Crete Carrier is a family oriented company and values all family members, including those of the four-legged variety. There are many reasons you may want to bring a pet with you on the road. We met up with John (Donut) Barnes to hear his take on life on the road with a pet.
Donut has been driving for over 21 years and has travelled with pets most of his time as a driver. He currently has a 10-month-old Beagle puppy named Trixie who is full of love and cuddles. Donut was full of tips and tricks for having a pet on the road.
Mood booster. Donut described how driving can get lonely and exhausting. He said that, “having Trixie on the road is like having a friend with me all the time.” He said that Trixie will play with him on his good and bad days and is there to cuddle with each night.
More than a friend, a family member. Often times our pets are like our children whether you’re a driver or not. Donut explained that bringing your four-legged family members on the road does more than fill a void of loneliness. He said, “ Trixie is like my child and when I am not with her I feel it and she feels it too. Right now she is recovering from a medical procedure and is with my sister. My sister said Trixie waits at the door for me each morning and night. Trixie’s home is definitely wherever I am.”
Exercise. Being on the road limits exercise and many drivers express concern about staying healthy and in-shape. Donut explains that having a pet can solve two problems at once—your loneliness and lack of exercise. Having a dog on the road ensures that you get out, go for a walk, and get your steps in for the day. You and your pet benefit!
Tips & Tricks
Pick a breed that matches your personality. Just as pets range in size, they have a wide variety of personalities as well. Their personalities range from timid to playful, aggressive to loving, and everything in between. It is important to choose a breed that aligns with your lifestyle and personality. In general, having a dog that is not overly active is a safe choice, as you are living in small quarters. Donut also stressed the importance of traveling with a friendly pet because it will meet many other drivers and pets are as well.
Plan for bathroom breaks. Donut stressed that potty training your pet is a priority. Each dog is different and will require specific schedules. Donut trained Trixie to have a strict schedule. He walks her in the morning, stops for an occasional midday bathroom break if she whines, and then an evening walk before bed. Donut goes as far as taking water away at a certain time each evening to ensure Trixie will sleep through the night.
Vacuum frequently. Donut explained that he enjoys a clean cab and works hard to keep it that way. He explained that he vacuums at least every other day, if not everyday. We discussed shedding and how pet hair can be an issue in a cab. Because Trixie is a Beagle, she sheds a moderate amount. Donut said that shedding is not a problem as long as you vacuum frequently.
Stay away from puppies. Similar to a newborn, puppies require constant attention. They are needy and untrained. Donut has a history as a dog trainer and reports that it takes a strict schedule, continuous energy, and a lot of time to train your puppy—something you don’t necessarily have while on the road.
Veterinarian trips. It is most convenient to schedule major vet appointments during home time. Donut explained that when an issue arises on the road, he looks for the nearest veterinary clinic or books an appointment with one of PetSmart’s 900 pet hospitals around the country.
If you are interested in bringing your four-legged friend on the road with you, check out our pet policy.