I just received a wonderful email from Denise who works for The Brenham Community Center in Texas. The center focuses on creating quality and life changing experiences for individuals in need of support and resources within Brenham, TX.
Denise wrote to say that they have been reviewing resources on the internet for a project about traveling and what you do with your pets when you travel. They came across a previous post here on Petopia and found it helpful. As a thank you, they sent me a link to another article on traveling with your pet that included some resources for other pet owners.
Here is that article which has some great links to other articles on pets and travel.
Thank you Denise and the children from The BrenhamCC!
Traveling with pets is not uncommon in the trucking industry. Dogs, cats, rabbit, birds, and many other animals make great companions during long hauls. However, there are a number of factors to take into consideration when traveling with your pet to make the trip more enjoyable and hassle-free.
Plot Your Route Before Traveling With Your Pet
Truckers are used to plotting routes before traveling, but when a pet is on board, extra care needs to go into the planning. The destination and refueling stops are always part of the equation, so nothing really needs to change in that regard. Lodging, on the other hand, can get tricky. Not all lodging areas allow pets. While some cities and stated have relaxed their policies to allow service animals, such as seeing eye dogs, some places are less inclined to just let pets stay in a motel room. No one likes to leave their best friend in the cab when traveling with a pet, so the best advice is simply to call ahead to the lodging stops and ask if they accommodate pets. Some places are completely open to the idea, as they regularly provide lodging for truckers and moving families with pets. Others may charge a small fee.
How Healthy Is Your Pet For Traveling?
While dogs, cats, and other animals make great companions on the road, truckers should take their best friends to a veterinary clinic before a big trip. Give them a checkup, and make sure they are fit for travel. If you are traveling with a pet that needs medication, make certain that you are fully stocked before hitting the road. As an extra measure, keep tabs of veterinary clinics along your route, just in case something happens while you are traveling with your pet.
Your First Time Traveling With Your Pet
If you are planning your first big trucking haul with a pet, you might want to take them for a few short rides beforehand. Some pets are great in the home and the back yard, but get increased levels of anxiety when they travel in vehicles. Some pets do get sick in vehicles. Some pets like to wander around inside the cab of the truck, which can hinder safe driving. Make sure your pet enjoys traveling before you put them in your truck. Your pet is your best friend. You wouldn’t want them to have a miserable time, especially if you are making a long trip. Remember, your truck is going to be your pet’s home away from home, so you want to make the experience as comforting as possible.
Exercise And Answering Nature’s Call
Truckers are used to sitting still for hours at a time during long trips. When traveling with pets, remember they need to stretch their legs. Making the occasional stop to let your dog or other leash-friendly pet walk around for a little bit is good for them. On a similar note, pets have much smaller bladders than people do, and many pets have faster metabolisms. While a person can “hold it” while traveling for long distances, pets cannot. Remember to stop frequently to give pets a chance to relieve themselves, to avoid unpleasant incidents on the open road.
Logistics And Pets
The trucking industry is all about logistics, and traveling with a pet requires a few extra steps. Start with the basics. Pets require food and water. Bring more than enough of both to keep your pet well-fed and watered while traveling. Remember, there may not be places that carry the food your pet needs along the way. Keeping an ample stock of food and water it may sound odd to non-pet owners, but keeping a small first aid kit is important when traveling with your pet. Kitty litter, newspapers, cedar shavings, and other box or cage liners are necessary, as well. Traveling can make pets excitable. Make sure to keep the temperature inside the truck regulated so that it is comfortable for both you and your pet. Bring blankets and a couple of their favorite toys, not just to keep them from getting bored, but for comfort. Little reminders from home can put your pet at ease, and create a calming environment for your pet while traveling. Some basics to bring along on your trip include:
- Familiar toys
- First-aid kit
- Litter box and litter
- Brushes and grooming supplies
- Travel bowls for food and water
Stay With Your Pet While Traveling
If you are taking your pet along for the ride in your truck, remember that they are dependent on you. If you have to stop at a filling station, take your pet with you. Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in the number of pet thefts at rest stops and filling stations. Additionally, there are some people who are a bit hyper-vigilant about pets left in trucks, and will try to break windows to free pets they think are trapped. This is not to scare you from traveling with your pet, but rather keeping your pet with you can prevent unpleasant and unnecessary situations.
Leashes, Carriers, And Traveling With Pets
To go along with everything mentioned above, it is important to have a way to take your pet to and from your truck. For dogs and other mobile, social, and semi-independent pets, getting a secure and comfortable leash and harness combination is a wise idea. For other animals, a cage or carrier of some sort works. It is not recommended to carry our pet with you, like a baby. When traveling with a pet, strange environments can cause pets to leap from your arms and start running. They may get lost or scared, which will cause stress for you both. Using a carrier or a leash keeps your pet safe, secure, and close by at all times while you are traveling.
Give Your Pet Some Attention When You’re On The Road
When traveling with your pets, they are much more than another passenger. Some pets like to explore new spaces, including your truck. Keep an eye on your pet to keep them from getting hurt or making driving difficult. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, your pet still needs attention. Most pets do not understand that your drive a truck for a living, nor do they understand why you are sitting still for long hours while the world with whizzing by through the windows. When you stop your truck, give your pet some affection. Let them know that you appreciate them coming along for the journey. Remember, traveling with a pet is a comfort for them, as well as you. Pets don’t like to be left at home, or in a kennel. You don’t like to travel for long hours without your best friend, either. Talk to your pets when they are in the cab. When you are at a rest area, lodging for the night, or at your destination, take time to play with your pets. By engaging them and praising them, your pets will be excited to come along with you on each and every haul you make. If you follow the above guidelines you, and your pet, will have an enjoyable time on the road. Both you and your pet will be able to enjoy each other’s company while traveling on short trips and long deliveries. Making long hauls in your truck with your pet will be an adventure.