I am an Owner-Operator and I travel with my Aussie-Doodle
|Gina's Aussie-Doodle She-La.
She is now 5 years old and has been in my truck with me since she was 13 weeks old. I would not work in this industry without a pet in my truck. There are lots benefits of having a pet in your truck, but also lots of things to think about before you take on this big responsibility. Let me first say I have only had dogs travel with me, but a a lot of the same training goes for a cat, or even other domesticated animals (I’ve seen everything on the road from goats and pigs to birds.) . Here is my advice on what you can expect when taking a pet with you on the road and what kind of training they will require.
- Training: The first question to ask is do you have enough time for a pet? When you first get a pet you need patience and the time to train them. This should only take about three weeks if you consistently work with them. When I first get a dog I take the time to get them potty trained. The first week they are in the truck I try to have an easy week with miles, because I plan on stopping every 1-1 ½ hours to let the puppy out. As the week goes I will work that out to be about every three hours. The second week I stretch the time to four-seven hours increasing the time slowly. By the third week the puppy can usually make it as long as I do. I don’t know about you, but I cannot sit in the truck seat driving for 10 hours straight. It is not healthy for you to go too long without going to the bathroom and it’s not healthy for your pet . So whenever I stop I let the dog out too.
- Play Time: While you are training your puppy do not play with them when it is time for them to go potty. If you play with your pet every time you let them out, when you need them to hurry and go they won’t. As soon as the puppy does his/her thing you praise them and put them in the truck right away. They will get them used to that and will know that when they go potty they will be put back in the truck. This works really well in the winter time. The colder the better!!! Play time is after they go to the bathroom.
- Food/Water: There is nothing worse than a sick dog in a truck. You are on the road so you want to do everything you can so they don’t get sick. It is important to think about what you feed your pets. The type of food you feed them should always be the same brand because a different brand can upset your pet’s stomach. If you feed your pet once a day you might want to feed them in the morning that away at the end of the day when you are ready to lay down for the night your pet as already gotten rid of their food for the day. They will be ready to lay down for the night with you.
Using the same kind of water is equally as important as the same food to make sure your pet doesn’t get sick. I use only bottled water for She-La. Not because she is spoiled, but because the water is different all over the country and your pet’s digestion system cannot handle too many changes. I use a No Spill Water Bowl I found at Petsmart, and always keep it filled. You may not want to leave the water out when you are training your puppy.
- Waste: Please pick up after your pet. There are a lot of us with our pets out there and we want to be able to walk them and play with them in the same areas you are using without stepping in unwanted presents. You can buy pet waste bags at any pet store, and your fellow truckers will thank you for being respectful.
- Paperwork: I always keep my pets paperwork with me at all times. Her shots are always up to date and I keep those records with me also. You never know when your pet will get sick you will need their paperwork for the emergency clinic. There are certain situations out on the road you may need to fly home at the last minute. Your truck may break down. Whatever the situation is there are times you may need to put your pet in a kennel. I try everything I can not to put my dog in a kennel, but if you have to, you will need these records.
I will not travel without a pet. If you are thinking about a pet I would encourage you to do so, just keep this amount of time and responsibility in mind before you get one. There are more things to worry with a pet on the road than having a pet at home, but in the end its worth it to them with you on the long hauls!
Gina and She-La
What kind of pet do you have in the truck with you?
What kind of pet travels in the truck with you?