Best Furry Companions for the Road
Have you ever thought about what life might be like out on the road with a pet co-pilot? With all that’s going on in the world right now, having a furry companion on board might be just what you need.
Even with the added responsibility of having a pet to take care of, plus the occasional ‘accident’ they leave behind, the benefits of having a pet almost always outweighs the drawbacks. In fact, there are several studies that show the bond between people and their pets improves overall health.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to double–check with your fleet to see what their pet policy is before seriously considering one. But, nowadays, many companies are becoming quite flexible with drivers bringing pets aboard.
So, what pets should you consider for the road? Let’s take a look.
There’s a reason dogs are considered ‘man’s best friend.’ It doesn’t take much other than your presence and some food and water for most dogs to become emotionally connected to you. Dogs are more than happy to ride shotgun and keep you company during a long day on the road. They’re a true companion – and what most drivers with pets have alongside them.
With so many types of dog breeds out there, it’s a good idea to narrow your search to ones that are smaller in size and are relatively less hyper. While golden retrievers are cute and have a great personality, sharing a 76-inch sleeper or less space with a big dog is not the most ideal situation. On the flip side, a hyperactive small dog that barks often and requires multiple walks a day might grow old quick. Plus, you don’t want to lose productivity by needing to pull over constantly to let your dog out.
Here are a few breeds we recommend:
- French or English Bulldog
- Shih Tzu
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Bichone Fise
If a dog seems like the right choice of pet, the next question you need to ask yourself is whether to find a puppy or an older dog, such as a rescue. Training a young pup on the road can be challenging. Most puppies go through a ‘biting’ phase, which can do a number on your interior. Plus, it can take a while before they’re fully potty trained. Finding a rescue dog that is already trained might be the easiest option. Plus, you’d be giving a home to a dog that really needs one.
For those looking for a low maintenance pet, cats are about as easy as it gets. All you need is a litter box, some food and water for the cat and they can take care of themselves. While cats are simple to take care of, most, but not all cats have a personality that is the complete opposite of dogs. They tend to prefer being alone, so odds are, a cat won’t sit in your lap and keep you company on the road. That said, cats can be quite cuddly if they’re in the right ‘mood,’ and there aren’t many spots for them to hide in the back of the cab. They may just not enjoy being held as much as you enjoy holding them.
If a cat seems more ‘your speed,’ you better be on top of cleaning the litter box. It doesn’t take long for it to start smelling bad. And, cats love to scratch, so it’s wise to get your cat a scratching post and toys that it can occupy itself with. Otherwise, your seats and interior furnishings might fall victim.
Dogs and cats are what most drivers think of when choosing which companion to bring on the road, but some get creativity with their choice of pet. Some drivers have been spotted with exotic pets like rabbits and parrots! Not your traditional pets to say the least. If you plan to go that route, it’s important to have a well-thought-out plan on how you can accommodate a pet that will require more attention. For instance, a proper cage for a rabbit is larger than most litter boxes and cleaning a rabbit cage can be more labor-intensive. The last thing you would want to do is go ‘all in’ on a pet to later find taking care of it is too difficult.
It’s important to note that if you’re a cross-border traveler, you’ll need to carry the necessary paperwork that shows your pet is ‘approved’ to travel. If you have a dog or cat, you’ll need to carry a rabies vaccine certificate to show proof that your pet has been properly vaccinated for rabies. Other pets have varying requirements to cross the border, so check out this link to see what paperwork you need.
If you’re willing to take on more responsibility, having a pet co-pilot can be extremely rewarding and entertaining. The bond you develop with your pet can make your time on the road a more positive experience.