DOT Physical: How Pets Help Reduce Commercial Drivers’ Blood Pressure

What Does A Pet Have To Do With A DOT Physical?

When drivers come in to do their DOT physical for CDL certification, a concern we hear most frequently is about high blood pressure. In a news article,  High Blood Pressure: Commercial Driver Risk?, we’ve covered the FMCSR medical guidelines regarding blood pressure and commercial driver certification.

In the same article we covered the #1 Secret To Reducing Your Blood Pressure.

So, what does a pet have to do with a DOT physical? We’ll let the proverbial ‘cat out of the bag’, here, if you’ll excuse the pun.

What’s the best kept secret to keeping you blood pressure low and stay out of hypertension?
Move!
It’s that simple. Movement improves blood flow and helps reduce blood pressure. 
Move any way you can, any time you can!

Ten minute activity periods, four or five times a day will go a long way to help keep your blood pressure under control, and pass your next DOT physical with flying colors.
Bottom line for commercial drivers: Your blood pressure needs to be below 140/90.

Dog Companions Keep Their Driver Owners On The Move

Many of the drivers who come in to Chiro Stop for their DOT physical, own a dog. Dogs get their driver owners out of the truck and into the fresh air and sunshine. If you have a dog for a pet, you get to go for a walk at least three or four times a day. And, an added benefit – while out walking, you meet other people who are more willing to strike up a conversation because of your dog – maybe a chance to blow off steam and unwind. A dog not only provides companionship and affection, but also security and protection.

Pets Can Promote Physical and Mental Health

Pets are great companions for commercial drivers who spend much time alone and have little contact with family and friends. Pets give them a different outlook and help them relax. Pets bring laughter and love into their lives. Several studies have shown that pets can aid in relaxation, lower one’s blood pressure and promote physical and mental health.

Commercial Drivers Have A Variety of Pets

"Pet Vietnamese Pig". Photo by Eowina on Flickr

In the years that we’ve been doing DOT physicals with drivers, we’ve had conversations on many subjects. But, if a driver has a pet, the subject of that pet will always come up. Funny thing is, more than half of pet owners say they’d prefer the company of their pet, to that of another human, if they were stranded on an island. And, for drivers, these pets come in a variety of species. Dogs are most popular, but some have cats, snakes, and birds, and we also know of a goat and a vietnamese pig.

Pets are loyal, nonjudgmental and full of unconditional love. They don’t hold grudges, bring up the past or stop interacting with their owners because of a difference of opinion. Who could ask for anything more?

Be well!

Doc Kenn

Are you a commercial driver with a pet on board? Tell us about it. Click on COMMENTS just below!

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1 Comment

  1. Kristine

     /  May 27, 2014

    I am considering a career in truck driving and I am glad that some companies allow pets. But I was wondering how do truck drivers keep a cat or a dog out of their way while driving? I have an elderly cat and she isn’t very active. But she still gets up and wants to sit on my lap or get to where my feet are when I am driving. She is a “Veteran Jeeper” since she traveled with me and a friend state to state in a Jeep! WE kept her out of the way, but if I travel by myself in a truck with a cat, how will that work?

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