10 Tips For Raising a Puppy in an RV

Puppies are super sweet and an absolute blast but they do come with some challenges. Raising a puppy in an RV can be difficult but today I want to share some tips with you to help make it easier!

Our two dogs Marvel and Cap - Raising a puppy in an RV
Our two dogs, Marvel and Cap

We are currently raising our second RV puppy. We got Cap in June of 2019 and we just got Marvel in January of 2021. So far Cap was better at sleeping through the night, but Marvel is better with potty training.

Here’s a few tips we’ve learning about raising a puppy in an RV.

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Raising a puppy in an RV

1. Puppy pads are great for when we miss a potty signal

When a puppy is really small, it can be difficult to know what they do when they need to go potty. Eventually you’ll learn, but having puppy potty pads near the doorway can be a huge help.

Puppy pads near the door for potty training when you're raising a puppy in an RV
Puppy pads near the door

Both of our puppies so far have quickly adapted to puppy pads which made things a lot easier for us. We still do our best to take them out to potty, but if we miss a signal, it’s nice to have it on a pad and not need to clean it up.

2. Keep a puppy cleaner nearby for quick cleanups

Chances are they won’t make it on the puppy pads 100% of the time. We keep a puppy mess cleaner and a roll of paper towels easily accessible to clean up messes quickly and avoid them being tracked through the RV.

We use one like this, but anything works as long as it’s puppy safe.

Baby Cap - Raising a puppy in an RV
Baby Cap

3. Take them out often and consistently

We were able to go 28 hours before our first potty accident with Marvel just by taking her out often and consistently! I was very impressed with how well she did!

I try to take her out every 30 mins to an hour. If I see her whining in the general area of the door then I take her out even sooner.

The day we brought Marvel home to our RV
The day we brought Marvel home

She’s pretty good about going potty in the grass as often as I take her out. This not only eliminates a lot of accidents in the RV, it also develops the habit of going outside and helps them potty train faster.

4. Don’t give them free reign of the RV

Having a dedicated space where your puppy is allowed to be will help with boundaries and also with potty training.

For us, our dogs are not allowed in the “upstairs” portion of our RV where our master bedroom and bathroom are.

They obviously don’t understand this when they’re young, so we used wooden baby gates like this to section off areas that were off limits.

Raising a puppy in an RV with a baby gate
Baby gate in our RV to keep the puppies downstairs

This also gives us less places to worry about finding potty accidents and it makes it easier to keep an eye on them while we’re working during the day.

5. Be very cautious where you allow your puppy to be outdoors – avoid all gas stations, parks, and places where other dogs frequent

This can be difficult, especially when you’re living in an RV. But it’s super crucial to avoid allowing your puppy to be on the ground in places where other dogs frequent.

Cap's first adventure
One of Cap’s first adventures!

After they have had their final set of shots it’s not quite as big of a worry, but before they are completely protected they can pick up nasty and deadly diseases like Parvo from old dog poo. Be sure and do your own research about this and protect your puppy!

6. Plan ahead for places you can and can’t bring your puppy

Knowing where you can and can’t bring your pup will make things a little easier for you. Always have a plan B in case you find yourself in a situation where you can’t have your puppy with you.

A lot of national parks don’t allow dogs, but state parks are usually more dog friendly. I recommend checking the website of the location you’re wanting to visit. They will usually have a dog policy posted.

Hiking with Cap
Hiking with Cap

We usually don’t take our pups anywhere until after they’re 16 weeks old, unless it’s somewhere that we can carry them and avoid all contact with the ground.

If need be, one of you may need to sit in the car with the pup. We usually do this for shopping needs.

Waiting in the car with Marvel - Raising a puppy in an RV
Waiting in the car with Marvel

7. Have lots of appropriate toys available for them to play with and chew on

Both of our dogs are very playful and love toys! They play tug-of-war all the time which is super cute to watch!

But having toys available for them also prevents them chewing on things they’re not supposed to…like furniture, blankets, or cords.

Cap in the RV with his toys
Cap loves his toys!

Also, make sure to keep everything picked up and off the floor that is off limits to them. Prevent things being chewed up by not leaving them in reach.

Make sure that all of the toys you provide are safe for them and can’t be destroyed or choked on.

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    8. No naps before bedtime

    If your puppy is sleeping a lot before bedtime, chances are they’re not going to be tired and ready to sleep when you want them to. We try not to let Marvel sleep after 7pm until her bedtime.

    This can be hard sometimes as this is usually our “chill time” and it’s easy for her to take a nap on the couch with us while we’re watching TV.

    Marvel's first bath in the RV - raising a puppy in an RV
    Marvel’s first bath in the RV

    Getting her to play with Cap usually helps. We also take her outside if we need to and encourage her to play with squeaky toys.

    9. Use anti-anxiety puppy music or white noise to help them sleep

    Raising a puppy in an RV means that your pup is likely not sleeping far from you. And because of that, you want them to sleep so you can sleep haha!

    The first several nights are usually the hardest. They are in a new place that is unfamiliar to them and they don’t have mom or their siblings to snuggle any longer.

    Baby Cap in our first RV - Raising a puppy in an RV
    Baby Cap in our first RV

    We have found that anti-anxiety dog music on YouTube helps calm them down and helps them sleep. White noise works as well.

    This not only helps them stay calm, but it acts as a noise maker and keeps them from hearing as many outside noises that may wake them up or make them cry.

    10. Have a place dedicated to just them

    Since we don’t have any kids currently, this is a little easier for us than it might be for some others.

    We have a place in our RV that is dedicated to just our dogs and they know what it is. We call it their “room” and they know to go there when they’re asked to.

    Marvel raising a puppy in an RV
    Marvel with our current RV

    In our first trailer, that place was a small office room in the middle of the RV. In our current trailer, it is the back bunk room.

    We actually did some remodeling and made an area just for their crate to be tucked out of the way. There’s also shelves for their food, toys, and other miscellaneous items.

    I know some other people that have modified their dining area for their dogs or some even have a space under their bed in their bedroom where their dogs sleep.

    Cap ready for an adventure - Raising a puppy in an RV
    Cap ready for an adventure

    And that’s a wrap!

    I hope you’ve found these tips helpful and that you’ve enjoyed the cute puppy pictures I included as well! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Be sure and follow us over on our Instagram page for more puppy cuteness and subscribe to our YouTube channel as well!

    Much Love, Janae xoxo

    Shop some of our puppy favorites below!

    13 thoughts on “10 Tips For Raising a Puppy in an RV”

    1. Your puppies are just so darned adorable! This post was super relatable after we brought home our own puppy recently. Great advice -thank you!

    2. Oh my gosh!! Can’t take all the cuteness! We haven’t had a puppy in the RV yet so these are great tips for whenever we get our next pup ๐Ÿ˜‰ When Butters was a puppy we still lived in an apartment but didn’t have our own outdoor space so potty training was slow and interesting. Do you guys worry at all about taking her out at campgrounds?

      • I cannot wait for you to get your next pup!! โ˜บ๏ธ Yes, we are very cautious where we take her and we don’t allow her to be anywhere that another dog many have gone potty.

    3. Baby cap is KILLING me!! Those eyes๐Ÿ˜ญ these were all great tips girl!!๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ I wanted to extend something that really helped us that was suggested with Kallie, Todd and Marcia told us to use a hanging bell by the door and you ring it every time you take the pup out to potty. It works to great with Kallie and she had it down in 2 days! Weโ€™ve brought the bell with us to every new location and itโ€™s an easy way for her to remember and avoid accidents!


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