Dogs are social creatures that enjoy traveling as much as you do. Whether it’s to the grocery store or to another state, dogs make great travel companions. While traveling with your furry friend can be fun, it can also be nightmarish, especially when you choose the wrong carrier crate. As a dog owner, there are two main types of dog crates to choose from, hard and soft-sided crates.
Choosing a portable soft-sided crate While hard sided crates can be useful in certain situations, soft-sided one’s offer the perfect balance between convenience and comfort for your dog. Therefore, there are a host of reasons why a soft-sided crate will be ideal for your dog. However, before settling on a soft-sided crate there are some important things you should know.
The first thing to keep in mind when selecting a soft-sided crate is that they are generally not ideal for aggressive dogs. Thus, if your canine companion tends to be aggressive when confined or loves chewing, a soft-sided crate is not for you. In essence, not all dogs can be carried inside a portable soft dog crate.
In some instances, your dog may be able to open the zipper entrance of its portable soft-sided crate. It is for this reason that it is recommended to secure the zipper using a paperclip.
One of the most important factors to consider when buying a portable soft crate for your dog is the size of the crate. The crate should not be too big or too small for your dog. The basic rule of thumb is that the crate should be big enough for your pooch to move around.
Most professional dog trainers advise against carrying untrained dogs in soft-sided crates. Therefore, it is wise to understand your dog’s behavior first before using a soft crate. Training may help prepare your puppy or dog for traveling inside a confined space.
Choosing an air approved dog carrier Virtually all types of dog crate can be used for carrying your dog inside a car. The same cannot be said for airline travel, however. When you decide to bring your dog on an airline there are several stringent requirements you must meet. One of which is that you must have the right airline approved dog carrier.
Choosing the right airline approved dog carrier can be frustrating especially since different airports have different regulations on dog carriers. Also, the requirements will vary based on where the dog will be carried, in the cabin or belly of the plane. Armed with the right information you can save yourself the frustration.
For you to bring your dog with you inside a plane’s cabin the size of the carrier will be crucial. This is because the carrier will be placed under the seat in front of you. As such a large crate may not fit under a seat.
Apart from being small enough to fit under a seat, the carrier should also have a waterproof bottom. Adequate ventilation is another thing that a dog carrier should have for it to be cabin approved. There are quite a number of airline approved soft side crates for small dogs you can choose from.
If you have a large dog, then it will be transported in the belly of the plane. In this regard, the carrier that you use should be well ventilated and have a secure locking mechanism. The last thing you want is your dog escaping from its crate in the middle of a flight. Water and food attachments should also be included in any airline approved dog carrier.
The safety of your dog should be guaranteed when traveling in an aeroplane. Therefore, it is important to use a carrier with sturdy fasteners. Also, the crate should have a live animal tag attached to it. This is in addition to an identification tag and tags with relevant flight information.
It is worth noting that not all airlines allow you to bring your pooch on a flight. Other airlines do not allow the carriage of dogs in the cabin. Therefore, before traveling it is important you familiarize yourself with airport rules on the carriage of dogs and other pets.
Choosing a wheeled dog carrier Long distance travel can be tiresome, especially if you have to carry a lot of luggage. Things are made worse when you choose to travel with your dog. Carrying a dog weighing more than 10 pounds for long can be uncomfortable.
Fortunately, there is a good selection of dog carriers that come fitted with wheels. These dog crates offer comfort and portability. However, they are only ideal if you will be walking across smooth surfaces such as through an airport.
It is important to note that some airports restrict the use of wheeled carriers. In particular, airlines that require dogs to be transported in the storage area. These airlines restrict the use of wheeled carriers as they may roll off the conveyor ramp when being transported to the storage area.
As with other types of carriers, it is important to go through an airport’s regulations on dog carriers. Some carrier’s feature removable wheels that can be removed making the carrier’s airport compliant. If you are traveling by car; however, a wheeled carrier will make life a little bit less complicated.
Airline travel presents a host of challenges especially when you are traveling with your dog. Wheeled carriers make things easier as you are able to wheel your dog along. It is; however, important to remember that not all dogs are suited for wheeled carriers.
Thus, when choosing a wheeled crate for your dog it is important to consider its size and material. As with any other crate, the wheeled crate you settle on should have sufficient room for your dog to move around. Also, wheeled crates are ideal for small dogs and will not work well with large dog breeds.
In a nutshell a wheeled dog crate will offer you convenience; However, it is important to choose a crate that is suited for the kind of travel you wish to embark on.
Benefits of soft-sided crates Compared to hard-sided crates, soft-sided crates offer numerous practical benefits to dog owners. And while they are not for all dog breeds, they are a worthy investment, especially if you frequently travel with your dog. The main benefits of these crates are;
Portability Soft-sided crates, unlike their hard-sided counterparts, are easy to carry around. Additionally, most of them are collapsible meaning you can convert them into a small suitcase. This makes them not only easy to carry but also to store, as they do not take up a lot of space.
Ventilation Soft-sided crates normally feature a plastic mesh panel, which allows in air. The design of these crates allows your pooch to breath properly without any problems. Also, through the plastic mesh, your dog is able to see more of its outside surrounding, which is really relaxing.
Affordable and stylish Hard-sided crates are designed with security in mind. Therefore, these types of crates are neither stylish nor affordable. Soft-sided crates, on the other hand, are stylish and are pocket-friendly. Their inexpensive nature means they are easier to replace when damaged or lost.
Comfortable If you care about the comfort of your dog, then a soft-sided crate will appeal to you. These types of crates usually feature a thick and comfy padding. This ensures that your dog is comfortable throughout the journey.
Versatility Soft sided crates come in all shapes, sizes, and designs. Thus, you can get an airline approved soft-sided crates as well as wheeled. In essence, these crates can be used for carrying a dog on a plane, in a car, in a train or even when walking to the grocery store or any other place.
Vast selection As stated above, soft-sided crates come with all kinds of designs. As such, you have a wide variety of crates to choose from. Some can be carried as a suitcase while other can be carried as handbags and even others can be carried as backpacks.
Ideal for small dogs Soft-sided crates are designed for small dog breeds and puppies. This means that they are usually small in size and can fit under most airplane seats. This being the case, these dog crates are the best carriers for carrying small dogs.
Conclusion While soft-sided dog crates are great, they are not without drawbacks. One of the main drawbacks of these crates is that they are not designed for all dog breeds. Aggressive dogs and smart dogs cannot be carried inside these types of dog crates.
In addition, these dog crates are difficult to clean due to them having padded floors. Also, they are more vulnerable to damage than hard-sided crates. Nonetheless, these types of dog crates are still a great option for small dog owners thanks to their portability and convenience.
In conclusion, there are many different types of dog crates out there, and not all will be ideal for your specific need or dog. Therefore, it is important to do some research before buying a dog crate for carrying your dog.