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It is no secret, trucking can be a lonely profession. Many truck drivers find that taking a pet along for the ride can make the trip much more enjoyable. It is also a proven fact that pets can reduce stress and just simply make you smile.
There are several advantages to bringing Rascal or Sassy along. First of all, they love you-unconditionally. After a long day of traveling or a night’s sleep, they are always happy to be with you. That makes the road less lonesome. They can be great traveling companions. Always there to listen to you and they rarely argue! They don’t criticize your driving or complain about the radio stations you like to listen to. They make great security guards. They will let you know if something suspicious is happening around the truck. They can be a good alarm system.
While taking a furry friend with you on the road can be an enjoyable experience, there are responsibilities to be considered for their care and safety. First of all, make sure you have permission from your employer to carry your pet with you. Some companies may frown on the idea, while others may charge a fee or deposit. Also, some companies have specific regulations, such as, maximum size or weight for dogs. Always be sure you meet all regulations before putting Butch in the cab with you. Remember, this will be a brand new experience for your pet. At the beginning, allow your pet to go inside the truck and get used to the new surroundings. Go on short rides together so he can get the feel of being inside a moving vehicle. Allow your pet time to adjust to his new “home away from home” before making long road trips together.
Your pet’s safety should be a major concern. Be sure your little buddy is properly restrained while the truck is in motion. There are a variety of safety products that will meet the needs of your pet. Travel kennels, pet carriers and/or safety seats will provide comfort and safety. Animals are injured or killed every year due to improper restraint. Also, trying to keep your pet safe if loose in a moving truck can be distracting for the driver. It is also a great idea that once you have chosen the best restraint for your pet, let him ride in it before you take him on the road to allow him time to get acquainted with his new “living quarters”. The last thing you want is a very unhappy pet locked up in a truck cab with you that just wants out! Of course, never leave your pet in the truck while the truck is not running. Animals will die quickly from exposure to heat or freezing temperatures.
You will need to make sure your pet is caught up on all vaccinations and carry proof in your truck at all times. Also, take along a health certificate from your veterinarian and a copy of your pet’s medical records in case you should need to consult a vet while on the road.
Another responsibility when traveling with your furry companion is to make sure you have everything to meet their needs. Food, water, non-skid bowls, leash, bedding, first aid kit, favorite toys, pooper scooper and bags for disposal. When feeding your pet it is best to give only pet food, not your scraps. This may cause an upset stomach, especially while traveling. It is also a good idea to limit feedings and stay on a feeding schedule to avoid discomfort to your pet.
It is very important to have an ID tag on your pet listing pet’s name, your name, your phone number, address and e-mail address should he become lost. Have a picture of your pet with you. This could be very helpful when trying to locate a lost animal.
Another responsibility to be considered before traveling is allowing for frequent stops for bathroom and exercise breaks (hmmm, maybe Fido wrote the new hours of service proposal….). Rest stops are great for this. They have plenty of room for your pet to run and play, but on a leash of course! Don’t forget the pooper scooper!
With careful planning you and your “four-legged best friend” can have many enjoyable hours on the road together. Pets really can make great traveling companions. Sure makes the trip a lot less lonely!
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