We all know a road trip wouldn’t be complete without (wo)man’s best friend. Trucking with dogs is a lifestyle. And whether your pup is already a road warrior, or he’s heading out for the first time, keeping him safe and comfortable is top priority. Here are a few tips to keep you on the road and safely trucking right along with your pup.
Statistically, CDL Drivers have a soft spot for their dogs. Over half of truck drivers are pet owners, and approximately 40% take their pet on the road with them. Not only do dogs provide you have a travel companion and a steady routine, but drivers who travel with man’s best friend are more likely to drive safely, have less stress and get more exercise.
Extra Food and Water
Bring extra food and water for your pet in the event of emergencies – an extended stay, a breakdown, or an exceptionally ravenous appetite. Some dogs require extra water if they are nervous travelers, so it’s always a good idea to stay stocked up and avoid last minute trips to the store while trucking long hauls. Also, your dog is used to drinking water from your hometown. New water could taste foreign to him and lead to dehydration.
Pet First Aid Kit
You can find these prepackaged, or you can make your own at home. A good first aid kit usually contains these items: tweezers to remove ticks, styptic powder to stop toenail bleeding, eye wash to flush wounds, gauze bandages, adhesive tape, scissors and antiseptic moist wipes. We like to add weather-proof booties to ours for the winter months, since slick lots and ice can create cuts, and ice-melt can cause chemical burns of foot pads. Safely trucking with a pet means being prepared! Here’s a link to one of our favorites.
Blankets from Home
Dogs can get anxiety away from home just like people. We suggest easing some of that tension by bringing their favorite blankets or stuffed animals from their kennel. That way, the backseat feels more like a home-away-from-home. Not only does it make them feel cozier, it’s a great way to cut down on muddy pawprints in your rig.
Are we there yet? No, Fido can’t actually TELL you he’s bored, but he can indicate it with his behavior. Pack toys to preemptively diminish bored behaviors, such as chewing, pawing and whining. Treat toys can keep them entertained for long stretches of time, between their cat (we mean dog) naps.
Doublecheck your Hotel Reservations
Are you SURE that your hotel allows pets? Before you back out of the driveway, it’s a good idea to double-check. Nothing says BUMMER quite like a newly-minted ‘NO PETS’ policy after you’ve placed your reservation.
Think of these as a form of ‘ID’ for your dog. Should an emergency arise on the road, you’ll know that you have all the information you need to get your pup the help she needs. Plus, if you need to board your pup for a day on the road, these records are mandatory. While you’re at it, go ahead and schedule a check-up before you leave, just to be safe.
We’re not suggesting you need to bring collars and leashes to match your flannel shirts, but we’re not NOT suggesting it, either. Extra tags ensure that your contact info is EVERYWHERE in the event of a get-away. Back-up collars and leashes are a good idea in case one gets worn thin or misplaced. You’d hate for their leash to snap before you can say, “Sit, Stay.” Extra dog-poop bags are a good idea while we’re at it. No one wants to forget those, especially if your road trip is taking you to national monuments or through highly trafficked areas.
Don’t forget! Part of safely trucking with dogs means safe driving year round. Brush up avoiding fall driving hazards here. And here’s your guide to navigating the spring season. We hope this encourages you to hit the open road with your pup riding shotgun. Do you have any tips for OTR safely trucking with pets? We’d love to hear them!
Stay safe and enjoy the ride!