If 2020 and 2021 have taught us anything, it is that the company we keep is more important than ever. In the truck, drivers face a constant level of seclusion that most of the world experienced for the first time this past year. One way to combat this seclusion is to add a furry friend to your crew. Throughout the day truck drivers often talk with dispatchers, office personnel, their DOT specialist, friends, and family, but that doesn’t mean they still don’t feel alone while on the road.
On top of offering companionship, laughs, and a sense of safety; many studies have proven just how beneficial pets are in our lives. Having a dog or cat in the truck with you can lower stress levels, fight depression, hypertension, and boost the immune system!
Before adopting or bringing your pet along here are some things to think about:
- Company drivers should get the OK before bringing a pet into the truck. Many companies will allow you to have a pet however, there can be some stipulations. Deposits, increased insurance, specific pet requirements can all be required before you have your 4-legged friend in the truck with you.
- Pet- Proofing. Make sure to keep food (theirs and yours) and potentially harmful items securely stored- trash, medicine, cleaning supplies. Keep these items in plastic storage containers for easy storage and pet-proofing.
- Carry a crate. There will be times when you need to secure your pet in a crate to protect them and to protect yourself.
- Don’t forget all of their supplies. Leashes (at least two), plenty of water, litter box, scratch pad, poop bags, cleaning supplies, brush, toys, food and water bowls, and blankets are some of the commonly forgotten items.
- Make room for your 4-legged friend to stretch their legs. Keep your items organized as much as possible to give your pet room to move a round.
- Cats can be leash trained. They love walks and fresh air just as much as we do.
- Plan your routes to allow outside time for your pets. They need fresh air just as much as humans do. Many truck stops across the U.S. are adding in dog runs, making it easier for you to bring your furry friend along. Love’s Travel Stops opened 29 new dog runs in 2019 and the number is growing. Check out their website for more information. Loves.com
Another thing to consider is the size, age, and breed of your pet. While any cat or dog can be trained to travel with you in the truck, there are several factors that make it easier.
- Low maintenance, short haired, low energy animals that are below 30lbs are a good place to start.
- Pug, Labrador Retriever, Mini Pinscher, Bulldog, Chihuahua, Mini Schnauzer, Yorkshire Terrier, Boston Terrier, Mini Poodle, and Shih Tzu are a couple of examples of dog breeds that are common travel companions.
- Don’t forget the age of your pet. It has been said that pets that are younger and have never been in a truck before can be easier to train.
In the end, the best 4-legged friend for truck drivers is the one that is part of your family and is allowed to come along with you for the ride.