As a company full of animal lovers, we can provide insights, tips, and tricks that will help you and your furry friend succeed on the road!
40% of truckers say they bring pets with them on the road. While dogs and cats are the most common companions, there are also truckers with parrots, bearded dragons, and even snakes (Check out our Big Rig Buddies Pinterest Board if you want to see things like this)! Of course, if you’re considering bringing your pet with you, there are lots of things to think about, especially for exotic pets that have unique needs.
Here are 15 tips for trucking with pets!
The Guide to Trucking with Pets
- Are you a smoker? Now might be the time to quit. Being in such close quarters with your furry friend, secondhand smoke could pose serious health risks to him or her.
- Temperature regulation is key for creatures. No animal does well in the heat, but if you have an exotic pet like a bird or rodent, you will want to take extra care to keep their environment consistent. Many animals will go into shock and can even die if they experience extreme temperatures or large fluctuations.
- TIP! Smaller or less furry pets may need a blanket or sweater to keep warm, while bigger, hairier ones may need a portable, battery-powered fan.
- Always make sure your pet has access to fresh water. NEVER allow your pet to drink water on the ground at truck stops or fuel islands. It could be contaminated with antifreeze, grease, or other deadly chemicals.
- TIP! You can find spill-proof water dishes online so your pet can stay hydrated without making a mess.
- Tell your vet where your travels take you. Different areas have different vaccine requirements and pose different risks to your pet. You’ll want to make sure that your companion is always up to date on vaccinations and heartworm treatments, since heartworm is prevalent year-round in some parts of the U.S. Flea preventative medication is important, too, because nobody wants to share a cabin with fleas.
- TIP! Always keep your vet records with you so you’re prepared if an inspector asks.
- When you let your pet roam around the grass at a truck stop, clean off their paws afterward. This grass is often coated in chemicals like pesticides and herbicides which could harm your pet.
Pet Hygiene and Safety
- Stock up on cleaning supplies. Disposable antibacterial wipes are an easy way to clean up small messes and sanitize your space. Especially if you have a cat, hygiene will be absolutely necessary to keep you and your truck from smelling like a zoo.
- Litter boxes should be scooped daily, if not multiple times a day. Some truckers recommend scooping up your kitty’s waste and sealing it in sandwich bags until you can throw it away. Do a full litter change and scrub the litter box at least once a month.
- TIP! Mix a box of baking soda into the litter to ward off bad smells.
- Always put a leash on your pet before you open you door. Even cats can use leashes, with some training! That way, you never have to worry about losing your pet or seeing him or her get hit. Additionally, some states and areas have laws or regulations which require pets to be on a leash.
- Get your pet a microchip and a collar with your information on it. Especially for an OTR trucker, it’s important for people to be able to contact you in the event that your buddy goes missing. Unlike pets with a stationary home, trucking pets will be unable to find their way home without some help.
- Have a crate or cage for your pet. That way, you can buckle them in with seat belt or tether if the going gets rough. Pets need seat belts too! It is also useful to have one in case you need to leave your pet outside while you take care of business.
For You, the Driver
- Before starting to move your pet into your cab, check with your company to see if they allow pets like yours. Particularly if you have a cat, you can expect to see higher deposits.
- Pet-proof your cab by buying seat covers! They can prevent unwanted scratches on the upholstery and keep hair at bay.
- To keep your cat from scratching where he or she’s not supposed to be scratching, keep a scratch pad or post somewhere accessible. Incentivize scratching the pad or post by rubbing catnip or spraying catnip spray on it.
- Train your pet to stay away from the driver’s seat and the truck’s controls. It could be disastrous if your pet accidentally got underneath your feet. Make sure that you are free to do what you need to do when you need to do it.
- The top dog types for truckers are small dogs and older dogs. A small dog obviously doesn’t require as much room to be comfortable. Older dogs don’t have as much energy or need for breaks. Good breeds include bulldogs, pugs, pitbulls, and chihuahuas. Be aware that many companies impose size and breed restrictions on pets.
Benefits to You
BONUS TIP! If your dog travels with you full-time or acts as a guard dog by scaring away potential thieves and vandals, their expenses may be tax-deductible. Check with a tax consultant.
We hope that you now have a better idea of how to travel with your beloved pets. Truckers who do so have reported less loneliness and decreased symptoms of anxiety or depression. Trucking with pets opens the door to meeting new people who might ask to pet your pup! Getting out of the truck to run around with your dog also acts as some on-the-road exercise. People with dogs are scientifically proven to have lower risk of heart attacks. So, while it might not be for everyone, there are definitely benefits to trucking with pets.
Did Fido chew on something he shouldn’t have? Need a parts replacement? Visit our Parts Superstore at our Aurora, IL headquarters (9S104 Frontenac St, Aurora, IL 60504) or visit us online! Get whatever semitrailer parts you need in no time.Need help finding what you need? Talk to a knowledgeable and friendly Parts Specialist by calling 855-707-2910!
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