Can Truck Drivers Have Pets?

Trucking can be a pretty lonely industry. Truckers spend long days on the road, often with no companionship. But some drivers have found a way to bring a furry friend in their trucks. While it might seem that having a dog or a cat along for the ride is impractical, it’s actually quite feasible for a truck driver to have pets. Pet ownership can provide many benefits for truck drivers.

Pets have health benefits for truck drivers

Truck drivers have pets in the truck with them.
Truck driver with pets | Getty Images

Knight Transportation has put together a list of some of the most significant benefits of a truck driver having pets. Topping the list is all the health benefits of taking proper care of your pet while you’re on the road. 

Studies have revealed that pet owners have lower cholesterol levels and triglycerides than non-pet owners. These levels directly correlate with a lessened likelihood of someone developing heart disease. Similarly, senior citizen pet owners are 30 percent less likely to visit the doctor than people who don’t own pets. 

Another crucial benefit of pet ownership for truck drivers is that owning a pet has been shown to be correlated with a lower risk of hypertension. Because of a trucker’s sedentary lifestyle, this is a significant benefit.  

Pets fulfill crucial human emotional needs

While physical health is obviously important, so too is mental health, which can be a challenge to maintain for truckers who endure the loneliness of weeks on the road. Mental health challenges have only increased in recent years as trucker shortages have led to longer times away from home for the drivers who remain in the industry. Luckily, pet ownership can help here as well. 

Studies have shown that people with pets have a lower risk of depression than those without them. This could be related to the fact that interacting with a furry friend such as a dog or cat has been shown to raise levels of dopamine and serotonin. These brain chemicals contribute to positive emotions as they calm your nerves and create a sense of relaxation. 

Another emotional benefit pets can provide truckers is that they fulfill the need we all have for human interaction. Truckers who operate solo can go weeks without human companionship, but petting a dog, cat, or other furry creature can fulfill the need we all have to share a caring touch with another being. 

Pets can provide structure to a trucker’s day

Truck drivers can often push themselves to keep driving from destination to destination as quickly as possible. However, this internal pressure can backfire on the driver’s physical and mental health. 

An endless day of sitting in the truck’s cab staring at the open road can be very hard on one’s body and mind. That’s why having a pet along for the ride can be so helpful for a trucker.

Truckers can feel much more obligated to take regular stops along their journey with a pet to care for. Stops can occur for several reasons: feeding a pet, allowing it to go for a walk, or making sure it has an opportunity to go to the bathroom. 

Giving a pet the opportunity for regular fresh air and exercise allows the pet’s human to get the same benefits. And breaking up the trip in this way can keep a driver from developing dangerous tunnel vision, allowing them to make sure they remain focused while driving. 

Truck drivers who have pets gain a whole host of benefits. If there’s a trucker in your life, consider letting them know what they could gain from having a pet join them for their work. 

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