For many commercial drivers, being on the road for long periods can be pretty lonely. One way to combat the solitude of the road is to bring along a companion – a four-legged one. Pets can help fill the void of loneliness with their affection, playfulness and spontaneity. While on the road, these furry friends require special care and planning. Read on for how to have a happy owner-pet relationship while trucking.
Know your employer's restrictions on pets.
If you are a pet lover, you'll be glad to know most carriers allow pets in the cab – with some restrictions. Carriers often have rules about types of pets, breeds, size restrictions and the number of pets allowed in the cab. For instance, some carriers restrict dogs to a certain size or weight. So, before you bring your Great Dane or pet tarantula on board, make sure your carrier's policy allows it.
Consider your pet's personality and care.
Activities such as scratching, chewing, and talking (barking, meowing, etc.) are innate behaviors for your pet, especially young ones. Prior to putting your pet in the cab, make sure they can handle being in a small space for an extended period. Also, think about your pet's care needs. Can your pet be trained to "go" at a rest stop? Will shedding be a problem in the cab? Your carrier may require a deposit to cover damages caused by your pet's behaviors or needs. Deposits vary by carrier, but range from $200 to $400 per pet.
Keep pets safe while on the road.
Travelling with pets full-time can create some special challenges. A pet that's been in a truck cab all day will be tempted to flee as soon as you open the door if not trained to wait for its owner. To prevent a runaway, keep your pet's collar with owner tag and leash on while exiting the cab. If you get separated from your pet, a microchip implant can help reunite the two of you. Its also important to keep your pet's vaccinations up to date and continue with preventative medications such as those for heart worms, fleas and ticks.
Know state laws that may apply.
Laws for transporting animals, even domestic ones, across state lines can vary from state to state. Some states require a health certification, sometimes called a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI), by a veterinarian licensed in that state. Make sure you have records of current vaccinations and rabies vaccination with you at all times.
Be prepared with pet supplies.
Trucking with your pet will require extra supplies. Have enough pet food, fresh water and any medications your pet needs for the entire trip. You may also want to bring along toys, a pet crate, grooming tools and treats.
Research rules at facilities you deliver to/pick up from.
Certain types of facilities, such as food or pharmaceutical facilities, have restrictions on bringing animals inside the gate. Your pet may need to remain in the cab, or may not be allowed on-site at all. If you think having your pet with you may be an issue at a shipper's facility, discuss with your supervisor prior to departing for your pickup/delivery appointment. This will help avoid any major problems for you, your employer and your customer.
Trucking with pets can be a pleasant experience for both owner and animal if proper care and preparation are taken prior to having your pet in the cab. Have a great photo of your trucking pet? Share it with us on social media at @JBHuntCarrier
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