Updated: Jul 26
With long stretches on the open road, trucking can be a lonesome way to make a living. One way many truckers make the solitude better is with a furry friend tagging along for the ride. Whether you’ve been a teamster for some time or want to get started, opting for a trucking company with a pet program might be the best route to combating loneliness on the road.
Below, we’ll go over the various advantages experienced by both drivers and the trucking companies that allow pets.
The Many Benefits of Bringing a Pet on Long-Haul Trips
Buckling up with a furry, scaly or even feathery friend has many benefits for truckers and the companies employing them. For one, there’s the companionship. Having another being to interact with and take care of is good for us. In fact, truckers have reported feeling an induced sense of calm from their pets. This often results in lowered blood pressure and heart rates.
Another is the physical health benefits gained through exercise. Dogs in particular need to be walked to stay healthy and happy. This incentivizes their owners to get up and out more, which offers physical relief from long periods of sitting. What’s more, as pets need frequent breaks, it can help reduce driver fatigue and promote safer driving. These physical benefits are also tied into the perks pets can bring to our mental health, such as increasing serotonin levels and alleviating stress.
Lastly, there is the security factor. Trucks are targeted by wrongdoers from time to time. With a pet to guard over the truck and driver, it adds an extra layer of protection. Teamsters from all over the country rely on their dogs to sound the alarm and avert a break-in while the driver is either sleeping or out of the truck.
These science-backed benefits and others like them are boosting productivity, creating a win-win for both drivers and trucking companies alike. It’s no wonder why more and more long-haul drivers are seeking pet-friendly truck driving jobs.
Important Factors to Consider First
Of course, hitting the highway with a pet may not be the best route for everyone. Just like at home, animals require care and certain necessities to maintain their own mental and physical health. For instance, any driver with a cat, dog, bird or otherwise needs to pack the necessary supplies specific to the animal’s wellbeing, such as:
• A crate or kennel
• Fresh water
• Collar with ID tags
• Leash or lead
• Mental stimulation toys
• Scratching post
• Litter box
• Chew toys
There are also the frequent breaks to consider as well. If the route’s schedule is demanding, it may not leave sufficient time to tend to the animal’s bathroom and exercise needs. Not only could this lead to a mess, but being cooped up in a confined space for too long may make pets unhappy. For dogs, the breed is important, as some require more exercise and maintenance than others. The pet’s age and any medical conditions should also be factored into the decision.
Another important factor is the company’s pet policy. Although the number of trucking companies that allow dogs is increasing, not all offer a program and not all policies are the same. One commonly occurring stipulation is a weight limit to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the pet. Other conditions may include years of trucking experience, the type of animal, breed and whether or not the pet has been fixed. Some companies may require a deposit in case of damage as well.
If you’re looking to make the separation brought on by trucking more manageable, an animal travel companion may be the perfect solution. GP Transco is proud to be a pet-friendly trucking company. Many of our drivers and owner-operators enjoy having a co-pilot to interact with and make the most of their time on the road.
Connect with us today to learn more about our pet buddy policy and all the other perks of driving with us.