Traveling with a doggie in tow is never the most relaxing situation, even in the greatest of circumstances. After all, dogs tend to get nervous in new and confusing surroundings, and the goal is always to make sure that they remain as comfy and happy as possible. Travel crates sometimes help owners accomplish that.
Travel crates can help pooches be secure and sound during times of transportation. If your doggie accompanies you in the cabin of an airplane, on a cruise ship, in a taxi or even in your own car, a travel crate can help you not only keep track of his exact location at all times, it can also keep him in a fixed spot so that he doesn't serve as a hazard to himself or to others -- particularly to drivers, who always need to keep their focuses straight ahead.
Since travel can be an overwhelming and disorienting experience for canines, crates can also function as familiar, low-key, serene and reliable safe havens for them. Dogs tend to gravitate toward cozy, private and somewhat clandestine spaces for times of rest, and crates fit the bill in all of these categories. Canines in nature have the urge to den, and household dogs often retain those innate feelings.
Selecting Travel Crates
If you are planning on your dog traveling in a crate on an airplane, check with the airline beforehand regarding any rules about specific types of them. Airlines often implement crate size requirements, for instance. Regardless of your specific mode of travel, look for a crate that is roomy and can permit your doggie to easily stand and circle. Make sure, also, that it can offer your pet proper air circulation. Crates come in an array of different styles, including both plastic and wire. Consider all of the different facets before you choose your pet's crate, including the airline's rules and your veterinarian's expert opinion.
Prepare your dog's crate for a successful traveling experience by always noting your contact details on its exterior, recommends the American Kennel Club. Make sure that the crate also is clearly marked "Live Animal." Line the interior of the crate with doggie pads that can soak up urine. Examine the inside of the crate thoroughly and check to see if anything inside could potentially poke at your pet -- a major no-no. When you get to the airport, check-in at the counter with your pet is necessary -- no self-check-in is permitted with animals. When you initially purchase your tickets, you are required to specify whether you want your dog to travel in cargo or alongside you in the cabin. At the counter, you might want to inquire with the airline employees regarding locations of any designated pet relief sections throughout the airport -- definitely a help for antsy doggies who might need to eliminate.
Crate Training Prior to Travel
Crate-training prior to travel is a must. Give your dog a positive association with the crate before you even begin planning your journey. If your dog adjusts to the crate in familiar surroundings, he might get accustomed to it a lot quicker. Allow your dog to relax and play around in the crate days before departure time.
Always keep doggie crates in backseats of cars, as the front seats can be hazardous. Keep the crates safely in place with straps -- a must for abrupt stops and other situations. Check your local pet store for straps that are designed specifically for keeping doggie crates safe and totally secure while in transit.
- DogChannel.com: 8 Great Reasons to Use a Dog Crate
- DogChannel.com: Dogs Traveling by Airplane
- ASPCA: Weekend Crate Training
- ASPCA: Air Travel Tips
- American Kennel Club: Traveling With Your Dog
- The Humane Society of the United States: Crate Training
- Partnership for Animal Welfare: Dog Tip - Car Trips and Car Safety