannot be leashed. I already have one crate.

Keeping up with the dogs grooming has been a challenge since we cannot physically manage Mr. Owen and sometimes extra money was not available. We are now making sure they both get groomed monthly. Mr. Owen has just finished his grooming and soon it will be Jessie’ turn. We will wash the cats at home ourselves. Anyone got any falconer’s gloves I can borrow? We are working up a budget for on the road and monthly dog grooming will be added. If all goes well, our financial situation will improve quite a lot so this will no longer be an issue.

Getting the pets into a routine will be a challenge as there are less places in an RV for them to hang out. The cats usually will find themselves a spot. We have decided to keep a litter box in the RV, so will try to find a closet that has a roomy enough space at the bottom for the box and cut a cat door into it. (One the dogs cannot get into.) Looking into the best litter for less odor and still light weight. They presently go outside so no litter box is available at this point.

So as you can all see, the pets deserve as much preparation as we do for this new lifestyle.

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