10 Tips For Raising a Puppy in an RV

Raising a puppy in an RV can be difficult, but today, I want to share some tips with you to help make it easier!

Puppies are super sweet and an absolute blast, but they do come with some challenges.

We raised two RV puppies. We got Cap in June of 2019, and we got Marvel in January of 2021.

Cap was better at sleeping through the night, but Marvel was better at potty training.

Here are a few tips we’ve learned about raising a puppy in an RV.

1. Utilize Puppy Pads

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.

So far, both of our puppies have quickly adapted to puppy pads, which has 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.

A blue merle Mini Aussie puppy on a puppy pad in an RV

2. Get a Puppy-Friendly Cleaner

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.

There’s no specific brand you need to use. Really, anything works as long as it’s puppy-safe.

A Mini Aussie puppy laying by her water bowl in an RV

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 tried to take her out every 30 mins to an hour. If I saw her whining in the general area of the door, then I would take her out even sooner.

She was pretty good about going potty in the grass as often as I took her out.

This not only eliminated a lot of accidents in the RV but also developed the habit of going outside and helped her potty train faster.

A blue merle Mini Aussie puppy chewing on a stick during a hike

4. Limit Their Space

When you first bring a puppy home with you, don’t give them free rein over the RV.

Having a dedicated space where your puppy is allowed to be will help with boundaries and 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 didn’t understand this when they were young, so we used wooden baby gates to section off areas that were off-limits.

This also gives us fewer 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.

A blue merle Mini Aussie puppy laying on the steps in an RV

5. Don’t Take Them Everywhere

When you first get your puppy, be very cautious where you allow it 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.

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 to do your own research about this and protect your puppy! Traveling with pets has its risks, so do your research in advance.

After they are old enough, we love to take our dogs hiking with us!

A couple with their two Mini Aussie dogs hiking in Utah

6. Plan Ahead

Make sure that you 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.

Many national park hiking trails don’t allow dogs, but state parks are usually more dog-friendly.

I recommend checking the website of the location you want to visit, as they will usually have a dog policy posted.

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 when we’re grocery shopping.

A blue merle Mini Aussie puppy sitting in the sand at Great Sand Dunes National Park

7. Get Plenty of Toys

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 from chewing on things they’re not supposed to…like furniture, blankets, or cords.

Also, make sure to keep everything picked up and off the floor that is off-limits to them.

Prevent things from being chewed up by not leaving them within reach.

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

A blue merle Mini Aussie dog sitting in a truck pulling an RV

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 tried not to let our puppies sleep after 7 pm until their bedtime.

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

Getting your puppy to play with you usually helps. We also take them outside if we need to and encourage them to play with squeaky toys.

A couple with their Mini Aussie puppy in front of their RV

9. How to Get Your Puppy to Sleep

This may sound strange, but using anti-anxiety puppy music or white noise can really help them to 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 with any longer.

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.

A blue merle Mini Aussie puppy sitting by the fireplace in an RV

10. Give Your Puppy Their Own Space

It’s so important to have a place dedicated to just your puppy.

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 just to our dogs, and they know what it is.

We call it the dog’s room, and they know to go there when they’re asked to.

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 are also shelves for their food, toys, and other miscellaneous items.

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

In Closing: 10 Tips For Raising a Puppy in an RV

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

Enjoy your new puppy!

Much Love, Janae xoxo
Photo of author
Janae, alongside her husband, Tucker, has turned the world into her playground. Having lived and traveled in an RV for over four years, she has trekked through 22 US national parks, ventured across 28 states, and explored the natural beauty of 12 countries. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been when she witnessed Iceland's shimmering Northern Lights, explored the rugged terrains of Southern Utah, and traveled across Ireland for almost two months. A lover of adventure and couple travel, Janae's writings have been featured in notable travel websites and magazines, and she has collected an online community of over 30,000 passionate fellow travelers.

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

  1. 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 😉 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?

  2. Baby cap is KILLING me!! Those eyes😭 these were all great tips girl!!🙌🏼 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! We’ve brought the bell with us to every new location and it’s an easy way for her to remember and avoid accidents!

Leave a Comment

5 Tips for Raising an RV Puppy
5 Tips for Raising an RV Puppy