Dogs in Trucks: A Guide to Keeping Your Pet Safe
Have you ever stared at your favorite pooch and wondered: is it safe to drive with dogs in trucks? Sometimes, the hardest part about being on the road is being away from your dog. We all love our furry friends and want to bring them with us everywhere, but not at the risk of endangering their lives. Here’s a helpful guide to keeping your pet safe while on the road.
Dogs in Trucks
We’ve all seen the cute pictures — a sweet chihuahua poking its head out of a semi, a loyal retriever waiting inside the cab of a truck — but realistically, what are we looking at? Did those pet owners just snap a quick photo, then quickly remove their dog from the truck? Or are people really riding with their dogs in trucks? To find the answers to these questions, you must first evaluate every angle of putting your dog in your vehicle.
Is It Legal to Drive with Dogs in Trucks?
This might be the most overlooked aspect of riding with your dog in your truck, but it’s a vital piece of information. Depending on which state you live in, laws may prohibit how you can travel with your pet. The Animal Legal and Historical Center breaks down specific laws that dictate how to travel with your pets in your truck. For instance, California and New Hampshire require that dogs be secured in their kennel or cage for transportation. Other states might forbid the traveling of a dog in the truck bed. Find out your state’s by-laws, so you can safely add your pet to any dogs in trucks photos.
Why Safety Matters
There are many risks associated with riding your dog in your truck. Just think about how many dangers you face whenever you operate any motorized vehicle and multiply that by 2. No one likes to ride alone and trucking can sometimes mean a long time on the road by your lonesome. For more tips on “Managing Your OTR Truck Driver Lifestyle,” check out this quick guide. Some folks have difficulty adjusting to the trucker lifestyle, and having a pooch tagalong might be the best solution for away-from-home blues. Still, while it may be fun and exciting to take your favorite dog on the road with you, you must know about some very real concerns that could impact your trip. Below, check out some of the mishaps that could happen with dogs in trucks.
A Jostle Gone Wrong
Ultimately, letting your dog ride in a truck isn’t the best idea. A jostle or sudden halting could throw your pet high in the air. There’s much less stability in the back if your dog is not strapped in. That’s why laws have prohibited children from riding in truck beds in pickup trucks in some states, for example. With every sharp movement your truck makes, your pet could be sliding around the truck bed or worse.
A Face Full
Even if your pooch is on the inside of your car, we all know how our dogs love to hang their heads outside of the window. Small rocks or random road debris could fly into their eyes or injure them while you ride. Be mindful of your pet while you’re driving to make sure they’re protected.
Making a Run For It
Whether you’re on a major highway or just the roads of your hometown, there’s a chance your dog could hop out and make a break for it while you’re driving. This depends heavily on your pet and whether or not you trust them not to hop out of the window. Beware of them running off, but also oncoming traffic.
Keeping Your Pet Safe
Here’s the nitty gritty. You want to ride with your dogs in trucks, but want them to be secure on the journey. Let’s look at some options you can pursue to ensure a comfortable, but safe ride with your dog.
The Harness Choice
The easiest solution to your dog’s safety in your truck is investing in either a harness seatbelt or a zipline harness. If your dog is already accustomed to using a harness on walks, that same comfort can be given while they ride in your truck. A harness seat belt secures your dog through the use of an adjustable harness, then latched right into your car’s seat belt holder. A zipline harness has a similar function and can be used in conjunction with your car’s seat belt. The difference is a zipline harness allows your pet to move around a bit more freely, while still securing them to the seat. These harnesses can be used on any size dog since the harness is made for them to wear comfortably and adjusted to their specific size. Discovering the best harness choice for your dog depends on their activity level and how they tend to act when you drive them around.
Using a Crate
For dogs already familiar with the comforts of a crate, this is the best option. It secures them on the road by providing them with a space to lay down, stand and turn around in. Crates provide that extra security against a pup getting jostled around. It also deters the pet from any unwanted behaviors, like sticking their head out of the window or whining because of uncertainty. At home, crates can be used to ease any uncertainties dogs may feel about their environment. The same is true inside your truck. Bring a piece of home on the road for your dog to give them an easy, enjoyable ride. Consider bringing along your dog’s favorite blanket to help your dog relax and covering the crate to soothe them.
Plush Carry Box
Your dog can ride in comfort and style as the little royal they are in your heart with this next safety feature. The plush carry box is a raised box, lined with a cushion or their favorite blankets, to create a safe space for your worrisome pooch. This carry box is strapped in with your seatbelts to secure it in position and your dog sits comfortably during your ride. The carry box can also be used with a harness to add extra support and safety if your pet needs it.
Tips on Pet Safety with TDI
As any pet owner knows, safety is the most important aspect when considering bringing dogs in trucks, and a trucker is no different. Adjusting to the on the road trucker lifestyle can be tough sometimes. At TDI, we’re committed to training and supporting our future truckers through any hardship, especially when it comes to our pets. Contact our skilled advisors today to learn more about what TDI can do for you.