Truckers and Pets

Small dog looks out the window of a semi truck

You look over to the passenger side of your truck and see your best friend holding his head out the window. His jaw is open, and his tongue sticks out as the wind whips through his hair. He smiles at the corn fields whizzing by and takes in deep breaths of country air. He wags his tail and lets out a bark of complete joy that makes you laugh. You are happy that he's happy, and he's happy that you let him come with you.

The best friend in this scenario is your dog—your pet and your beloved companion. Now more than ever, many truckers are choosing to bring their pets on the road with them. However, before you pack up your little buddy for their big trip, there are some things to think about before you head out on your journey.

First, check with your trucking company to see if they allow pets to go on the road with truckers. Pet friendly companies will require a deposit for as little as $200, or as much as $1500 to bring a pet on the road. The deposit covers damage your pet may cause in a truck.

Some companies have animal restrictions that only allow dogs in their trucks. They may also have weight and breed restrictions. Cats or more exotic types of pets may require special permission to take along. Many states in the US require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection or a health certificate in order to enter, so be sure to always bring along a copy of your pet’s most recent rabies vaccination.

Always carry enough supplies for your pet while on the road. You’ll need to have plenty of food in your cab in case you can’t find a store that sells the specific pet food you want, and always have plenty of water. Train your pet to never sit in the driver’s seat to avoid equipment from accidentally being nudged. Training your pet is for your safety, your pet’s safety, and the safety of everyone else on the road. Keep your pet secure while you’re driving. You can put them in a pet carrier or buy a harness that straps to the seat. Create a special place in your cab to store pet supplies like a leash, food, treats, cleaning supplies, chew toys, and extra blankets. Use seat covers to be sure your pet doesn't damage the seats.

Bringing pets on the road has positive health benefits. There’s more opportunity to stretch and go for walks while caring for a dog. Pets also add an excellent layer of security. They can make a noise to alert you if anything appears dangerous or threatening.

There's nothing better than going on the road with a companion. You have a built-in audience to listen to you belt out your favorite tunes or hear your funniest jokes. Truckers spend about 20 hours on the road alone, but with a pet, they’ll never be lonely. In fact, it's been scientifically proven that having a pet around reduces depression risk. Truck driving with a pet can be more work, but the fun and loyal companionship is definitely worth it!