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Monday, September 29, 2014

5 Tips for Travel with a Trucker's Best Friend

Leon, son of Sir Charles


Trucking has gone to the dogs...

And we love it! Around the ExpressTruckTax office, dogs are a part of the family. And we know that dogs are part of yours too! There’s nothing quite like hitting the open road with a furry companion by your side.

That’s why today, we’ve got an extra special blog, packed with plenty of tips for traveling with a pup. And as a bonus, you’ll feast your eyes on pictures of our puppies too!

Get ready to say “D’awwwwwwww” and shriek with girlish pleasure! The Support Heroes have some seriously adorable dogs.

*Disclaimer: We are not responsible for any heart attacks caused by a cuteness overload.*



Tip #1: Adopt a Pooch

Bella, Heather's baby girl
"Is it play time yet?"

If you’ve already got a furry friend, then you’re ready to move to Tip 2. However, if you’re riding solo, you can pick up a pup through adoption! Across the country, millions of pets are up for grabs at a very low cost, or even for free.

So why not make a dog’s day and adopt from a local shelter. Or for a shorter-term commitment, become a puppy foster parent! You’ll take care of them until they find their Fur-ever Home. Whether you adopt or foster, be sure to choose a dog with the right personality for your lifestyle, one that is calm and collected. This shouldn’t be too difficult. Anyone who’s ever rescued a pet has seen the gratitude these pup’s have for their new families!


Tip #2: Check-up Time


Hurley, Bryan's lovable mutt
"Dude, seriously. Where'd the ball go."


Before you set out on your travels, especially on a long journey, schedule a vet appointment. Be sure your dog is up-to-date on all shots, has refills of any necessary prescriptions, like heartworm medication, and a clean bill of health. 

Spaying or neutering your pet is also beneficial as it results in calmer behavior. (And it reduces other risks too, if you know what I mean!) It’s also a good idea to get your pet microchipped, just in case they get away from you. Ask your vet if they have any advice for your pet in particular: remember, no two dogs are alike! And always bring the current vaccination records and tags with you, just in case.




Tip #3: Safety

Grizzly Bear, Misty's Pomapoo
"I'm ready for my close-up."

Now that you’ve got a puppy (or two!), and the check-ups are completed, it’s almost time to get truckin’!

But first, consider bringing along a crate, barrier, or doggy seat belt. These devices will keep you and your pet safe in the event of a hard stop or accident. Without them, you risk your pet being jolted around (or even out of) the cab, which is obviously no good. While crating a pet may seem cruel, they often feel safer in these confined spaces, especially in a moving vehicle. Be patient as your pet adjusts to the crate, and always speak positively about it. Never force them in or yell. 

As another safety precaution, find several emergency veterinary care facilities along your route before you leave. Keep their location and contact info nearby, better to be safe than sorry!



Tip #4: Supplies

Mika, Jason's little Shih Tzu coming from
the groomer.
"I better get a treat for this..."
Aside from the basics, like food and water, bring along stuff that makes your cab feel more like home–for both of you!

If your pup has a favorite toy, treat, bed, or blanket, bring them all along! They’ll make life on the road more enjoyable for your fuzzy friend. To minimize messes, pick up a few cheap spill-proof bowls for food & water. Store dry food in a lock-top plastic container to keep it fresh and off the floor of your cab.

And don’t forget to bring jugs of bottled water along, in case you can’t find water elsewhere.


Finally, bring along small bags and a scoop for waste clean-up. After all, it’s not your backyard, so remember the others coming after you!


Tip#5: Road Rules


Now that you’re packed, planned and on the road, here are a few more things to consider.

  • Exercise! Your doggy needs to get out of the truck regularly (every couple hours at least), not just for bathroom use, but also to burn off energy. Take them for a long walk, or throw a ball around if you’ve got a large, safe area.
    Sylvia, another member of the Hardy pack
    "Look at me, I'm beautiful."
  • “Car” Sickness. Dogs are very susceptible to motion sickness. Quivering, drooling, vomiting, and unusual posture are all signs of motion sickness. Avoid it by not feeding your pet during or right before driving. If this is a recurring issue, your vet may be able to prescribe medication to help. 
  • Finally, never ever (did I mention ever?) leave your dog unattended in a vehicle, especially in hot or cold weather. If you must leave your dog for a few moments, make sure the truck is on and heat or AC are flowing appropriately. In just 10 minutes, the inside of a vehicle can jump more than 20 degrees higher than the temperature outside. And that will continue to climb with each passing minute. Vehicles are like ovens. Don’t cook your dog! 


Hopefully, the more you travel, the more your dog will become accustomed to life on the road. Of course, some dogs just may not be cut out for that lifestyle. So take a hint, and be considerate of their needs. Some pups may be best left at home or with a friend.

The ExpressTruckTax heroes hope you enjoyed the Slideshow of Cuteness! Happy travels!

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