Truck Driver Pets
Companions on the road
Many truck drivers say having a pet sitting next to you as you drive down the road is good for you for multiple reasons. Dogs provide plenty of health benefits for truck drivers, both physical and mental. They also entertain you and can help keep your truck and your home secure.
One truck driver describing his dog, said “He is great company; he keeps me laughing a lot. He is also a great source of exercise [as] walking him and playing with him will definitely keep me active. But the number one thing is he’s an awesome alarm system.”
Another driver, says her cats help keep her stress level down while she’s on the road.
Yet, another owner-operator David Binz says having a furry passenger along for the ride makes him a happier, safer driver.
- Regular dog walking improves fitness levels
- Patting a dog lowers your blood pressure, therefore lowering your chance of cardiovascular disease.
- Dogs can act as an early warning to detect an approaching epileptic seizure
- Dog owners often recover faster from illnesses and have a higher survival rate after a heart attack.
- Dogs help improve loneliness and also help recover from personal trauma and grief
- Children with dogs tend to have better self-esteem.
- Owning a dog can alleviate symptoms of depression
- Dogs help calm owners in stressful situations
- Playing with dogs can elevate your levels of serotonin and dopamine, making you feel good and calm.
- Dogs can raise your spirit and sense of well-being
- Dog’s can read human’s body language, facial expressions, and emotions, provide comfort
Dogs are found in a variety of industries, whether they are working dogs or companions, they are equally beneficial to their owners.
- Dogs can distinguish the difference between their owner’s vehicle and other vehicles that pass by
- Barking dogs deter potential burglars or other threats
- Top watchdog breeds: Rotweiller, german shepherd, Scottish terrier, west highland white terrier, miniature schnauzer, Yorkshire terrier, calm terrier, chihuahua, Airedale terrier, poodle
- Military use dogs as scouts, sentries, and trackers
- Police dogs can chase suspects, track them and guard them when caught
Do’s and Don’ts for over-the-road trucking with pets:
- Many trucking companies don’t allow pets, so make sure the company you drive for does.
- Only experienced drivers (those with at least six months’ experience) should attempt to drive with a pet.
- Dogs around 25 pounds or less seem to do best as road buddies. Larger dogs take up too much room in the cab, which results in very cramped, uncomfortable quarters for both driver and dog.
- If your pet rides in the passenger seat, use a harness or other device that will secure her in the seat in case you have to brake suddenly.
- Always leash your dog before letting him out of the truck.
- Learn how long your pet can comfortably “hold it” and plan rest stops accordingly.
- Bring along plenty of clean, fresh water, and make sure your dog stays well-hydrated on the road.
- Also bring enough of your dog’s regular food for each trip, and if you feed fresh meals (which I highly recommend), you’ll need to figure out in advance how to keep the food frozen or refrigerated on the road.
- Since your dog will spend much of her time in the cab of your truck, it’s crucially important that she gets plenty of walks and at least one full hour of exercise each day. The good news is that by committing to exercise your dog each day, you’ll also benefit!
- To keep your pet mentally stimulated, bring along a selection of dog toys, puzzle toys, and treat-release toys, and offer them in a rotation to your pet while you’re on the road.
- Truck cabs are small, confined spaces, so keeping shedding under control is very important. Short-haired dogs and those that don’t shed much are ideal, but daily brushing and frequent baths can be very beneficial in keeping shedding to a minimum. Also use bedding for your dog that can be washed at least weekly, and carry extra filters for your heating/air conditioning unit and change them regularly.
- It’s not a good idea to allow your dog to jump into or out of the cab unassisted, as it can be quite hard on his hips, knees, and joints. Either lift him up and down or invest in a device like the Pet Loader.
- Travel with a crate or carrier for your dog, and make sure she’s comfortable going into it when necessary. There will be situations in which she’ll need to be crated for short periods, for example, if you deliver to a facility that doesn’t allow pets inside the gate