For some truckers, the only thing better than being out on the open road is having their pets along for companionship. Luckily for these drivers, there are several trucking companies that allow pets, though drivers must ask about any restrictions. Drivers should also plan properly before bringing their beloved companions along for the long haul.
Restrictions on Pets in Trucks
Most trucking companies that allow cats and dogs also have restrictions. Some allow only one pet, while others require that drivers pay a refundable or non-refundable damage deposit. They may also require an additional cleaning fee. Damage caused by pets beyond that covered by deposits may be deducted from truckers’ pay. Some companies also prohibit breeds they consider vicious, such as pit bulls and rottweilers.
Drivers must have records on hand proving that their pets are vaccinated. It is against the law in many areas to cross state lines without proper veterinary certification. Companies that usually haul refrigerated products, or that operate primarily on local, LTL or regional routes are less likely to allow pets. These rules and restrictions are subject to change. Drivers who bring their pets should check regularly to make sure they are following current policies.
Best Practices When Truck Driving With Pets
Once truckers have followed the protocols set by their companies, they should prepare their cabs for their pets and make proper plans for safe, healthy trips.
- Go to the vet. Not only should drivers make sure their pets are properly vaccinated and carry the proper documentation, they should get their pets thorough checkups. A veterinarian may spot health problems or limitations that make long trips unhealthy for pets.
- Update tags. While people normally include their home address and phone number on their pet’s tags, this may not be enough when taking that pet on the road. Have tags made that include your cell phone number and an email address, particularly if there is no one to respond at your home address.
- Pack everything your pet needs. Make sure you enough food, bedding, kitty litter, toys and anything else your pet may need for a long trip. If you cannot make regular water stops, be sure to have plenty on hand.
- Restrain your pet. While it is tempting to let your pet sit freely across from or behind you, it isn’t safe. Pets should be in carriers, pet car seats, pet seat belts or other devices to protect them during accidents. Proper restraints also prevent them from getting near pedals or otherwise hampering safe driving.
- Plan stops. This is particularly important for truckers traveling with dogs that need bathroom and exercise breaks.
Taking pets along can make truck driving an even more rewarding job, providing drivers with companionship and a friend to help them stay alert. Be sure to follow all company policies and take precautions to keep yourself and your pet safe when you’re on the road.
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