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Though it might seem surprising for many, we’d like to dedicate this blog post to one of the less known facts of the trucking industry. The company that many truckers enjoy while out on the big open road is that of their own pets! Being away for weeks while traveling thousands of miles across America, though liberating, might also seem quite lonesome. And that is precisely why many truckers choose to have a “truck pet” as a team driver. In fact driving with a pet is quite common amongst truckers. So in this post we will introduce and explain the benefits of trucking with animal companions as well as advice on how to do so safely.
There is vast scientific evidence that pet ownership and companionship induce many health benefits. Lower cholesterol levels and triglycerides amongst pet owners, which are in direct correlation with heart disease incidence is just one of the scientifically proven facts. Elevated levels of dopamine and serotonin when interacting with dogs or cats, which relaxes and calms the nerves, improving the mood doubles the benefit. Pet ownership also tends to reduce hypertension when compared with those who do not own pets. Studies have equally shown pet owners have a lower risk of and experience depression less often. And it seems pet owners overall are living a healthier and more fulfilling life, both physically and mentally, especially in older groups. This should suffice in encouraging all of us to adopt and enjoy the health benefits of pet companionship, but for truckers pet team driving offers the added benefit of human touch and social interaction while on the road. As truckers can be out hauling for days, weeks, or even months at a time, having a companion which they can stroke and take walks with, doubling down as ride-along pet, means their basic need for human interaction and company is met, ensuring their wellbeing.
And pets don’t have to just include dogs or cats to derive benefits. Some truck drivers even ride along with a duck or parrot with similar benefits. Pets regardless of their nature seem to have the same universal and beneficial effect on humans so long as they are loved. In addition to the benefits listed above, pets also benefit truck drivers by causing healthier lifestyle changes. Chief amongst these is adding structure to a trucker’s daily routine, as pets need regular exercise, bathroom breaks, and require a specific feeding schedule. This prompts truck drivers to stop regularly to let them exercise, use the bathroom, or eat, which is in turn beneficial for the driver also. This is evidenced by the study conducted by the Wellness Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, that confirmed walking a dog benefits both the pet and the owner by helping the owner keep their weight in check and stay more fit. So truckers’ pet companions can also help them stay fit.
All in all, the evidence of the benefits of pet ownership and companionship for truckers is overwhelming. So here’s some advice on how to team drive with your pets safely:
- Keep pets comfortable and strapped or in a crate when driving. This will prevent pets from injury in case of a sudden stop. Also, drivers should keep their pets outside the airbag trajectory, ideally in the back of their cab.
- Keep pets inside the cabin while driving. Though some pets love hanging their heads out the window during a trip, this can be dangerous, especially on the highway. Therefore, drivers should keep their dogs and / or pets from hanging their heads out the window.
- Ensure your pets can be easily identified by their collars, id tags, and / or chips when applicable. This will increase the chances they are returned to a driver should they become lost at a truck stop or a gas station.
- Pets shouldn’t be left unattended inside the truck without running air conditioning or heating as this can be deadly for them. Truck cabs can get very hot or freezing fast, so truck drivers should remain responsible and temperature aware.
- Schedule regular vet visits and consider pet insurance so that your companion’s health is taken care of. Your veterinarian will also be able to recommend an insurance plan that is best suited for your pet.
At AGM Trucking, we are a pet-friendly trucking company, respecting and encouraging our truck driver’s much-needed companionship while on the road, by offering a pet allowance. In fact many of our truckers happily team drive with their pets with us for years. Become part of our team and enjoy the rewards and benefits of a commercial truck driver career as well as the company of your pets by calling us now at 630-413-1435”