Save Money on Pet Travel in a Big Truck?
How Do Truckers Do It?

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.

A short dog.
Photo courtesy of FreeFoto

From what we have been able to determine, most of the articles on transporting pets have to do with airplane travel, animal carriers, and taking pets on vacation (perhaps by car or RV). 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.

If you've already read all the info on this page, you may skip right to the form to answer questions on pet travel in big trucks.

A silhouette of a dog.

Pet Travel Questions: Overview

1.1. How does traveling with a pet in a big truck differ from traveling with a pet in a car?

1.2. What advantages and disadvantages are there to having a pet in a big truck?

A dog in a playful mood, with a ball.
Photo courtesy of FreeFoto

Pet Travel Questions: General Care

2.1. How does your pet get in and out of the truck (such as by jumping 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?

Dog treat.

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 BowlRoad Refresher No Spill Portable Pet Bowl in your truck, how well does it work?

Walking a dog who has been trained to heel.

Pet Travel Questions: Bathroom Use

4.1. If your pet uses the bathroom outside, how do you find suitable places?

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?

A dog resting.

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?

A dog with a veterinarian in charge of the pet's health.

Pet Travel Questions: Health and Fitness

6.1. How do you handle routine health care for your pet in a truck?

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?

A dog snarling as a sign of aggression.

Pet Travel Questions: Bad Habits and Messes

7.1. How do you keep your pet from destructive habits in your truck (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?

Identifying microchip in feline
Photo courtesy of Joelmills

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?

A lady walking a dog on a leash.

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?

A beautiful gray cat with green eyes.

Pet Travel Questions: Restrictions and Job Requirements

10.1. Is there a limit to the size of one or more pet(s) that a 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?

A kitten rubs up near a dog.

Pet Travel Questions: Experience, Preferences and Recommendations

11.1. Which pet makes the best traveling companion in a big truck?

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?

A dog resting.
Photo courtesy of FreeFoto

Pet Travel Questions: Accommodations

12.1. Which motor carriers (trucking companies) are pet-friendly?

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, here's an article about lap pets in trucking.

truck drivers money saving tip icon

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:

  • Provide your name (full name preferred). If you have a picture of your pet in your truck or you with your pet, there is a place for you to submit it.
  • Before you start answering questions:
    • If you're a professional driver, please share what kind of animal(s) travel with you, how long they've traveled with you, and other info you deem important to our readers -- as a basis for your qualifications to answer questions.
    • If you're the owner of a pet website, please share what makes you uniquely qualified to comment on pet travel in a big truck as well as the link to your site.
  • For each question you answer:
    • Include either a direct or indirect money saving tip (as that's what our website is all about).
    • Include the question number (you can copy and paste it in the form.) You can either submit one answer at a time or answers to several questions at once. You may submit as many entries as you like.
    • Remember that our site is geared for professional truck drivers of commercial motor vehicles.

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)."

You may use the form below to submit a tip, idea, opinion, review, or question on this subject.

Have A Great Pet Travel Money Saving Tip?

Do you have a great money saving tip geared specifically for drivers of big trucks regarding pet travel? Share it!

Or have you learned something about pet care in a truck that other professional drivers should know about -- maybe something that could save them a lot of money? Share it!

If you're answering questions from above, please copy and paste the number and don't forget to first give your name and a little background info. Thanks!

Pet Travel Money Saving Tips Other Visitors Have Shared

Click below to see pet travel money saving tips from other visitors to this page...

Use a pet carrier 
We use a pet carrier which allows more control. Privately with a rabies certificate I was able to cross a border with a pet as long as there was no outbreak. …

Dog Travel 
Having a pet such as a dog come along with you when travelling can be good fun and will provide you with company, but just like kids, dogs will get bored! …

Pet Advice Not rated yet
I have a small dog (Min-Pin) "LUCY" that is my travel companion. She has been traveling with me for about a year since I rescued her from the Min Pin Society. …

Baby wipes to clean short-haired animal fur Not rated yet
My wife does this a lot. ----- Response from Vicki: Thanks for sharing. While we discuss using baby wipes on our site, we have never thought …

Get free pet food samples Not rated yet
Q3 general. Many manufacturers will give you pet food and treats to try for FREE. Yes, free! That has to be better than buying it! They won't just keep …

Save money on pet food and treats Not rated yet
Q 3.1 and Q 3.2 Buy your pet's food and treats at the local supermarket or wholesaler. It's usually much cheaper than buying it at fuel stops or small …

Dog Waste Not rated yet
Don't forget to clean up if your dog leaves a mess behind. It could save you from a hefty fine! ----- Response from Vicki: Thanks, Giovanni. Although …

Dog Water Not rated yet
Important : Make sure your dog always has plenty of fresh water available to drink. ----- Response from Vicki: Thanks, Giovanni. I wondered …

Dog Leash Not rated yet
Never let your dog off its lead unless you are sure it won't run off. Not only can it get itself injured or killed, but it could also cause an accident …

Pet Exercise Not rated yet
Dogs need regular breaks to stretch their legs, have a drink and also to answer the call of nature, just like we do. I recommend you stop for 5 minutes …

Click here to write your own.

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