Living in a small space some may shy away from pet ownership. Having pets with you in your trailer can be as rewarding as having them in a regular brick and mortar house. I can’t speak to the pros and cons of having a large dog in a trailer because that is not our experience. Cats and medium to small dogs, great fit!
Depending on your lifestyle dogs or cats may be more your thing. If you plan to do a lot of hiking and want to bring your fur-baby with, you’ll probably want a dog. This post isn’t about helping you decide what animal will work best for you, though it’s about making sure your space is working for your animal.
If your family includes a cat you may struggle with where to put the litter box, food dishes and water. As a dog owner you may hardly need to think about it. Dog sleeps in your bed at night, you walk your pup to go potty. As long as you have potty bags on hand, the biggest issue is going to be making sure your RV park is dog friendly. If you kennel your dog at night you might be scratching your head for a place to put the kennel in your trailer or fifth wheel. Regardless of weather we own a cat or dog we need to think about storage for pet food, treats, grooming supplies and toys. Where do we put it all in our tiny home on wheels. Is having a furry companion really compatible with full time RV living? Absolutely!
Dinettes are a great place to store your cat’s litter box. We purchased a cat door and installed it under our bench seating. Another place for a pet door is under the main bed in your RV. If you plan to kennel your pet a kennel door can be installed but if you are just looking to hide a litter box then a small arch or cat door can be placed. Admittedly most cats would prefer an arch over a cat door. The benefits of using a cat door are, your cat will have to lift each paw as they go through the door, helping to remove any litter remaining on the paws and of course odor control. You will want your litter box placed somewhere you can access it regularly for litter changes and you’ll want to keep the extra litter nearby. We have found that the bench seating works well for us. If you have a hard time getting into your bench seating you may want to try another place. If your under bed storage doesn’t already have actuators, they can be placed. These will hold your bed up while you clean out the litter box. Giving you more space to work with. Some cat owners keep the littler box in the shower, or in other accessible under side storage. The shower option is extremely unappealing to me, however access for cleaning would be excellent.
Another benefit of our under dinette storage, is it works for storing our cats food as well. His food is well sealed so we don’t have to worry about the litter and extra food being in the same place. This would also work in the under bed storage option if you need easier access. Our cat like many others is picky with regards to water and will only drink running water. We have placed a pet fountain on our counter top near the sink. During travel we place the water fountain in the sink so it isn’t sloshing all over the trailer.
High side litter box
Finding a litter box that fits in your space may be difficult. We found that none of the litter boxes with enclosed lids would fit. Our kitty is a messy litter box user and the low side boxes did not work. This high side litter box is great. Because it comes apart we can get it into smaller a space and then put it back together once its in, and he still has enough room.
Our kitty’s water fountain!
Our cat will not drink still water. Before we got him from the humane society he was having some health issues, some related to water refusal. Initially we left a bowl by the sink and turned on the faucet for him whenever he meowed. Now we have this drinking fountain. So much better!
Almost all cats enjoy scratching, and its a compulsory behavior for them. Some cat owners decide to declaw their cats front paws so they don’t have to worry about scratched furniture. We did not chose to do this to our cat. He enjoys exploring outside, and if he gets out somewhere new or gets off leash we want him to be able to defend himself or climb up to get away from whatever might be chasing him. We have chosen to trim his nails regularly and provide him with a scratching post. There are so many great options with scratching posts. For now we have a standard carpet scratching post that sits under our table. He uses it everyday.
As far as pet grooming supplies, anything we use on the regular i.e brushes, toys, are placed in a small basket on the counter while the less frequently used items, pet shampoo, nail trimmers, flea comb etc are in our bathroom cabinets in a sealed Tupperware style container.
Most of the above mention cat fixes will work for dogs too! If you skipped past the cat section I’ll go ahead and mention things that you might find useful for your pup. If you let your furbaby sleep with you at night you likely aren’t looking for a dog only space in your trailer. I personally think the psychological benefits for your pet out-weigh any storage loss for giving your pet their own space. Your friend will likely feel more secure if they have a designated spot with their favorite bed and toys even if they sleep in your bed with you. Having a space to call their own will also help with any anxiety they might feel with traveling.
If you do intend to kennel your buddy then under the bed storage can be converted into a fairly spacious kennel big enough for medium size dogs. Smaller dogs would be able to use the under bench dinette storage. Whichever you choose you have the option of placing a doggy door with a latch, or a kennel door if the goal is to lock them in. Otherwise an open arch style entrance will serve them well. I feel the easiest of these options is going to be the doggy door. You will not have to put as much work into getting the edges smooth because the door will cover your freshly sawed wood. For a more technical how to type post on how to put a dog kennel in your RV I encourage you to check out Pinterest. There are too many trailer styles and potential kennel locations to pick from, for me to list here with pictures and their instructions. I’ll go ahead and make a Pinterest board of my favorites that you can check out >here<.
As with regular homes you have the option of a built in wall kibble station, a slide out drawer feeding station, stand alone bowls or feeding station and the storage/feeding station. Depending on the size and shape of your trailer you may prefer one of these over the other. With all of these you will want to empty the dishes before you set out on the road to prevent spills.
If you intend to take your pet on the road you likely recognize the need to keep a good pet collar and ID tag on your pet at all times. We currently reside in a tourist town and I can’t tell you how many times lost pets end up on the local Facebook page. So many of them from people traveling through! It only takes one time forgetting to shut the door or not being quick enough to close it, with the sneaky pets, for you to loose your furbaby.
Loosing a pet in a town you and your pet aren’t familiar with is going to be a traumatic experience for everyone involved. The best thing you can do is have your pet Micro-chipped and be sure they have an appropriate collar for their species. Cats need to wear break-a-way collars to prevent strangulation. The collar should be well fitting, with a bell and ID tag. The bell will not only help you locate your pet faster but it will also prevent your cat from being able to hunt and kill the native birds.
Dogs collars should also be well fitting, reflective and equipped with an up to date ID tag. Making sure your dog is fixed or neutered will help to prevent wandering as it removes the desire for your dog to find a mating partner. Intact male dogs will behave differently if they smell a female in heat, as will females in heat. Fixing and neutering will both prevent eloping, and eliminate certain unwanted behaviors. The same is true for neutered and fixed cats.
We have found our cat occasionally likes to use the break-a-way feature of his collar to remove it. Thankfully he is micro-chipped! Out of an abundance of caution we have two sets of collars with ID tags so if we notice he has removed his collar we can put his backup on until we can locate the one he removed. Because we don’t have a house we do not have an address on our cats ID tag. We simply have his name and our cell-phone number. Remember even if your cat does well on a leash he should still be wearing a collar with ID tag under his harness. Cats are very flexible and most of them can get out of their harness, when scared.
Paw ID Tag
This ID tag is super affordable, has high visibility, customize-able, easy to read and came super fast in the mail.
Break-a-way collar with Bell!
We ordered collars from this company recently. I love how loud the bell is, and the break-a-way feature works well.
The above pictures in this article are affiliate links. If you choose to click on and purchase any of these items I will receive a small commission. The price of purchase will not be affected. All of the products I have shared are products we own and use. If you are wondering why I don’t have links to more dog friendly products it’s because we only have a kitty for now!
Thank you for stopping by! I would love to hear about your adventures with your pets in the comment section.
Lets keep our pets safe and happy, much love