October 31, 2022

Put it in Bark – A Guide to Trucking Safely with a Dog

It’s official. You decided to get a canine companion to take with you on the road. Dogs are more involved in the workforce than you might think; whether it’s providing lifesaving, or 24/7, support for people with disorders and disabilities, or sniffing out clues for a big case. Every day, dogs are working as emotional support animals, K-9 police, various service jobs, and of course, trucker dogs. Trucking safely with a dog is key for all involved.

We all know now how common it is for truckers to experience feelings of loneliness on the road. Being away from loved ones for days, or even weeks, at a time can take a toll on mental health. It’s tough for many truckers to not have a companion during their travels.

However, there is a potential solution for this if you’re a dog-lover.

Wait, can truckers even have pets?

Short answer? yes. But not all trucking companies allow pets. However, for the most part, truckers are allowed to bring a dog with them throughout their travels, but always check with your company before adopting a dog of your own to truck with. Usually, there are guidelines that need to be met if you’re considering bringing a furry friend along for the ride, such as paying a one-time pet deposit and choosing a dog within certain size or weight limits

What’s the best dog for a truck driver?

Trucks, and even sleeper cabs, are pretty small. So, having a large dog, or even a dog that sheds a lot could make your living space uncomfortable or messy. Keep in mind you’ll also need to store a dog bed and their food bowls in your truck, too. Typically, the best dog breed for truckers is going to be below 30 pounds, low-energy, and low-maintenance.

How can I keep me and my dog safe while I’m driving my truck?

It’s important to keep both your pet, and yourself safe while on the road. This means investing in good training lessons for your pup or training them yourself using a dog training app or a book, so they understand how to behave while you’re driving. In addition, you need to invest in a safe car seat for your dog, or a dog seatbelt that hooks up to their harness stopping them from moving too freely around the cab, jumping on your lap, or from going flying across the car or into the windshield if you suddenly have to break.

Make sure your pup stays hydrated, they even make spill-proof dog dishes for owners who are on-the-go with their pet a lot. and is let out whenever you make a stop so they can go to the bathroom and stretch their legs. Make sure you store any human snacks, medications, or other potentially toxic items out of your dog’s reach. Lastly, be sure to help your dog exit your truck when you make a stop, dogs can seriously injure themselves when jumping from a vehicle that high off the ground.

Are there other important things to pack up when trucking with my pup?

Just like you would at home, you need to make sure you have all the right accessories for your dog in order for them to stay healthy, comfortable, and happy. This includes the more obvious items like dog food, food bowls, dog treats, a leash, a harness, and a dog bed.

But it’s worth making a special note to include things you might not initially consider; like cleaning supplies, a copy of their vaccination records, a first-aid kit, mental stimulation toys for those long days siting still while riding shotgun in the truck, poop bags, a pet travel crate, dog toys, grooming supplies, and extra blankets for your dog. In fact, make your life just a little easier and get yourself a cheap duffle bag to store all this stuff in. If you have the money buy two sets of dog dishes, leashes, etc. so you have one at home and one always packed away in the doggy travel duffel.

Final advice to consider for trucking safely with a dog

Finally, make sure are wearing a collar with the necessary information on the tags, specifically rabies and owner contact tags. Get your pet micro-chipped to make them easier to track down in case you get separated. You can also invest in GPS tracking dog collar if you feel inclined to track them down yourself if they do happen to get lost. It’s important that any time your dog leaves your truck, it is on a leash or restraint of some sort. Especially if your dog is more used to the sights and sounds of the road, that could make them more inclined to explore, or run off.

For more tips about trucking safety, check out more of CRST’s trucking safety blogs below: