One benefit of being a trucker is that your company might allow you to take a furry friend with you. If you are considering getting a four-legged driving buddy, here are some tips to get you started.
Pet Friendly Companies
The first thing you should do if you are employed already is to check to see if they allow pets. Nothing is worse than adopting a dog or cat and then finding out you cannot take the animal with you.
If you are not yet employed and whether or not you have a pet can impact your decision, research the company before signing on. Here is a small list of such companies:
- Prime, Inc.. Pet has a weight limit of 30 pounds and requires a refundable pet deposit.
- Roehl Transport. $650 total fees, $400 of which is a refundable deposit. Dogs and cats only. 60 pound weight limit. Certain breeds are not allowed. Must be spayed or neutered.
- Crete/Shaffer. The only requirement is under 60 pounds.
- Knight Transportation. After completing training and having 30,000 miles under your belt. Certain breeds not allowed. $400 deposit, $200 of which is refundable. Your pet must be under 50 pounds. Presumably, their sister company Swift also allows pets, but there is nothing on their website that says so.
So now that we have established that you are working for a company that allows your pet, what items should you have in your truck for your pet? Here is another list:
- Food and Water. This might seem obvious at first, but maybe you have not thought it entirely through. Maybe you should get bowls that are taller than average and have velcro bottoms to make sure the bowls and their contents do not go moving around while the truck is in motion.
- Blankets. If your dog or cat is going to rest someone on your truck, cleaning a blanket is much easier than cleaning a dash or a seat.
- Leash and collar. Sooner or later you are going to take your pet out of your truck. Having a leash allows you to keep your pet under control without having to carry it.
- Booties. Dogs and cats have paws, but that might not be enough to protect them from extremely cold or hot pavement. Having a set of small pet shoes can save your furry friend some pain.
- Scratching post. For cats, having a designated post to scratch can reduce damage to other parts of your truck cabin.
- Chewing supplies. Mostly for dogs but can apply to some cats. Giving something for them to chew on can distract them if they get antsy.
- Pet melatonin/pet CBD. If your pet gets anxious for any reason, giving them a dose before incoming stress can help them calm down.
- Pooper scooper and bags. Your pet needs to relieve itself, too! It might seem only for dogs because cats have a litter box, but a pooper scooper is good for cat owners too while your cat is out of the truck.
- Litter box and kitty litter. For cats to use the bathroom while the truck is in motion.
- Puppy pads. For dogs to use the bathroom while the truck is in motion.
- Scent neutralizer. For when your pet has an “accident” or your cabin otherwise smells too much like your pet, this is a lifesaver.
- Air filters. Pet hair and other dander will clog up your air filter faster than not having a pet. Replace them often!
- Pet cage. For when you need to transport your pet in a vehicle that is not your own. It could happen!
- Pet medical records. The DOT may ask you for these during an inspection, as may shippers and receivers.
The Right Pet for the Job
If you do not already have a pet in mind, it is a good idea to search for a pet that will best fit the trucking lifestyle. You might think this is abrasive, but you will be regretting it if you adopt a young dog and do not have the time to train it!
Different breeds have different needs, as do ages. Younger pets need more exercise and may not understand potty training. Older ones might not be up to exercising but may have bladder control issues.
Each pet is different. Doing your research can save you a lot of issues later on.
Being a pet owner has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease and depression. As a truck driver, having a pet depend on you may also convince you to make safer driving decisions. Having a pet can be a handful of responsibilities, but if you take the right steps to make sure everything works out, having a pet can make the daily drive feel much shorter.
If you ever start your own trucking business, you can make your own rule regarding pets, even breeds considered to be more aggressive such as pit bulls and rottweilers. Whether you are making the leap to owner-operator or are getting a new truck for an employee that wants to take his pet along for the ride, you can be sure you will get the best value on a commercial vehicle loan with TopMark Funding.
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