If you are shopping for a dog travel kennel right now, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed with the wide variety of options that are available. A travel dog kennel is an absolute essential when traveling with a dog but how do you know you are getting the right one for your dog?
Read through our 6 tips below to help you make the perfect choice for you and your pooch!
If you are traveling by plane, train, or another transportation service, you will have to follow the rules and regulations of the company you are traveling with. In some cases, those rules and regulations can include restrictions about your dog’s kennel.
For example, if you want to bring your dog in the cabin with you, you need a small dog travel kennel that is capable of fitting under the seat. If the kennel can’t be stowed under the seat or your dog can’t fit into a kennel that small, you will have to put them in the cargo hold.
It’s better to know these kinds of things in advance before you arrive on the day of travel to find out your pooch isn’t going to be able to board.
This might seem like pretty obvious logic but sometimes people will buy a large dog travel kennel for a small dog. Their intentions are usually good. They want their dog to have space to move around.
But when traveling, your dog shouldn’t have too much mobility. The motion of the plane, car, or train will already be enough to unsettle them. So their kennel should be the right size to allow them to sit comfortably but still compact enough that they can feel contained and secure while traveling.
A travel kennel goes through a lot of use and abuse. Even with the best care, chances are it is going to get dinged and dented as you move it from car to ground to airplane and wherever else it’s going.
So if you truly want to get your money’s worth, you need to make sure you are getting a kennel that is built to be sturdy and durable. The longer you can use the same kennel, the better travel will be for your dog. Because, as you will see in the next 2 sections, it is extremely important that they are familiar with their kennel so that they feel safe and secure inside of it.
If you need to buy a new one for each trip, you’re going to have to go through the process of familiarizing your dog with it every single time.
If your dog is crate trained already, this will be a pretty easy process. You simply need to get them used to this particular kennel. However, if your dog is not crate trained, you are going to have to train them to be familiar with and comfortable inside of a kennel.
Crate training is a delicate process because you absolutely cannot risk building any negative associations with the kennel. You want your dog to see it as a comfortable and enjoyable place to be. Make it their own private sanctuary within your home.
If your dog isn’t crate trained, you’ll need to start this process months in advance so make sure you get a kennel as soon as possible and start training well before its time to actually leave on your trip.
On the day of travel, put in some blankets or one of your old T shirts inside the kennel—anything with the smell of you or your home on it so that your dog has that extra sense of familiarity and security while traveling. If possible, you can also include your dog’s favorite toy.
Going to a new place can be a little scary and intimidating even for the most brave and adventurous dogs. So putting these things in their kennel will ensure that no matter where they are, they will always have a little sanctuary of familiar items to retreat to when the new environment gets to be too overwhelming.
There are a lot of different features to choose from when you are picking a dog travel kennel. But you need to be selective about the features you get. The perfect dog kennel for air travel won’t suit the needs of a hiker, for example.
The best dog kennel for air travel, for example, will have wheels so that you can easily take it from place to place. That is especially helpful if you have a layover. Lugging your dog in a carrier hanging from your arm can be an added stress that you just don’t need in a situation that is already stressful enough.
For camping and other outdoor adventures, however, a kennel with wheels wouldn’t do much good since those wheels likely can’t handle the uneven terrain. Instead, you need something portable and lightweight. With a folding dog kennel, travel from campsite to campsite will be much easier. You can easily set it up and take it down.
And this is better for camping since you can let your dog walk instead of carrying them in their kennel from place to place.
By following these tips, you are better prepared to make a smart decision when it comes to choosing a dog travel kennel for your pooch. And once you have the perfect dog travel kennel, you are ready to plan the rest of your next adventure with your dog!