New Pet and Pet Travel Preparation Tips
So, you have a new pet….a puppy or kitten? Or, did you get an adult dog or cat?
Wonderful!! This is a very exciting time, and you have a life-long adventure ahead of you. Welcome to Pet Parenthood.
A key feature needed for new pets, young or old, is training. All pets require it. We normally think about house training and/or obedience training for dogs, while we focus on litter box training for cats. No one thinks about training to prepare for future pet travel? If you intend to travel with your pet, I believe it should be added to the to-do list of types of training.
In preparation for future air travel, you should purchase an IATA-compliant travel crate. The travel crate will have a dual purpose with puppies, assisting with house training and future pet travel. Just realize that as your puppy grows into adulthood, the crate may become too small for your dog. Thus, you’ll need to purchase a larger crate over time. Please make sure that it’s the appropriate size if/when you use the travel crate for in cargo air travel. For in cargo air travel, the crate must be large enough to allow your pet to stand, sit, and turn about without touching the top or sides, inside of the crate.
I suggest keeping your pets’ travel crate out and accessible. Let them play in it, sleep in it, and take them on short trips with it. Basically, the travel crate should be associated with positive experiences for your pet.
Features of an IATA-compliant crate as seen in the photo
- Crate door must have a lock with hinges.
- Lower portion of the crate is solid with no ventilation openings.
- Upper and lower portions of the crate are secured by threaded nuts and bolts.
- Ventilation openings are on the upper portion of the crate.
- Upper portion of the crate has a solid top with no additional door/opening.
Tips to get your new pet prepared
- Purchase an IATA-compliant crate/carrier that is the appropriate size for your pet.
- Keep the crate/carrier in a shared area in your household.
- Make the crate/carrier comfortable (add bedding) and make it fun (add toys, use pheromones or catnip, etc.).
- Feed your pet inside the crate/carrier.
- Once your pet is comfortable being inside the crate/carrier, enclose them for increments of time-but stay nearby.
- Extend the amount of time that they enclosed, however leave the room to see how they respond.
- Take short trips with your pet inside its crate/carrier. Make it fun for them and reward them at the end of the trip.
Ultimately, you want your pet to be accustomed to being inside its crate/carrier. With time and patience, your pet will learn to like it. Additionally, this will make traveling with them less stressful.