October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, throughout the month we've been posting pictures of our crew and their adopted dogs on social media to raise awareness.
To go a little further, I thought it would be a good idea to give drivers tips for when they take their adopted dogs on the road with them. But first, some stats:
- 62% of U.S. families have one or more pets and that’s true for Over the Road Drivers as well.
- 60% of Truck Drivers are pet owners and 40% take their pet on the road with them!
- Find a Pet Friendly Trucking Company. Not all trucking companies allow their drivers to bring a pet with them on the road. Be sure to ask if pets are allowed, and if there are any restrictions on the size or type of dog allowed. Truck cabs are small so you’ll want to consider the amount of space the dog requires, their activity level, and how much that breed may shed.
- Have a plan for emergencies. Where can you take your dog if she falls ill or gets injured while you’re on the road? PetSmart has veterinary services available, along with some locations that have grooming services. It’s a good idea to have your Veterinarian’s phone number saved so you can call to get over the phone advice and to have a pet first aid kid in the truck with you.
- Think Safety!
- Use a harness if your pet rides in the passenger seat to keep them secure if you have to break suddenly
- Help your dog in and out of the truck. Frequent jumping in and out is hard on their hips and joints
- Always use a leash when your dog is outside of the truck
- During the summer months, pavement quickly become very hot! A good rule to follow is that if it’s too hot for you to be barefoot, it is too hot for your dog to walk on the pavement. Keep them in the cool grass and in shaded areas when possible.
- Prep Your Truck. Have a plan on how your dog can get his needed exercise daily, you may even benefit from taking him on his daily walks around the truck stop or highway rest area!
- Items to Bring
- Plenty of food, water, treats and toys – we all know that the unexpected can happen when you’re out on the road. If you get held up at a shipper or have equipment issues, the last thing you want is to run out of food, water or treats for your pet. It is also important to keep your dog’s mind stimulated while you’re on the open road.
- Cleaning Supplies – accidents do happen! Additionally, you’ll want to keep on top of the dog hair cleanup if you have a dog that sheds a lot.
- Leashes & Collars – for their safety and others, dogs should always be on a leash when they are out of the truck.
- Medicine & First Aid kits. Don’t forget your pet’s monthly dose of heartworm prevention!
- Any necessary paperwork, tags or vaccination records – the requirements are different from state to state but most do require proof of a current rabies vaccination.