62 percent of Americans own pets according to a recent Harris Poll study and drivers are no exception. 60 percent of truck drivers are pet owners and a whopping 40 percent of them bring their furry friends on the road with them.

In this article, we’ll look at whether or not it is safe, if you are actually allowed to drive with your pet and whether or not pets actually increase happiness while on the road.

Are You Allowed to Drive with Your Pet?

 The short answer is yes, but there are some caveats.

There is no law that says you cannot bring your pet with you on the road just like any other driver. But as an employee you are not just governed by the rules of the road.

While it is technically legal to drive with your pet, some trucking companies don’t allow pets and breaking the rules could cost you your job, so don’t try to sneak your pet onto the truck if it’s not allowed!

While you can legally bring your pet with you (if allowed by your employer) there are still a few safety concerns to keep in mind before you put Fido on a leash and throw him in the cab of your truck.

Is it Safe?

 Experience is a big factor in how safe it is to have a pet with you in your truck cab. It is recommended that only drivers with at least 1 full year of driving under their belts consider bringing a pet on the road as pets can provide an additional distraction for new drivers.

If the pet is going to ride in the passenger seat, you need to make sure that a harness or other restraining device is used to make sure that your pet will be safe if you have to come to a sudden stop. Otherwise it is recommended that you keep your pet crated.

It can also be dangerous to travel with a pet that is too big; in general pets do better on long journeys if they weigh less than 25 lbs.

Do Pets Increase Happiness on the Road?

It has been proven that pets especially dogs, increase happiness, studies have also shown that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression, loneliness and pet owners have lower blood pressure.

An additional benefit that pets provide on the road is providing an incentive to exercise. Even walking the dog 15 minutes a day can make a difference in both you and your pet’s overall health.

Driver Barry Starr had this to say about bringing his dog, Scrappy, with him on the road:

“He is great company; he keeps me laughing a lot,” Starr told Fleet Owner. “He is also a great source of exercise [as] walking him and playing with him will definitely keep me active. But the number one thing is he’s an awesome alarm system.”

To learn more strategies for staying healthy and productive on the road, or to start the search for your next trucking job, contact a CDS specialist today.