All of the concerns regarding pet travel -- especially saving money -- may not be foremost on your mind if you're a professional truck driver who values the companionship of an animal on the road.
So, whether you are considering taking a pet with you in your truck for the first time -- or you've had a pet with you for a long time -- we have created this page as a way for you to get and share big truck money saving tips on pet travel.
From what we have been able to determine, most of the articles on transporting pets have to do with
This one is different as it specifically deals with pet travel in a commercial motor vehicle.
Since we don't have any pets traveling with us, we're requesting input from professional drivers whose pets travel with them full-time -- as well as owners of pet websites that address the transportation angle (not all do).
Note: If you're wondering about factors to consider before becoming a pet owner, you may like to read this.
We'll list our questions first, then an example of the kind of input we're seeking, then the form.
Pet Travel Questions: Overview
1.1. How does traveling with a pet in a big truck differ from
with a pet in a car?
1.2. What advantages and disadvantages are there to having a pet in a big truck?
Pet Travel Questions: General Care
2.1. How does your pet get in and out of the truck (such as by
in and out versus being lifted in and out)?
2.2. What is the likelihood that you could hurt your back by lifting a heavy pet in and out of a truck?
2.3. How did you train your pet to be a good travel companion?
2.4. What do you do with your pet when you're out of the truck for such things as fueling, getting loaded or unloaded, taking a shower, etc.?
2.5. If your pet requires the kind of grooming generally done by professional groomers, how do you arrange for that, especially in a frugal manner?
2.6. What specific weather-related tips about caring for your pet can you offer?
Pet Travel Questions: Food and Water
3.1. Where do you buy food for a pet when you drive a truck?
3.2. How much more expensive is it to buy pet food or treats in a truck stop than in a regular grocery store?
3.3. What feeding and watering schedule might a driver who drives for an irregular route carrier set up for a pet?
3.4. Do you find that a specific brand of pet food is more easily digested by traveling pets? If so, which one?
3.5. If you keep a "no spill" pet water bowl like the Road Refresher No Spill Portable Pet Bowl in your truck, how well does it work?
Pet Travel Questions: Bathroom Use
4.1. If your pet uses the bathroom outside, how do you find
4.2. If you own a cat, do you have a litter pan in your truck? How hard is it to keep the litter pan area clean?
4.3. Are there posted restrictions along truck routes for where a pet can and cannot go to the bathroom outside?
4.4. Can a professional truck driver be fined for allowing his/her pet to do certain things such as going to the bathroom outside the truck?
Pet Travel Questions: Sleeping
5.1. Where does your pet sleep?
5.2. Are there any health hazards to be aware of regarding sleeping with or near a pet?
5.3. Are some pets more apt to be active when you're trying to sleep, such that they could interrupt your sleep? If so, which ones?
Pet Travel Questions: Health and Fitness
6.1. How do you handle routine health care for your pet in a
6.2. How often should a traveling pet be allowed outside a vehicle?
6.3. How often do you have to stop your truck to let your pet out?
6.4. Are some pets more likely to become motion sick than others?
6.5. What do you do if your pet gets sick?
6.6. How do you make sure your pet gets sufficient recreation and exercise?
6.7. What arrangements for climate control do you make for a pet in a truck parked in a no-idle area?
6.8. Should a driver who does not have an APU-equipped truck not have a pet because of temperature issues?
Pet Travel Questions: Bad Habits and Messes
7.1. How do you keep your pet from destructive habits in your
(like chewing things)?
7.2. Assuming they come in contact with other people or animals, how do you keep your traveling pet from being aggressive toward them?
7.3. How do you deal with pet messes in your truck (excrement, hair, sickness, etc.)?
7.4. Does having had a pet -- or a pet mess -- in the truck lower its resale value?
Pet Travel Questions: Security
8.1. Should a truck driver have his/her traveling pet
microchipped? Why or why not?
8.2. Should a truck driver have pet insurance on his/her traveling pet? Why or why not?
Pet Travel Questions: Restraints
9.1. Is your pet unrestrained (able to move about
freely) inside your truck while you're driving?
9.2. If your pet is unrestrained while you drive, how do you keep it from being a distraction/safety hazard?
9.3. If you restrain your pet, how do you do this?
9.4. When you walk your pet, do you always keep it on a leash to stay in compliance with local leash laws?
9.5. Do you ever restrain your pet outside your truck while you're parked, and if so, how?
Pet Travel Questions: Restrictions and Job Requirements
10.1. Is there a limit to the size of one or more pet(s) that
professional truck driver can have or should have in the truck?
10.2. Has the weight of your pet and the pet's supplies ever affected the amount of freight you can haul?
10.3. How do you balance the pet's needs when you have a long distance to travel to deliver a time-sensitive load?
10.4. Do any shippers or receivers disallow the presence of a pet on their premises?
10.5. Can traveling pets cross international borders (such as from the USA into Canada and back) in big trucks without problems?
10.6. If an international border crossing requires x-raying the truck, do you leave your pet inside while this is going on?
Pet Travel Questions: Experience, Preferences and Recommendations
11.1. Which pet makes the best traveling companion in a big
11.2. Do certain animals (specific species, adopted from a shelter, mixed breed vs. pedigreed, etc.) fare better on the road than others?
11.3. What accessories does a traveling pet need in a big truck?
Pet Travel Questions: Accommodations
12.1. Which motor carriers (trucking companies) are
12.2. How much does your motor carrier charge per month for your pet to ride with you (called a pet rider fee or something similar)?
12.3. Which hotel/motel chains are both truck-friendly AND pet-friendly?
12.4. Have you ever had to pay extra for keeping or cleaning up after a pet in a hotel/motel room?
On July 19, Vicki found a list of pet-friendly trucking jobs (actually a short list of trucking companies that allow pet travel in their trucks).
Unfortunately, not all trucking companies or receivers are pet friendly.
We found a listing of dog parks, some of which may be near where trucks park.
Also, there was an article about lap pets in trucking.(1)
Some of these resources have been provided by others.
Money saving tip: Responsible pet ownership costs money. But there are ways to save money on pet care. Some ways may be do-it-yourself (DIY) while others can only be handled by a professional.
Furthermore, caring for a pet who travels with you full-time presents a different set of challenges. Consider the full scope of needs for a pet before you get one -- food, water, elimination, temperature, sleeping, health care, etc. -- and the impact that having one or more animals in your truck can present.
One aspect of saving money may be how you keep your animal flea- and tick-free. Do you need to take your pet to the vet for treatment or can you use a flea and tick collar that you can buy in a store?
Should you care to provide answers to our questions on pet travel in big trucks, please follow these important steps:
You may also use the form to ask a burning question about pet travel that we haven't yet asked on this page. We specifically designed the list of questions so that they can be added to.
Thanks ever so much for helping other drivers who have pets with them or are considering it. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Here's an example of answering a question that we like because it has both direct and indirect money saving components:
"11.1. Which pet makes the best traveling companion in a big truck?"
[Suggested answer] "I think that a medium-sized dog like ___ makes the best traveling companion because it can get in and out of the truck without assistance (saving me potential back problems from lifting), has reasonable food requirements (doesn't eat my budget up in food costs) and doesn't shed (saving me from forever having to clean up after it)."
For tips on pet care, please see: http://www.my-pet-care-directory.com/.
1. http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=23601 (no longer online)