If you’re a professional truck driver, you know that life on the open road can sometimes be a lonely gig. But what if you could bring a pet along? That might be just the thing to make your journey a lot more fun and Carter Express can relate to their drivers! Pets are not just cute companions; they can also be great with reducing stress, providing security, and even help improve your overall health. Before you buckle up and bring your pet on board, let’s talk about which pets are ideal for this lifestyle, the pros and cons, and some handy tips to ensure their safety.

Companions for the Open Road: Dogs and Cats Rule

When it comes to pets that travel well, dogs top the list. Specifically, breeds known for their adaptability and easy-going nature, like Labrador Retrievers or French Bulldogs. Cats can also make good travel companions if they’re comfortable in moving vehicles. But remember, each animal is unique, so it’s essential to consider your pet’s personality and comfort with travel.

While dogs and cats are the most common road companions, some drivers have been spotted with exotic pets like ferrets, rabbits, and parrots. If you decide to take this unusual step, be sure you have a well-thought-out plan on how you can accommodate a pet that will require more attention. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll keep our focus on dogs and cats.

Know the Pros of Pets on the Road

There are many reasons pets are great to have along for the ride but here are the top three:

Companionship. You’ll feel less lonely or isolated from family and friends when you have a pet alongside, particularly a dog or cat. Taking your pet on the road also eliminates the worry and hassle of leaving your pet at home or a boarding kennel.

 Health benefits. Regular stops for pet potty breaks or walks can encourage exercise for you as well since letting your pet out for a walk means you’ll be taking one with them. Numerous health professionals advocate for the benefits of pets on both physical and mental well-being. According to the American Psychiatric Association, a significant majority of pet owners (86%) report that their pets have a positive impact on their mental health. This sentiment is echoed by the Mental Health Foundation, which describes pets as a great source of comfort and motivation, helping us lead mentally healthier lives. The American Heart Association goes a step further and states that pets can help reduce stress, boost mood, increase physical activity, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Social interactions. People love to talk about pets. Traveling with a pet is an instant ice breaker. As you walk your dog or carry your cat, you are more likely to engage in conversations with fellow travelers.

Be Realistic about the Cons

 There are a few things to consider before bringing your pet along to make sure you’re ready to roll.

Extra Responsibility: Pets require care, including feeding, exercise, and bathroom breaks. This means extra stops along your route. You’ll need to plan ahead to be sure you can make your deliveries on time while accommodating your pet’s needs.

Allergies: If you or a co-driver have allergies, having a pet in the cab can cause discomfort or health issues. This doesn’t mean you can’t overcome this with careful pet hygiene or non-drowsy allergy relief medication, but you do need to plan for that.

Damage to the Cab: Pets might scratch, chew, or have accidents in the cab, potentially causing damage. You’ll need to be sure your pet is well trained or secured to prevent this from happening.

Safety Tips & Essentials

You need to be prepared for your trips, and so does your pet. Before your pet comes aboard, take time to pet-proof your truck and collect everything needed for travel. Ensure your pet has plenty of space and won’t accidentally interfere with your driving. Here are a few things you might need:

Containers for Food and Fresh Water. You’ll want these to have lids and put them in a secure spot while your truck is moving.

Collar, Leash, and ID Tags. These are essential for stops along the road.

Chew Toys and Scratching Posts. Chew toys and scratching posts can entertain your pet and help them feel more at home.

Other Necessities. Don’t forget other necessities that you will need to care for your pet, like waste bags, brushes, or a small bed.

Keep Pets from Roaming Freely: Dogs should either be strapped in with a harness safety belt or in a crate. Cats should be in crates. This will prevent pets from falling should you have to stop suddenly.

Keep Pets Away from Airbags: When it’s possible, drivers should situate their pets outside the airbag trajectory. This might mean it would be best to situate them on the floor or in the back.

Pets Should Stay Inside: Dogs love hanging their heads out the window during a trip, but that can be dangerous, especially on the highway where speeds are increased. Debris can fly into them and cause harm so it’s best to keep them all the way inside the cab.

Traveling with pets can be a wonderful experience, but it’s important to consider the pros, cons, and safety tips before bringing a furry friend along on your trucking adventures. Carter Express wishes you safe travels, and happy tails!