Whether you are a regular driver or a commercial motorist, there's a good chance that you might be taking a four-legged friend with you on the road this holiday season. For the trucker, many companies are offering pet policies that allow drivers to take along a furry co-pilot for companionship.

Many folks don't like to leave their pets at home for extended periods of time, and bringing an animal along on your journeys can be an exciting experience for everyone involved. However, traveling with a pet may also provide some harships for both the owner and the animal involved. There are some things drivers must take into consideration when trucking with pets this upcoming holiday season.

Feel Confident And Experienced Before Bringing A Pet Along - Many trucking sources recommend that drivers who are considering taking a pet along ought to have some verifiable level of driving experience. Those with experience under their belts are less likely to be distracted by animals in the cab and generally find that should any problems arise while transporting an animal, they have some practical knowledge to fall back upon. Drivers with little experience are discouraged from riding with their pets as to stay focused and to avoid any potential hazards.

Provide a Safe and Comfortable Restraint – Most dogs, if not all dogs, love the feeling of poking their head out the window and taking in the fresh air of the highway. Allowing pets to roam inside may also prove problematic, as they may accidentally hit some cab features or hinder the driver from performing as attentively as possible.  Drivers are encouraged to secure their pets in a comfortable yet secure harness or restraint system so that they stay put in a location while simultaneously feeling comfortable in their seat.

Keep Supplies On Hand For Both Passengers – Should an accident or layover prevent a driver from reaching their anticipated destination, it’s important they have emergency food and water on board. However, your pet will also require food and water in the case of an emergency. Drivers should be sure to stock up on extra emergency rations in the event of a stop. When traveling with two passengers – even if one is an animal – it’s always better to overstock than to be understocked.

Account For Changes In Weather - Because certain breeds of dogs can be more sensitive to the cold (or in some areas, a warmer autumn or fall) it's imperative that pet owners bring along the necessary equipment to keep their animals comfortable. Having a spare blanket or an insulated harness can help a dog combat the cold. Pets also needn't be subject to cold temperatures to use the bathroom or to walk around. Finding a suitable location free of sleet or snow will make an animal feel more comfortable and prevent any foreseeable harm they might face due to having sensitive paws.

Bringing a pet along on the road is a terrific opportunity for drivers to have a meaningful and fulfilling experience in trucking. By ensuring a pet’s safety, drivers can then better ensure the safety of everyone sharing the road.