dog running off leash

Horrible Dog Owners and How to Manage Them

With summer heating up, so is camping season. Everyone is always excited to hit the road, but unfortunately, there are some things that can dampen the experience. One of those is dogs. 

Now before you jump to calling me a pet hater, I’d like to let you know I have a dog of my own. She comes with me on all my RV adventures, and my husband and I plan our activities around places she is allowed to go. So, I am anything but a pet hater. The trouble usually isn’t with the pets, but with the humans attached (hopefully) to the other end of the leash. 

Let’s Start with a Story

A member of the Cool RV Stuff Facebook group recently shared with us a major concern in violating campground etiquette where she is staying. Her site reeks of urine from all the dogs coming onto it. Talk about a buzz kill on your camping experience. 

Here’s what she had to say:

“We’ve seen a massive increase in dogs at the small, remote park that is half seasonal and half weekend campers. Owners are very good about picking up the fecal matter deposited around the campground.

However, the urine is getting out of control. There are plenty of trails, paths, and roads for folks to bring their dogs to do their business however my site seems to be a hot spot for urinating dogs. People have to actually walk 12 feet onto my site and their dogs pee all over the grass (which is dead now) and the trees in that area.



The owners are new and don’t want to cause any issues in the park by saying something. I’m a dog lover but do not want to smell dog pee all summer long.”

Picking Up After Your Dog 

Let’s dive into what this story means for RVers who own and don’t own pets. Be sure to share your opinions in the comments below. 

In my opinion, there are a few major concerns from the story above.

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First, why are the RV park owners responsible for picking up dog poop? When someone buys a dog, they commit to caring for that dog. Part of that caretaking includes picking up after your pet. Irresponsible dog owners give a bad name to all dog owners which means everyone suffers.

Letting Your Dog Go to the Bathroom on Other People’s Sites 

Another issue I see here is, pet owners, why are you letting your dog walk all the way into someone’s site? Basic camping etiquette rules say you shouldn’t cut through others’ sites. The same goes for dogs. 

One of the best ways to solve this problem is to have your dog use the bathroom before starting your walk. If they must go while on the go, at least stick to the edges of the sites. 

You wouldn’t let your dog walk all the way into someone’s yard in a sticks and bricks neighborhood, would you? For some seasonal or full-time RVers, their RV site is their “real” or only home. 

What Can We Do to Make RVing More Enjoyable for Everyone?

Now it’s time for some serious Cool Rvers brainstorming about how to manage horrible dog owners. 

  • What can campground owners do to manage irresponsible dog owners?
  • How can campers address these problems (pet owners and non-pet owners)? 
  • What should be the consequences for irresponsible pet owners? How will these consequences be enforced?
  • What problems could park owners encounter if they choose to enforce more strict pet policies?

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