Did you know that about 40 percent of truck drivers take their pet on the road with them? If you think about it though, who would make a better co-pilot than none other than man’s best friend? It would sure kick out the loneliness on long drives and keep things from being boring. But, despite the many benefits of truck driving with pets, there does involve more planning and some changes to your routine. All and all though, being able to bring a dog or cat along in your cab can make it really feel like home.
Considerations of Truck Driving with Pets
Make sure you have everything you need before you hit the road!
Providing Food and Water
Most truck stops offer dog and cat food. However, if you want variety, you may be out of luck. You will find that they don’t offer much in the way of options, especially for the animals you may have with sensitive tummies. If you are specifically interested in a certain kind of pet food, your best bet is finding a superstore like Wal-mart or Target to purchase it for them. Remember to keep stocked so you have enough food to last them a few weeks or so. These stores commonly provide large parking areas for big rigs and also will have any other items you might need to pick up for your traveling pooch or kitty.
As for water, make sure you always keep stocked so you don’t end up with a poor little dehydrated buddy in your cab! You’re going to need to make sure you purchase a non-slip/non-tip food and water bowl.
Bring the Right Pet
Sure little dogs seem easier to bring on the road than bigger breeds. But, commonly they bark more than the larger pups! Since you’ll be taking your pet out frequently at truck stops, make sure they won’t bark at neighbors who share the lot for sleep. Be careful that your pet will be able to adjust to the mobile lifestyle. Obviously, don’t bring an elderly pet or one that suffers from health problems because of the inconvenience treating the illness would become on the road. Some insist puppies and kittens are the best age pet to bring along, but others think young adult age is best. It really depends on the personality of the pet, so evaluate that before deciding to bring your pet!
Provide Your Pet “Potty Access”
Be sure to buy disposable litter boxes, scoopers, and plastic bags to clean up after your pet. Also, stop frequently to let your dog go to the bathroom. Obviously, a mess on the road would make for some extremely unpleasant traveling conditions. When you are cleaning up after your cat’s litter box, just be polite about it. Don’t just dump it out onto the ground of a truck stop. Dump it into a plastic bag and tie the bag up and place it in a trash bin. Or put the entire disposable litter box and place it in a bag and tie it before disposing of it in a dumpster.
Truckers who bring dogs with them usually get more exercise than other truckers. As much as you need to be moving your body every chance you can as a trucker, a trucker’s pet also needs to be able to run free sometimes. Taking a dog on walks around the rest stop is fun, and a good workout allows them to go to relieve themselves if need be. Just be sure to remember to bring plastic bags to pick up after them. And watch your step in case someone else forgot to scoop their furry pal’s poop before you…
Checklist for Truck Driving with Pets
- Keep fresh water and food stocked at all times
- Make sure you have the right stuff for you to dispose of your pet’s messes
- Spend time daily playing with your pet/ letting them get exercise
- Be sure to not leave your pet alone in a hot vehicle
- Talk to your pet. If you’re leaving for a bit, let them know you’ll return soon
- Wash your bedding more often if you share it with your pet
- Keep your camera ready and document some fun moments with your pet
- Bring lint-rollers…pets shed!
- Always keep your pet’s shots up to date
- Don’t leave your dog tied up and unattended
Are you looking for a new job that gives you the freedom to travel with your pet? Each company’s pet policy is different, so first you’ll want to get the green light from them. Reach out to the trucking companies directly, or apply to a new trucking job on our site!