traveling with your dog - start here
Dogs are just the Best - Aren't they? I mean, where else can you find such an incredible display of bundled up joy and unconditional love joined in one fur ball?
Our dogs travel with us everywhere. We bring them along on camping trips and road outings. Many are up for a hike and can even carry their backpack. Others still are great partners for a rafting trip!
We sleep and play with them. We teach our dogs tricks. And, often enough they educate us - when we pause to listen!
They are small and large. Short and Tall. Some, skinny and others more round. Some are quiet. And, a few - well, require more love and patience.
They are naive and trusting to a fault. They are the joy of our family. Dogs are our family!
We do life with our dogs. They make our lives. Dogs are our Best Friend - for many our soul mates. And, they are certainly not with us long enough - So, we gotta do right by them while we share our time together in their world - Don't You Agree?
Welcome to Trucking with Mans Best Friend! A place where Truckers, RVers, and Vacationers alike will find that traveling with your dog can be a hugely rewarding experience for both you and your pup. And, with a little planning, you to can keep your "Best Friend" Safe, Happy and Healthy, while chasing your next mile!
My name is Wesley and it's great that you found your way here! I am a veteran, an over-the-road truck driver, and the creator of this site. Just one dude in a truck and one very awesome dog as my co-pilot!
Are you stressed about bringing your dog with you on your next trip? Maybe, wondering if you are prepared for how to care for your pup while traveling to relatives over a holiday?
Or, are you bringing your dog on an extended trip in your RV, going camping, hiking - Aghast! Even entertaining the thought of bringing your dog in a big-rig truck while working as an over-the-road (OTR) Truck Driver?
No Worries! You've come to the right place. I've been there, done it - still doing it.., And, loving every minute spent with my dog while traveling our open roads.
My Journey from Dog Owner to Trucking with a Dog Full Time
I'll never forget the initial panic that I felt when taking to the road full time with Chelsea. Can I do this - I thought.., Will she be safe? How do I best prepare for her needs? How do I prepare for a possible crisis while so many miles away from home and my beloved vet. The list of "what if's" seemed overwhelming.
Has Your Vet Checked Your Dog's First Aid Kit for Travel?
The next logical step was to simply visit my veterinarian. And, with pen and paper in hand, voice my concerns. That was the single most important step for me in my journey and traveling with my dog 24/7.
Dr. Michelle Toms is my hero! And, my goal is to share what I have learned from the good Doc and her capable and actionable advice.
She taught me the value of having a good dog first aid kit while traveling. And, showed me how to put my own dog first aid gear together - the right way!
She explained what the best practices and usage of the items in my bag were for. Especially, since I may have limited access to a vet - should I need one in a jiff - and, would be so many miles away from home. Dr. Toms.., You Rock!
She also explained the importance of keeping my dog up to date on vaccinations - (did u know? it's the law when crossing many state lines) and keeping my dog's paperwork organized and readily available.
These were necessary first steps to beginning my journey with a dog in a truck on a full-time basis. But, only the beginning. I had so very, very much to learn!
I will introduce you to Chelsea and Whisper - lessons I've learned (and ongoing) from both of them. And, arguably, the best teachers of all!
Whisper's got some hard running ahead of her if she plans on catching Chelsea's many miles. We're having a blast trying anyhow! And, with some solid preparation, the next road trip that you take with your pup will be both safe and memorable. So, Let's get to it!
Puppies Start Here Before Traveling
I will share our journey and the “potential events” that Chelsea - And now Whisper and I live with and during our travels most days of each year.
As you navigate this site, it is my hope that you will find a tip or two along the way to better prepare your pup for your next journey!
And, being prepared for an unknown event is a good idea when sometimes too far from the nearest veterinarian to assist our dog in need.
Whether traveling away from home for a short stint, or trucking across this country delivering America's goods; our furry companions can sometimes find trouble.
What mother nature has planned for us from day to day is always at the top of our list to prepare for before heading out.
A typical winter day could begin with 15 degrees Fahrenheit in Flagstaff, AZ and be 85 degrees in Phoenix several hours later. Or maybe blowing 70 mph and -25 in Livingston, MT and just a balmy 30 in Billings, MT.
So, it's hugely important to prepare your dog for a wide degree of temperature variants when traveling. And, plan for the worst should the weather get nasty.
If you are on the road for any amount of time, Dog Preventative Paw Care is just as important the shoes that you consider for your outdoor activities.
Many of the noticeable injuries that I have witnessed during my trucking travels is paw pad injuries.
Some have been from slight abrasions or small cuts to the paw. Others, and very unfortunately (because most dog paw injuries are certainly preventable), are burns from summer hot pavements or unprotected paws on the ice (chemicals from road salt treatments are also a concern).
Technology is awesome. However, if we are not prepared for the unknown (mental physical awareness of your surroundings), then the best technology may not be able to assist our dogs in a time of crisis.
God forbid your dog is choking on a chicken wing that another motorist may have tossed out the window? Please beware around rest areas and truck stops during your travels of foreign debris - Unfortunately, choking hazards can be abundant in these areas.
Do you know what to do? Is the procedure for performing the dog Heimlich maneuver second nature to you?
Hypothetically - Maybe, the kids are enjoying some run and fun with "Max," the family dog during a roadside picnic.
And, you notice that Max is panting very quick and heavy under the midday sun. Do you know the symptoms of heat stroke in a dog? Or, what steps to take next and other signs to look for?
These are all good and very essential knowledge areas that may assist you in helping your dog should he become overheated.
And, possibly save your pup's life until able to get your dog to a medical professional.
A good canine kit (and the know-how to use it) will be one of the greatest assets (outside of fresh water), that you can pack when traveling with your dog(s).
Chelsea and I got outdoors, hiked, rafted and out of the Dog-Gone Truck as often as possible – Whisper is now approaching 7 months and am looking forward to those long treks as well!
And, once a year or so, the good doctor checks my kit and we resupply outdated items as needed.
Thankfully, we have never had to utilize anything much larger than the Benadryl, tweezers, antiseptic wipes, maybe some Pepto Bismol and triple- antibiotic ointment.
Remember to pack a dog first aid kit for your next road trip - Hopefully, you will never need it! And, in the unfortunate event of a more serious injury like a muscle tear, broken bone or worse; you, the responsible dog owner, will be in the drivers seat to stabilize your dog until a professional can take over.
And, that's a Very Good Thing!
DOG GONE QUICK RESOURCES
Here are a few resources that have certainly been useful to me as I travel different parts of our country. I hope that you will find them as informative and useful as I have. If you have anything that you would like to add to this, please leave me a email through the contact form or simply leave a comment below. And, thanks in advance!
DOG GONE HELPFUL ANDROID APPS
Here are 3 apps that I found in the Google Play Store and keep on my "Android" phone. The vet finder can be especially helpful while on the road and away from home. (Please Note: I do not have any affiliation with these apps or the information contained within them. They were free at the time of this post - And, you will have to check Google's Play Store for any changes and device usage guidelines).
And, remember that if you are traveling, hiking or camping in an area without an internet connection - And, an unfortunate mishap occurs.., Then these tools are Not going to help you or Your Dog out of a Crisis.
It is my belief that the kindest thing that we can do for our dog(s) - is to learn how to recognize if something is amiss - And, if necessary, patch them up until we can safely get them to the professional that can best care for them!
If you need a quick answer on what you can safely feed your dog (until you can confirm with your vet), you will most likely find it here.
To include, which foods, medications, supplements, toys and even shampoos are safe for your dog.
This site even covers if You, the dog owner, are capable of giving pink-eye to your dog OR even giving your dog an IQ Test!! There is an absolute wealth of information here to take advantage of!
Ticks and mosquitoes can both be killers for our furry loved ones. Some parts of the country are certainly more prone to outbreaks in either insect for sure.
And, Lyme disease in dogs is nothing to fool around with. Being prepared to remove ticks from your pup safely is important. And, quickly while on the road before any tick borne diseases can be transmitted to your dog.
This site provides an insight into what parts of our country may be hit the hardest in any given year. You will find a comprehensive list of the many types of parasites which can affect your dog while on the road.
It really doesn't matter if you are a RVer, an occasional vactioneer OR big-rig truck driver. When traveling across our nation, the impact of parasites can change dramatically from region to region.
From Ear Mites, to Scabies, Hookworm and Ticks. This is a great resource to see what might be “Biting” in your neck of the woods.
In an emergency. And, especially while traveling on the road, time may not be on your dog's side. This resource provides a comprehensive list of symptoms, conditions and behaviors.
For instance, a swollen abdomen in your dog could be a life threatening emergency.
This information can also assist you in making an informed decision should an unfortunate event occur while on the road and away from home.
Let's all join together in ensuring a safe road trip for all of our dogs. Enjoy the heck out of your pup - They ask for so little. Yet, Reward All of Us Huge! They're not with us long enough. That's for dog gone sure!
Whisper Playing near Missoula, Montana December 2016