Puppy Crates & Carriers
Puppies carriers can be a lifesaver!
Puppies are loved by many. Tiny, playful, and affectionate, they can be hard to resist. But there are many factors to think about and decisions to make before deciding to bring home your furry friend, and one of those is transportation.
Puppy carriers are essential when it comes to the well-being of your puppy. From taking them home for the first time, going to the vets for jabs, or travelling around together, it is essential to do your research first to ensure not only your puppy's comfort and well-being but also your own. A handy and versatile addition to your supplies, your puppy carrier will keep your dog safe while making the travelling process more manageable and less stressful, keeping your mind at rest. Opening up all sorts of travel options, this piece of equipment even makes it possible for you to take your puppy on a plane.
But with so many carriers currently on the market, it can be challenging to know which is the right one for your puppy - from the standard crate to a puppy car carrier or sling, shopping for one is not an easy task.
How to pick the perfect puppy carrier for your new best friend
Measure your puppy
Before you can pick a puppy carrier, you need to take your dog's measurements (from the head to the tail). As your dog is currently a puppy, they will grow fast, so it is essential to bear that in mind. Your carrier needs to be large enough for your puppy to be comfortable without restricting its movement completely. That means being able to easily stretch, turn around, and stand up.
You will also need to have a rough idea of how much your puppy weighs since many carriers have weight limits. To keep your puppy safe, you need to ensure that it won't break and is sturdy enough to hold it without straining. If you have a breed that is on the heavier side, then look to invest in a bigger size that is sturdier, ensuring safety and comfort, as well as durability.
Consider its uses
If you are only using your carrier to take your puppy home, for visits to the vet or standard car trips, then a lightweight carrier that is easy to pack and carry will probably be the option. However, if you plan on travelling frequently, it makes more sense to invest in a carrier that fits airline regulations and requirements and is more durable, even if it is a bit heavier.
Invest in quality
While there are many things you can scrimp and save on, a puppy carrier isn't one of them. Your puppy is a living, breathing creature, and as an owner, it is your responsibility to keep them as safe and comfortable as possible. When looking at possible carrier options, it is essential to look for good-quality materials, including sturdy latches, closures, and belts. Remember that the interior is just as important as the exterior, and while you want something sturdy on the outside, you also want a cosy space for your puppy on the inside. Consider various design aspects as well, such as mesh panels for ventilation as well as openings and pockets for food. While an excellent high-quality carrier will be more expensive, they benefit from extra safety, putting your mind at ease during trips.
Crating a puppy is a practice designed to teach your new arrival to accept a crate (or a cage) as a safe and secure location. Used properly, a crate can become a positive area for your puppy and in the fullness of time, it can even be used when transporting your pooch, and to facilitate other aspects of training. Learning how to use a puppy crate is an important part of welcoming a new pup into the house, so it is important to know the basics before you bring them home. Let us go through the facts…
Is crating cruel to dogs?
The idea of caging a pet can seem troubling to some who have not gone through the process, but if done correctly the crate can become a haven for your dog and somewhere, they will go readily and willingly.
How do you crate train a dog?
The very first thing to do is pick a crate! You want to ensure you have a crate that will be large enough to allow your dog not only to get inside, but to stretch out once they are in there. If you are crate training a puppy, bear in mind that they do not stay that size, so allow some room for growth. From this point on you might be wondering how to crate train a puppy, so let us go through it step by step:
- Get your pup used to the space. Kneel-down by the crate and call your dog; use treats as encouragement. As they come closer, reward your pup with treats and verbal prompts. Place a treat inside the crate and, once your dog enters the crate, congratulate them.
- It is important not to close the crate door behind your pup once they get in. If it feels like a confined space, your crate will not become a positive place for a puppy, so prop the door open and let them wander in and out.
- To encourage them to spend time in there, equip the crate with a comfortable bed, some toys and a bowl of water. Once your dog is happily entering the crate, begin to feed them their meals in there. After a while, they will go directly there at mealtimes.
- When your dog is eating their meals in the crate, start to close the door once they begin eating. This gets them used to the idea of being closed in, but to avoid it becoming stressful for them you should open the door a little before they finish.
- As your dog gets more used to a closed door, you can leave it shut a little longer each time; the goal is that once they have finished eating, your pup will stretch out and rest in the crate.
- Get your dog used to you moving around the room while they are in the crate. At first, they may react and get a little anxious, so stop where you are and only go to them once they start to settle. Increase how far you go from the crate the more they get used to it.
- Come up with a command that your pet associates with the crate. A single word call such as “Bed!” or simply “Crate!” will be ideal and can be used whenever you want them to go to their crate. Start to use it at times other than mealtimes.
- If your dog becomes anxious at any step, go back a step, and build their confidence at that stage. Move on when there is no sign of your puppy crying in crate and they are happy to progress to the next step.
When do you begin crate training a puppy?
The simple truth is that from the moment you bring a puppy home, the best time to start crate training is “now”. If a pup is eight weeks old, or any older than that, then it is a perfect time, but in truth you can begin even before that.
Essentially, if you have bought from a reputable breeder or adopted a puppy, they will be old enough to begin crate training - and the earlier you start, the better. Although it is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, it is certainly easier to teach a puppy.
Final, further tips
To ensure your dog has a pleasant, rewarding crating experience, remember the following points:
- Consistency is key. The more consistent you are, the more confident your dog will be.
- Never use the crate as punishment; though it can be a time-out space if your pet becomes anxious.
- Before sending your dog into the crate, let them out to go to the toilet, so they do not feel the need to go in there.
- Ensure your pup has access to the crate as standard, and make it invite; you want them to go there of their own accord at times.
- Finally, do not - ever - leave your pet in the crate longer than four hours at a time; at this point, they are liable to become highly anxious.