Trucking with pets can be a wonderful experience, especially when you’re emotionally attached to your pets. Driving for days on end can be very lonely and having your pet on the road with you helps to ease the loneliness. Any truck driver who takes their dog or cat on the road with them needs to make preparations before each trip to ensure that their pet will be comfortable and safe during the trip.
Leaving Pets in the Truck
Dogs in trucks generally force drivers to stop more often than they would stop on their own. This is a good thing for both the trucker and the dog because sitting for hours at a time is not healthy. If you’re trucking with pets, you will probably have to leave them alone in the truck occasionally, usually when you’re loading or unloading. Make sure you don’t leave your pet in the truck alone for a long period of time, especially if the temperature is extreme. Laws against idling may stop you from leaving your truck running to keep your pet comfortable, but leaving for more than 30 minutes should be avoided as much as possible.
Water and Food
Sometimes long distance truck driving doesn’t lend itself well to shopping for supplies, so it’s smart to have plenty of food and water with you in the truck all the time. Some truck stops sell dog food and all of the sell bottled water, so you will probably be able to pick up supplies if you end up being on the road longer than you planned or your dog eats more food than normal. You will also need to carry bags and a scoop to pick up after your dog.
One of the biggest issues with dogs in trucks is that they often don’t get the exercise they need. Choosing a breed that isn’t overly active is a good idea and most people don’t recommend taking a puppy on the road because long distance truck driving is often unpredictable and you should know your dog’s habits before taking them on the road with you.
Each truck driver need exercise just as much as their dog does, so going for walks together is beneficial for both the dog and the owner. Some truck stops understand that trucking with dogs is very common, so they designate certain areas for walking your dog. It’s a good idea to ask if there’s a specific area for dogs if the area is not clearly marked. Staying in this area will keep you and your dog safe from being run over by other trucks and it minimizes the chances of other truckers accidentally stepping in dog droppings.
When you’re long distance truck driving it is likely that you’ll have to stop at a repair shop occasionally. Some repair shops are very accommodating of truck drivers who are trucking with pets, while others will want you to keep your pet out of sight as much as possible. Calling ahead to ensure that your pet will be welcomed is a good idea.