Best Pets For Van Life

Best Pets For Van Life

Van life is a new trend that’s only just starting to get more popular, so it’s still unclear whether or not it works well for pets. While some pets can find the lifestyle to be quite tolerable, others may not fare as well — and “van pet” problems are likely to be more severe when you’re going away for more extended periods. Finding a happy solution for your pet is a personal decision.

Is Van Life For Pets?

Pets are naturally going to find it harder to adjust to the lack of space compared to people. So, if their animal companion is not careful enough, they may very well end up causing the van pet some discomfort or even danger. 

Does Van Life Work Well For Pets? 

A Vanlife adventure is an excellent option for those looking to travel around the United States on a budget. However, no one ever said that it could be a good option for your pets. That might be why we see so many travelers and newbie van dwellers decide to leave their pets behind when taking a trip out of the country.

Vanlife With Pets

Some people say that it’s okay to leave your pets behind because they can take care of themselves. The truth is that a good number of pets have no idea how to fend for themselves in the wild, and if you don’t take the time to teach them, there will be issues.

Not All Dogs Are Compatible With Van Life

Some dogs won’t like the lifestyle of being in a van. If you have a dog that you don’t have to pack around, why not leave them behind? They can easily live independently. There’s nothing wrong with leaving a dog at home if that is the case. 

Van Life Is Boring For Dogs

You will be limited to the number of places you can stay and the amount of time your dog can be out in nature. There isn’t much to do, and if you have a dog that likes to run around and play. You can use the spare time in the van to make your trip more comfortable for both you and your pet. 

Requirements For Van Pet Camping

You’ll want to make sure of before bringing your dog on a camping trip because they are up to date with their shots. You’ll also want to be sure that you have a leash in case something goes wrong, along with food bowls and water when it’s time to eat or drink.

Traveling With A Dog As A Pet In A Van

Pets in a van have come a long way. When most people think of traveling with pets, they only consider the most prominent and hairiest members of the animal kingdom – dogs. However, plenty of other types of pets would love to tag along on any adventure through life.


Not to confuse fish-eating birds (like vultures, eagles, and hawks), fish can be a perfect option for several reasons. Fish sleep a lot, so they’ll be at their best when the rest of you are asleep. Since most fish are very hardy, you can rest assured that your pet won’t have any trouble adapting to the way that you travel.


Like fish, reptiles are known to be very adaptable in some situations. They live in many habitats and can also be found in both temperate and tropical climates. They’re also generally relatively small so that you won’t need much space for them.

Small Mammals

The smallest mammals you can potentially keep as pets are mice, rabbits, ferrets, and sugar gliders. A pet like this can live in relatively small spaces, so ventilation should not be a problem. Aside from being kept in cages and their sizes, all their differences come from how they are used.

Invertebrates (like snails)

Invertebrates are animals without a backbone. They’re generally more low-maintenance than vertebrates, which means that they’re often found in places where people are unwilling or unable to travel. You’ll typically need more space for invertebrates than you will for vertebrates, but the number of different species and types is also much more remarkable.

Take Your Dog On A Trip In Your Van?

We’ve all heard of the benefits of living in a van. Most of us have wanted to do it at one point or another, but it turns out that taking your dog for a ride is even better than you might have thought.

Pros Of Living In A Van With Pets

Living in a van has never gotten more manageable than it is today. It’s possible to live comfortably and even thrive if you know what you’re doing.

Camping is great

There’s something so satisfying about camping in a van. The freedom of having all of your belongings with you makes you feel a little like Indiana Jones, and the ability to travel and camp has no limits.

It’s inexpensive to live in a van.

Buying or leasing a van is one of the cheapest approaches to living in one. If you get a van that has a water tank, you don’t have to pay for water. You can also sleep without having to worry about finding a campground.

You Can Take Full Advantage Of The Wilderness

Living in a van is great for getting away from concrete and pavement, so you can be more adventurous and go on camping trips. If you reside in a van, you don’t have to worry about transportation when traveling or have a fantastic experience while exploring.

A Van Can Be Hard To Live In With Pets

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

A lot of cat person choose to live in a van because they don’t like to commute. It requires a commitment, and you must get comfortable with doing everything for yourself, which can potentially make you feel more independent.

Select a car you would like to drive.

There’s nothing worse than going out for a drive with your dog in the back seat and deciding that the car is too small. If you’re going to get a van, you have to make sure that it’s big enough for you both. The Chevy Express and Ford Econoline vans are two popular models that people buy to make their Van Life dreams come true.

It’ll be harder to find a place to park

The streets might become your home, but it doesn’t mean that everyone will be impressed by your choice of residence. Don’t assume that you can park your van anywhere; there are sometimes legal restrictions in place about how long you can park on the street and where exactly you can park.

Converting Your Campervan To Take In Your Pet

Van life is a popular way to live, but the thought of leaving their furry friend at home is unbearable for pet owners. Luckily, plenty of campervans on the market allow you to bring your dog along on your VanLife adventure. But what if you don’t own a van? As a result, you can find creative ways to retrofit your existing vehicle to make room for pets.

Vanlife: Important Considerations With Pets 

Consider your pet’s overall health if you plan on bringing them along. The van itself can cause problems for both you and your pet, as well as denying them access to some of the space that they may need to live comfortably and happily.

1. Be Educated on The Pets’ Needs

You must be aware of your pet’s specific needs before taking your van on a trip. Each animal is different, and their housing is also specific to their needs. 

2. Bring A Crate

Crating your pet and bringing it along for the ride is one of the best ways to ensure its safety during long drives and provide an area for them to relax if they become restless. You can make sure that they are safe within a crate and are comfortable.

3. Consider Heat and Lighting

Sleep aids like heat lamps and hot bedding can make a big difference in your pets’ health and well-being. Don’t forget to bring pillows, blankets, and other items to make them feel comfortable.

Understanding the law

Most cities have laws regarding pets in a vehicle, and often these laws differ depending on whether it is an official vehicle or a private vehicle. Some cities don’t allow pets in vehicles unless a police officer is present or if the animal is being used for law enforcement.

About Van Temperature

There are plenty of considerations for your pet’s comfort in a van, but there are some extras that you can take into consideration to be sure that your pet isn’t overheating in their new home. 

Insulation: You should make sure that the interior of your van is insulated to help maintain a steady temperature for your pet. The insulation will help prevent heat build-up and will keep your vehicle at a comfortable temperature for your pet as well.

Water & Food Bowls: Depending on the size of your pet and the amount of time that they will be spending inside of their crate, you may need to provide some extra water and food bowls for them. Some interior van placements also have a small cup holder that you can use to hold some water and food bowls, so make sure to check yours before bringing your pet along on your next adventure.

Van Cleaning Supplies: If you’re planning on traveling in a van with your pet for a while, it is vital to keep them in their own space. You can do this by providing your pet with their litter box, bowls of water, and other things that they may need to help them feel comfortable.

When It’s Too Hot To Leave Your Pet In The Van

When temperatures are high, this can often cause your pet to start to feel hot. If you have a susceptible dog sensitive to heat and does not like being confined, it may start to overheat or even start to get anxious.

Adjusting Your Van For A Pet

To make your van more comfortable for your pet, you will want to consider a few ways to adjust it. These are easy tips that can help you get ready for a quick trip with your pet. 

1. Seatbelts: You should consider adding on a pet seatbelt or harness for your dog, especially if they will be riding in the back of your van. It will help keep them safe and secure while driving, so make sure to take advantage of this option if it’s available for you.

2. Leashes: You should make sure that your dog is always on a leash while in the van. By doing this, you will ensure the animal’s safety if it roams while you are driving. It won’t cause an accident if you see some other animals or cars in the road ahead.

3. Inside: There are few things more dangerous for your pet than leaving it in a crate while driving around. Be sure to have a crate for your pet, but you should also leave it inside the van.

4. Weather Stripping: Your windows are likely already weather-stripped, but if not, then you will want to install some weather stripping around them so that your van does not get too cold during the wintertime or too hot during the summertime.

What If My Pet Gets Ill While I’m Traveling?

Dogs and cats get sick as much as humans do, but depending on the scenario, it can be harder to treat them while you’re living in a van. There are several pet insurance companies you can use to cover your pet. Just like humans, pets can become sick or injured while traveling in a van.

  • Euthanasia: More and more people choose to put their pets to sleep when they get very ill. The use of euthanasia is becoming more common among people, especially those who are traveling long distances.
  • Euthanasia With Prescription Pain Killers: Veterinarians usually recommend that you do not give your pet a painkiller before you get to the veterinarian. It may interfere with your pet’s blood pressure and heart rate, which may cause them to have difficulty breathing or go into cardiac arrest. 
  • Other Ways To Euthanize: You can also euthanize your pet on your own if they become very ill. You experience complications such as bleeding excessively, which can compromise the health of the animal. You’ll need to monitor them closely and administer fluids until you take them to a veterinarian. 


The ability to live in a van, coupled with the freedom of traveling your way out of wherever you are, makes it one of the most exciting and exciting life adventure options available to people these days. Adding your pet to the mix can be difficult, but it’s not impossible and sustainable.

Keeping your pets happy and safe throughout your journeys will be your biggest concern, so review the tips above for some great ideas and suggestions for how you can do it smoothly.