Truckers and Puppers: The Best Driving Duo
Last year was an unequivocal dumpster fire. But pet owners fared a little better than most. That’s why “pandemic pets” became the MVPs of our quaranteams, with over 11 million U.S. households bringing home a new pet last year. And it’s not surprising why. Increasing evidence links pet ownership to greater happiness and health. A recent study about dog owners during the pandemic reported that they benefited from increased exercise, less anxiety, and the release of oxytocin from pet interactions (which brings feelings of well-being and relaxation). But here’s the catch. You actually have to spend time with your pet to reap those benefits.
It can be really tough for truck drivers to have pets, especially if your routes require you to be away from home for weeks at a time. Few people know a friend or family member who will pet sit 40 weeks a year. But drivers who opt to take advantage of a company’s pet policy can actually be less stressed and more focused at work. In stressful traffic jams, truck drivers look to their pets for a source of peace and comfort. Others truck with guard dogs who serve as personal security details. For all drivers, the basic process of taking care of a pet helps them be more active throughout the day. It’s pretty clear that truck driving is better with a pet.
That’s why we built a robust pet policy for our drivers. When we started Variant, drivers told us what mattered most, and we built a company around it. We heard from pet lovers all over the country who told us life on the road would not be complete without their beloved dog or cat. Variant drivers are permitted (and encouraged) to bring one dog or one cat on their truck. And many drivers take advantage of the pet policy. So many, we wrote a blog post about it.
Variant VIPs (Very Important Pups)
Meet Bear. He rides with Jojon, who’s logged over 60,000 miles with Variant. That’s like 1,000,000 in dog miles. Bear has been a registered service dog for over 4 years, helping Jojon to relieve anxiety and PTSD symptoms. When Bear notices stressors on the road, he comforts Jojon until they pass. “Bear is especially helpful when I’m in really bad traffic and four wheelers are cutting me off. It’s easy to get angry after a long week of driving in rough conditions, but Bear is calming, and he always makes the stress more manageable.”