Category Archives: Pets

Winter Wellness

Winter Wellness- The cold, dry air of winter is hard, not only on your truck, but on you and on your skin as well. You need to bundle up when the cold temperatures are hovering outdoors! Staying warm; keeping your core temperature up becomes a priority.

By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm

The cold, dry air of winter is hard, not only on your truck, but on you and on your skin as well. You need to bundle up when the cold temperatures are hovering outdoors! Staying warm; keeping your core temperature up becomes a priority.

It’s important to remember to wear gloves or mittens to protect your fingers and hands and to wrap a winter scarf around your neck and face. When it’s very cold outside having a scarf covering your nose and mouth will help tremendously because it will filter the air you breathe in,  warming it before it enters your airways.

Whenever you are going to be out in the cold for any length of time wearing a stocking hat that keeps your head and ears covered is a necessity since we lose most of our body heat through our heads.

It doesn’t take long to get frostbite on fingers and toes, and, if it’s extreme enough, you could lose some of those digits. So, make sure you have heavy socks and good winter boots, along with a pair of warm insulated coveralls included with your regular wardrobe during the winter months.

As our dear friend Bette Garber always used to tell us, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Keeping your skin hydrated is important, using a good moisturizer is a necessity for men and women, especially at this time of year when cold temperatures cause all of the moisture to disappear from the atmosphere. Get, and use, a good ChapStick for your lips as they are almost always exposed and dry out easily.

You still need to use sunscreen, just like it was summer, maybe even more so. In winter the UV rays have less contaminants in the atmosphere to block them, so even though the days are shorter, the harmful rays are still shining down and the reflective effect off the snow is dangerous.

Another winter tip we use but often forget to mention is saline spray for nasal passages. Doing what we do, traveling through climate changes and altitude differences daily, one of the things we can experience is sinus pressure. We have found that carrying a bottle of saline spray mist is a very useful tool that helps tremendously to relieve the pressure buildup and headache that oftentimes accompanies the pressure. The problem is created due to the drying out of the nasal passages, using the saline mist puts moisture back into those areas.

We have also noticed that there are even snow chains available that you can get to “chain up” your shoes. These studded shoe covers can be a lifesaver when it gets icy out! A slip on the ice could be devastating to you physically, emotionally, as well as financially if it resulted in an injury that prevented you from working for weeks or months. The recovery time for an event like that could crush a family, so take care!

The basic winter checklist should still apply here:

  • Winter clothing: coats, boots, hats, gloves, extra clothing
  • Sweatshirts, insulated pants, thermals, layer clothing
  • Extra blankets or comforters/throws
  • Food, peanut butter & crackers, tuna fish packets, granola bars
  • Bottle water!!
  • Fresh batteries & flashlight
  • Rock salt to help if you get stuck to the road surface
  • Pet Parents – Remember to pack plenty of food & bottle water for your fur baby!

Speaking of pets, don’t forget them when the temperatures plummet! Have a coat and boots for them and use a warm, dry towel to dry them off as soon as they get back in the truck. Be sure to carry plenty of bottled water for them so you can be sure of what they’re drinking. Keep plenty of food onboard, you never know when or where you might get snowed in.

Lastly, always keep your fuel tanks at half full or higher whenever the weather forecast looks ugly! You never know when you may need that extra fuel to last due to a road closure! It’s ALWAYS better to be prepared and safe.

Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!


Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.


 

Pet Safety

Advice for a Happy & Healthy Furry Friend

By Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm

There are many drivers out there who have a furry kid on board these days, and many more that are considering getting one. Having a pet along for the ride can be a very rewarding experience. Neither of us would ever leave home without ours! That being said, you need to be a responsible pet parent, taking all necessary precautions to protect your furry little sidekick. Like a good boy (or girl) scout, be prepared!

First of all, if you drive for a company, find out their pet policy since some companies do not allow pets in the truck. Be sure to get your pet vaccinated against all diseases required by law, as well as vaccinated against anything that your pet may be exposed to simply by location. There are parts of the country where certain things may not be an issue. For example, I live in Arizona where Dixie would not need to be vaccinated against the Leptospirosis virus, but since we travel and spend a lot of time in upstate New York in rural wooded areas, my vet advised that we needed to do it. It is very important that your vet understands your pet is going to be all over the map, literally, so that they can protect accordingly.

Keep copies of vaccination and license records with you in the truck, making sure they are always up to date. You may also want to have your pet micro-chipped by your vet for your pets’ safety, as well as for your own peace of mind. Keep these copies, along with a photo of your pet, within easy reach of the drivers seat in case of emergency. Putting them in your permit book works well and keeps them safe. If you are involved in an accident you can provide first responders with vital information immediately to help them treat and or locate your pet right away.

While rolling, I have gotten into the practice of tethering my dog to my seat belt. It’s a simple task, I just attach a 6 foot leash to her collar and loop the other end over the hard part of my seat belt before buckling it up. This gives her plenty of room to move around, get a drink, etc., but still keeps her close and keeps her from bolting ‘just in case’.

Always leash your pet. Just because your dog is friendly does not mean every dog is friendly! Carry a plastic bag to pick up after your pet, especially when you are at a customer’s dock. Not all of these places even allow you to walk your animals while there, so when they do it is important to respect them and pick up after your pet.

Carry plenty of supplies for your pet. If your pet needs special food or medication, make sure you have enough before leaving home or make arrangements to get it while on the road. Heartgard and flea and tick protection are both monthly, year-round applications when traveling nationally, so keep these in stock as well. We carry bottled water for our dogs so that we can be sure there is consistency in what they drink. This way we are sure there aren’t any gastric problems for our ‘babies’.

Iowa 80 offers a pet wash, the Dog-O-Mat, so any time you can get your truck washed Rover can get cleaned up too! This do-it-yourself facility is out in front of the Truckomat and works really well. It’s a separate building from the Truckomat that is specially built just for you and Fido. It is a protected and clean facility for drivers and their fur babies!

Advice for a Happy & Healthy Furry Friend- There are many drivers out there who have a furry kid on board these days, and many more that are considering getting one. Having a pet along for the ride can be a very rewarding experience. Neither of us would ever leave home without ours!
Iowa80.com’s chrome dog, Andy, loves to sniff out doggone good deals for you.

Exercise is always difficult for us when we drive, but having a dog on-board helps motivate us to move. We have to get out and walk when we have a dog, and it’s good for both of us. Some truck stops now even have walking paths. If you use these, please be sure to clean up after your dog so the privilege is not lost to others because of a few.

Last of all, keep all food (dog and people) out of reach from your pet or behind latched doors, and empty the garbage often. This can keep you from having to hunt an emergency veterinarian clinic someday, I promise! Although there is work involved, having these furry little critters with us have far greater rewards than we could ever explain.

Stay safe out there & Keep It Shiny!


Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.