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     My wife and I have two cats.  We've always been fond of animals and simply can't see ourselves not having them around.  True, they can be somewhat bothersome at times but, to us, the bother is worth it.  You see, Ellie (Primary Cat) and Scooter (Emergency Back-Up Cat) are part of our family - our kids.

     As most folks who travel with pets discover, certain accommodations must be met and some adjustments made.  They require care and attention.

     Dogs must be walked, several times daily, and allowed to relieve themselves or one could find themselves spending lots of money on carpet cleaning.  They simply can't be left to their own devices for more than a few hours, at best.

     Cats, on the other hand, may be left on their own for a day or two as long as they have a adequate supply of food and water and, of course, the ubiquitous litter box.  It would appear that dogs require more individual care and attention than do cats, for cats tend to take care of themselves with much less assistance (or interference) from humans.

     What about traveling with pets?  First, let's talk about their security in the vehicle.  With dogs, depending on their size, it may be feasible to leave them unfettered, as long as they are inside the vehicle with their people.  Some folks elect to put them in Kennel Carriers.  That may be a very good idea, for the carrier may then be tied down with seat belts, keeping the pet relatively safe in the event of an accident.

     As far as cats are concerned, I would never let them remain loose in any vehicle.  Cats tend to be curious critters and often end up under the driver's feet.  Hit the brakes in a hurry and squish the cat.  Right!  We always keep our cats in their individual carriers, strapped down with seat belts.  Safer for them; much safer for us...and less stress on both, too.

     Do RV parks accept pets?  Some do; some don't; some have restrictions.  You'll find that some RV parks will take nearly any kind of pet; some don't accept more than two; some won't take certain breeds of dog, and some don't allow dogs over a certain size - say, over 25 - 30 pounds.

     Most RV parks don't make any such distinctions regarding cats, however.  Why not?  Well, for one thing, cats don't bark.  Secondly, they don't act in an aggressive manner toward people who are walking about.  Thirdly, they don't generally leave mushy organic land mines lying around on grassy play areas where children are likely to be rolling about.  Thus, the dog owners must assume greater responsibility for their pets than cat owners.

     You'd be right in saying that "dogs are being discriminated against".  Some folks are fearful of certain breeds - Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and Pit Bulls, for instance.  Other large breeds intimidate people, too.  Park owners/managers know this and don't wish to be held responsible if someone is attacked.  They just don't want to take the risk.  Who can blame them?

     Let's take a look at still another reason for "dog discrimination"...barking.  Dogs bark.  Your neighbor goes on a sight-seeing trip for the day and leaves Fido outside, in the shade, chained to a tree.  Fido gets lonesome and starts barking.  Fido gets his chain all wrapped up around the tree and can't get to his food or water dish.  He starts barking.  People walk by and Fido, thinking that he's defending his territory, starts barking.  Fido sees another dog or other animal (perhaps the raccoon that's eating the food he can't get to) got it...starts barking.  Of course, by this time the neighbors have become highly annoyed and they lodge complaints about the noise with the park management, and rightfully so.  The key ingredient in all this has been - barking.  As a result, park management may stipulate "NO DOGS" to future potential visitors.  I can't say I blame them, for nobody likes to hear animals making a lot of noise, whether it be whining, barking, whatever.  However, I can't say that I've ever heard anyone complain about cats for "loud meowing".

     This whole thing seems prejudiced against dogs, doesn't it?  I'm truly sorry, for I love dogs.  I've had several during my lifetime and, if I weren't in an RV, I'd have one now.  But traveling with cats, for us at least, allows us more freedom than if we had a dog.

     Once again, though, everything regarding traveling with your pets really boils down to the owner(s) assuming responsibility for their pets.  So, here are a few basic guidelines...

  1. Train your pet to be a good neighbor.  Teach it not to bark excessively and make sure that it doesn't demonstrate overly aggressive behavior.

  2. Treat your pet with the same respect, kindness, and love that you would give to any other member of your family

  3. Never leave your pet outside unattended.

  4. Don't allow your pet to run free.  Make sure it's on a leash, for there are some critters about which could easily transform your pet into part of the food chain.

  5. Always walk your pet in "designated pet areas".

  6. Be sure to always pick up after your pet and properly dispose of the waste in the appropriate containers.

  7. If you're unable to comply with these basic rules, please leave your pet with someone you trust.  Then, enjoy your travels.

  8. Cat owners:  The same basic rules apply to you and your pet, too, but there is one more thing that you must remember...

Keep the litter box clean!

As pet owners we all want what is best for our animals.  If you do not have pet insurance on  your dog or cat, consider purchasing some today!  Sign online to get the most affordable pet insurance.  Whether you are interested in buying pet insurance, or you are just looking for information, we can help!  Pet insurance is important for you animals! 

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