Truckipedia Blog Category - Trucking with your dog: What you need to know
You and your team are on the road… a lot! Books and music are the age-old standbys to keep drivers company on what can be lonely journeys to keep our world moving with the goods and services it needs. There are also ‘livelier’ options for company on the road in the form of pets – often dogs! We see many of our customers’ furry traveling companions when they come in to visit.
If you’re thinking of adding a four-legged friend to your travels, here’s what you need to know:
- Know your company’s pet policy. (And if you are the owner, make sure you have one!)
Many companies allow pets on the road given the toll long and lonely travel days can take on a driver. However, many companies also set size limits for the type of pets that can ride along, for safety reasons and for the well-being of the pet. Know your company’s policy and you’ll save yourself the disappointment of man’s best friend not being able to accompany you on your travels.
- Keep food and water handy.
Seems obvious, right? But it does require some planning to ensure your pet has what it needs for those long drives. If we as people forget to pack a breakfast or lunch, there are typically many options along the way to pick something up. It’s not always the same for our pets. Make sure you’ve got food that will survive the long drives and a good stock of water to keep your dog hydrated along the way.
- Make sure you stop frequently to get outside.
Most pets, by their nature, love the outdoors. If you’re bringing your friend along for the drive, make sure you know when and where you will stop to get them outside. Just like us, your pets need to stretch their legs and get some exercise to feel their best. Even in the chilly Canadian winter months, it can seem like a drag, but ensure you’re well-equipped with warm clothing (for you and your pet!) to take a break.
- Schedule regular vet visits.
We see the doctor regularly, so why wouldn’t your pet? Scheduling regular vet appointments for check-ups is even more important when you are travelling cross-country or cross-continent. Rather than being situated in one spot like most pets, your four-legged friend is going to be seeing different climates and environments when they are travelling. As a result, it’s always good practice to make sure you are up-to-date with any medications or vaccinations your travelling companion might need.
- Clean up!
If you’re bringing a dog on your travels, they will inevitably need to stop and do their business along the way. Do your part to keep our roads and communities clean by making sure you have everything you need to do a proper clean-up of messes they make.
- Stay safe.
You know the importance of safety. Ensure you are not compromising your commitment by adding a pet to the mix. Treat them with the same caution you treat yourself and your truck.
- Make sure you have a leash packed, so that when you stop, you can control your pet’s behaviour in traffic and other busy spots.
- Pack a blanket or a warm bed, sweater or coat for your dog to get cozy when things get chilly. It will also save your pet if your truck’s heat stops working or you have a breakdown on your route. Conversely, be aware of the truck getting too hot in the summer and have a plan to cool your dog off with water and shade outside.
- Consider a restraint or harness of some type. A quick stop can seriously injure a pet who is not ‘buckled in’. Just like you buckle up, it can be wise to ensure the same for your dog.
Enjoy the benefits of a travelling companion
Once you have taken care of all of the steps above, the last thing to do is enjoy the companion who is driving with you! Your four-legged friend can be the ticket to better physical health through more walking and regular stops and better mental health through reduced stress and feelings of loneliness and detachment.
We love seeing our customers’ travelling friends when they visit our locations across BC and Alberta and share photos with us from the road. If you have any questions about preparing your vehicle for pet-friendly journeys, reach out to our team of experts.