Can Truck Drivers Bring Their Pets?

truck driver's pet sitting on the driver's seat of a red semi truck

Yes, you’d be glad to know that you can bring along your pet with you as you travel down the road for a long time away from home. While there are no regulations concerning pets on board, many trucking companies allow drivers to take them along. Carrying pets is a common practice among truckers. Based on a report in 2013, around 40% of truck drivers who own pets bring them on the road.

Hence, if you’re planning to take your pet animal for long hauls, make sure there’s a nice bed for it to sleep on. Sleeper trucks are the best vehicles for long trips because they provide comfortable sleeper berths for drivers and surely, you can tuck in your adorable furry or feathery companion by your side for a peaceful rest.

Pets Make Good Company

There have been numerous instances when different drivers were seen having all kinds of pets in their trucks, such as small pigs, parakeets and other tiny fowls, miniature monkeys, and even hedgehogs, aside from canines and felines! Trucks or any vehicle for that matter have limited spaces only and thus, smaller pets are ideal. Besides, cleaning will be a lot easier with only a small bed and small food bowl to clean.

Based on interviews conducted with truckers, they admit that traveling for long periods can get lonely hence, the need for friends like pets to keep them company. Pets provide comfort and great emotional support to lonely drivers while they’re far away from home.

This is a good practice for people who own their vehicles although some trucking companies allow certain breeds only but disallow large animals. Further, many companies require drivers to make a deposit just in case damage may happen to company-owned vehicles.

If it’s a dog, make sure your pet isn’t the aggressive type. Likewise, choose the low-maintenance and short-haired type because with long-hair, you’d be in trouble cleaning all those shed hairs away. Canine breeds suitable as travel companions include ShihTzu, Pug, Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, Miniature Poodle, and so on.

State Regulation Regarding Pets

Based on the statement of a spokesperson for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, no regulations have been issued regarding pets on board so long as these animals don’t pose a threat to safety, both of the driver and the truck.

Truckers are reminded to always carry with them proof of their animals’ vaccination against rabies.  And there are also several States that will look for the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection as proof that pets are indeed allowed to cross State lines.

Pet-Friendly Companies

Just a word of caution to first-time truckers – check first if your company is pet-friendly because there are those who claim they are but in reality, you might get some sort of salary deduction or worse, impose penalties if you didn’t get permission beforehand to take your pet on board.

Remember, not all trucking companies allow any kind of pet in their vehicles. In addition, there are also companies that impose certain rules especially on weight limits of the animals. If you’re really bringing your pet with you, be aware of some protocols.

Benefits of Having Pets When Truck Driving

Good for mental health

As the famous saying goes, “a dog is man’s best friend” yet in real life, any animal can become a person’s best buddy. With that said, drivers can talk to them like they were humans, too, and making conversations with them helps keep their sanity while alone on the road. It’s the mental part that’s considered the most difficult when you’re out driving on long hauls and pets on board make truckers happy since they get the feeling that they’re not alone.

For protection

Apart from that, pets like canines provide protection on the road especially for women drivers. Dogs and even cats can be trained how to become wary of strangers and if they sense ‘bad people’ around, their protective instinct arises in an instant.

Good for physical health

Pets remind drivers that they have bathroom needs, too, so that when your pet needs to take a break, it also means break time for you. You have to stop at regular intervals for decent meals and some rest, take your pet for a walk and also take a breath of fresh air. It’s good for your health and your pet’s, too.

With all those mentioned above, companionship is still the most important benefit a driver can get when bringing a pet to travel. It’s better this way than locking the pet at home with no one else while its owner is away for a long time.

Tips for Truck Driving with Pets

  • Put a leash on your dog which ensures it can’t run around on its own where it might encounter some danger.
  • Bring poop bags for easy disposal of animal waste and some cleaning supplies to keep your truck smelling fresh and clean.
  • Bring extra water for your pet.
  • Don’t forget toys. Your pet needs to be entertained while you’re focused on driving.

Above all, keep your pet safe. You can attach the harness to the regular seatbelt. If your pet feels endangered, it becomes restless and that can distract your attention. It’s also for your own safety.