Part of traveling with pets is keeping them safe, and that includes planning for the worst-case scenario. It’s not something anyone wants to think about. But simply hoping for the best could leave your pets in a precarious situation. And once it’s done, it’s done!

So, let’s spend a few uncomfortable minutes developing a strategy together. And then we can put it behind us with the satisfaction of knowing that our pets will be cared for if the worst happens.

Napkin on a table with the text, "What's the worst thing that could happen?" for the worst-case scenario

The Worst-Case Scenario

Life is uncertain for everyone, but traveling with pets presents some unique challenges. In my mind, the worse-case scenario is being injured (or worse) when we’re away from the RV without Myles. 

When you have a stationary home and something happens to you your family knows right where to find your pets. But when you’re traveling with pets it’s a different situation.

If Rod and I were in a car accident, how would our family find Myles in the motorhome? Precious hours could be wasted calling RV parks near the crash site hoping to find where we were staying. And if we happened to be camping off-grid, there would be no trace.

The only answer is to prepare in advance.

Brindle puppy sitting at the top of the stairs in a motorhome

In Case of Emergency

My phone is programmed with an ICE number – the “In Case of Emergency” contact that would allow first responders to reach my parents. I’ve let my parents know that they are my emergency contact. They also know that the best thing they can do for me after receiving “the call” is to take care of Myles.

But, in this worst-case scenario, how would they know where to look for our motorhome? Luckily, that issue was easy to overcome. They make an app for that. In fact, they make a lot of apps for that!

Preparing for the Worst-Case Scenario |

Locating The RV (and Myles) Remotely

There are a lot of location sharing apps, but if your family has Apple products, you can use the free Find My app on your iPhone or iPad. Just open the app, click on “People,” and add the person you want to see your location.

The Google Maps app works for Android users, and for those who are trying to share their locations between Android and Apple devices.

Notice that I’m doing this with my iPad — not my iPhone.
That’s because my phone is usually with me when we leave the RV. But I generally leave my iPad behind. So the iPad is the device I want my parents to track in the worst-case scenario.

READ MORE ⇒ Tips for Traveling Alone With Pets

Mississippi's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: The Natchez Trace |

Getting Short-term Help

Once our RV is located, then what? Normally Rod and I are traveling far from friends and family. Expecting my family to drop everything and travel across the country to take care of Myles isn’t feasible.

To make matters more complicated, traveling full-time means we don’t have a regular pet sitter or boarding facility.

So, if we’re ever in an accident and can’t care for Myles, I’ve asked my sisters to find a local pet sitter to care for him until my parents arrive.

All three of my sisters have pets and are skilled online researchers. I trust them completely to find a topnotch pet care provider.

But that person wouldn’t know how much Myles eats, his normal exercise routine, or that he likes to cuddle in bed at night. And even if he or she were told where the motorhome was – how would they get in?

READ MORE ⇒ Pet Travel Hacks To Save You Money

Preparing for the Worst-case Scenario |

Providing Pet Care Information In The Worst-Case Scenario

In a worst-case scenario, you might not be able to communicate how to care for your pets. We solved this problem by writing a detailed description of Myles and his care. Everything from where to find his food, leash, and treats, to when and where he likes to sleep. You’d also want to include details of any medications or supplements your pets need. And don’t forget to share the tricks you use to get your pets to take them!

We also included a bit about how much Myles loves other dogs and people, which toys are his favorites, and how he lets us know when he wants to go out. 

Finally, we hid a spare key on the outside of the motorhome. The document has instructions on where to find it.

Uploading the file to a Dropbox folder shared by my family gives us all access to it. And I can quickly make edits as things change with Myles. In the event of an emergency, my sisters could easily forward this information to a pet sitter, providing all the information they’d need to know about Myles.

Brindle puppy in a red harness in front of a flower garden

Long-term Arrangements

Our wills include our wishes for Myles and provide funds for his care. My sister has agreed to take Myles if Rod and I are gone. And the executor of our estates has a copy of our wills. He knows that his top priority will be ensuring that Myles get to her as quickly and comfortably as possible.

I sincerely hope your plans and mine are never needed. But imagining Myles languishing in our motorhome for days before someone realized there was a problem upsets me more than the prospect of dying.

Knowing we’ve covered our bases to ensure our pet’s safety is a huge relief. No one lives forever, and being prepared can make all the difference for those left behind.

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  • The Find my Phone and Google Maps rely on having the location turned on on the device. We deliberately have this turned off, esp the DH who only uses his phone as a phone.

    • Hi Catherine! Yes, having the location services turned on is necessary if you want someone to be able to find your device remotely. It’s a tradeoff I’m willing to accept, but everyone has to make their own decisions.

  • Such a great post. This is something I’ve thought about but have not yet formalized all the arrangements. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Now I just have to figure out how to research pet sitters with dinghies in case the worst happens while we’re at anchor.

    • Thanks, Pamela! Yes, being aboard the boat does present some unique challenges for you guys. There probably aren’t a lot of pet sitters out there who get asked about their dinghy! =D

  • Category: Travel Tips / Tagged with: Health and Safety, RVing With Pets