Dealing with Wet Dogs in an RV

Amy & Rod Burkert Amy & Rod Burkert  |  02.19.2018

There are more things to love about living in our RV than I can begin to list. But one thing that I hate is dealing with wet dogs. It’s not just the smell – it’s that we don’t have a mudroom to dry off the dogs, contain the mess, and let our wet things hang. But rain or shine, the dogs must be walked, so we’ve developed some strategies to make our soggy outings a little less uncomfortable.

First, we’re in an Itasca Meridian. That’s a diesel pusher which, roughly translated, means we’re dealing with about four square feet of space at the front door between the passenger chair and the dash. Ty thought he’d be helpful and demonstrate that it’s tight quarters, even for a dog with fancy footwork like him.

wet dogs in rv tips

Guarding Against Muddy Paws

All good plans require a solid foundation, and we’ve tried them all. We started with a piece of carpet that we trimmed to fit the space. That worked for a while, until … the smell! You know what I mean – that odor that seeps out and will not be deterred by any shampoo or deodorizer known to man. I can’t explain the science behind it, but the only way to get rid of that stench is to burn it in a bonfire. (Just kidding, old carpet should be recycled … but I can’t guarantee the smell won’t survive.)

Throw rugs or towels on the floor are okay, and at least they can be washed in laundry. Unfortunately, they don’t stay put very well, and slipping while you’re trying to wrangle wet dogs is not going to improve anyone’s day.

Our Best Wet Dog Solution

We eventually bit the bullet and invested in a Chilewich floor mat. You can find them on Amazon or the company’s website, and they’re made from vinyl yarns woven into gorgeous plastic fabrics. They’re not cheap – the 46″ x 72″ one we chose runs about $300. But it will last a lifetime and can’t be penetrated by wet dog smell.

wet dogs in rv tips

An added benefit is that Chilewich mats have a rubber backing, so I trimmed ours to fit the contours of our RV entrance exactly. Proceed at your own risk: the Chilewich website discourages cutting their mats. I took that under advisement as I was reaching for the scissors. It turned out beautifully, with the raw edges against the dash, so I’m not sitting up at night worrying it will unravel. And wet and muddy paw prints now can wipe up in a matter of seconds!

Other Important Wet Dog Accessories

Once your foundation is in place, you need to dress the part. We keep our raincoats handy by hanging them on the knobs on the cabinets over the driver’s seat. They’re out of the way to drip dry between outings, but easy to grab as your heading out the door for the next go-round.

wet dogs in rv tips

The final requirement is a quick-drying, super absorbent towel designed for campers and backpackers. These towels make a huge difference when you’re wiping dogs and soaking up messes several times a day. We keep ours hanging right beside the door so it’s always easy to reach.

wet dogs in rv tips

So the next time you see clouds in the forecast, don’t let a few rain drops ruin your day! It only takes a few simple steps to minimize the mess of dealing with wet dogs in your RV.

There’s no reason to learn things the hard way … we’ve done it for you! Get all kinds of tips and advice for traveling with your pets at!

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