Whether you’re driving OTR across the country, or sticking to regional or local routes, taking your pet on the job with you keeps things interesting. While bringing your pup on the road can be a tail-waggin’ good time, you also need to be prepared. Here are a few quick tips for traveling with your pet this summer.
1. Keep it Cool
It’s no secret that summer months can get HOT across the country. Keep that in mind when setting the temperature in your cab or truck. Utilize AC and windows to keep your pup feeling their best.
2. Never Leave Pups Unattended
This should go without saying, but never leave your dog unattended in your vehicle. Temperatures in trucks can rise rapidly in the hotter months which can cause heat strokes or worse. Keep your companion close and the AC pumping so everyone can enjoy the ride.
3. Up the Hydration
When the heat hits, your pup will likely be more thirsty than normal so be sure to bring along plenty of water to quench their thirst. There are great options for bringing water on the go like a collapsible water bowl or a dog-designed water bottle.
4. Pit Stops Are Essential
We understand it can be hard to make pit-stops when you’re on incredibly tight schedules, but you have to keep your dog in mind when driving. If your dog is drinking more water due to the heat, you’re likely going to have to take a few potty breaks here and there. Work rest stops into your schedule and don’t forget to stretch your legs too!
5. Pay Attention to Paws
If you’re taking a stretch break or making a pit-stop, keep your dog’s paws in mind when hitting the pavement during the summer months. Dogs have sensitive paw pads and hot pavement or asphalt can cause damaging blisters. Always feel the pavement with your own hands for a few seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.
6. Stay on Top of Vaccinations
Before you set out on any drive, it’s important to get your dog the proper veterinary shots they need to stay healthy. You’ll also want to keep vaccination records handy in case they’re needed while you’re on the road.
7. Consistent Feeding
Don’t forget to bring along enough dog food to give them their recommended portions each day, keeping your pooch healthy and well-fed. We recommend packing a little extra in case your trip gets extended, and don’t forget a treat or two!
8. Keep Things Clean
Keeping your truck clean is important, but even more so when traveling with your pet. We recommend bringing along dry shampoo and baby wipes for quick cleanings. It’s also a great idea to maintain your dog’s grooming by providing regular baths and brushing. Don’t forget to regularly wash their beds and change out those AC/heat filters.
9. Safety First
Train your dog to keep away from your clutch and brakes, which may require you to set up a makeshift barrier for at least the first few weeks. You may want to consider securing them more fully to save them from injury if you brake suddenly. Finally, keep in mind that jumping in and out of a cab can really hurt a pup’s hips, back, and other joints, especially if you’ve got an older dog. Remember to lift them when you can, or consider purchasing a pet loader.
10. Up the Excitement
Dogs (especially young pups) need constant stimulation, so it’s important to keep things interesting for them while driving. We recommend bringing a few of their favorite chew toys or bones that will keep them entertained in the cab. Again, make sure to work in time for walks and outside play. Dogs require a minimum of one hour of exercise per day to stay healthy.
11. A Safe Place
Try to create a designated spot that’s safe and comfortable for your furry friend. If they’re new to the cab or driving lifestyle, your dog should have a space where they can relax and feel secure with all their belongings.
12. Become an Expert
If you’re bringing an animal more exotic than a dog — such as birds or rabbits — be sure to educate yourself on how you can provide a good life for them inside a commercial cab. Read up on if you’ll be able to provide them the food, exercise, mental stimulation, and cleaning they require while on the road. If you can manage, hop in the cab with your new driving partner!
Do you take your dog on the road? If you have any tips or tricks you swear by, let us know in the comments below. And if you’re looking for a new commercial vehicle that can accommodate both you and your pet, check out the latest and greatest models on Commercial Truck Trader today!