Trucking is one of the few careers where you can take your furry friends with you on the job. There are many pet-friendly motor carriers that you can work with if this is something you are interested in. While sharing your semi-truck with your dog or cat is a bit of an adjustment at first, it can make life on the open road more enjoyable to have a companion by your side.
Here are some tips for trucking with pets:
1. Know the Rules For Your Company
More and more trucking companies are allowing their drivers to bring pets on the road, but most do have some requirements. There is usually a weight limit. 25 pounds is common, but some companies do allow larger animals. In some cases, there are also breed restrictions. Be sure to read the policy carefully to determine whether dogs and cats are both allowed and whether or not your pet fits all of the guidelines.
Additionally, it is common for motor carriers to require a pet deposit. The amount will vary depending on the company. In many cases, it may be possible to have the deposit deducted from your paychecks in installments to make the cost more manageable.
2. See Your Vet
Before trucking with your pet, take them to see your veterinarian. Make sure they are up to date with their vaccinations and keep a record of their vaccine history with you. If you ever need to drop them off for daycare while on your haul, you will generally need this.
You should let your veterinarian know that you are planning to take your pet on the road with you. They can perform a full exam and make sure they are in good health and ready for the journey. If there is any reason they would not recommend taking your pet with you, they will let you know and you can adjust accordingly.
3. Pack Supplies (& Bring Extra)
There may be some pet stores with semi-truck parking along your route, but these can be difficult to find. Getting pet essentials at truck stops may also be challenging. You don’t want to get caught without anything your pet needs, so make sure you stock up. Keep a little extra of the essentials just in case.
You should pack:
- Food and water bowls
- Fresh water (bring enough for yourself as well as your pet)
- Your pet’s preferred food
- ID tags (bring more than one in case of any issues)
- Leashes, collars, and harnesses
- Doggy bags, or a travel-friendly litter box if you are bringing a cat
- Cleaning supplies
- A comfy bed
- A crate, if needed
- Paperwork including vaccination records and registration
4. Let Your Pet Out of the Truck Frequently
Giving your companion some time to get their energy out and take a bathroom break is important. Be sure to take regular stops when traveling with your pet. This can help you get out of the truck and stay active as well.
If you have a cat, this may be less relevant. However, you can always try getting a cat harness and seeing if they enjoy taking a look around at rest stops. It’s a good idea to try this at home first to make sure they like it. Some cats may prefer to stay in the cab.
5. Enjoy the Benefits of Trucking With Your Pet
Many truck drivers find that bringing a cat or dog on the road can help them avoid feeling lonely. If your pet is physically healthy enough and well-suited to a trucking lifestyle, it can be a great way to spend more time together compared to leaving them at home.
The benefits extend beyond your emotional wellbeing. Truckers with pets are often healthier because they get more physical activity during rest stops. Additionally, there is evidence that truckers with pets on board tend to drive more safely.
Want to Start a Trucking Career?
If you are looking for a job where you can bring your dog or cat with you every day, not to mention enjoy great benefits and competitive pay, trucking may be for you! HDS Truck Driving Institute (HDS truck driving school) can help you get started.