A dog carrier, commonly called the “pet taxi”, is an essential item for all small dog owners. A dog carrier can be used to safely transport your dog to the kennel, veterinarian, emergency clinic or even transport your dog from your home in the case of an environmental emergency. They can also be used to just take a stroll with your precious pooch!
There are several styles, materials and sizes of dog carriers to choose from. To help you shop for your perfect dog carrier, consider these factors.Features to Consider in a Dog Carrier Materials
Designed to hold water/food
Ability to clean
Hardware or locking system
Desirable Features in a Dog Carrier
Desirable features in a dog carrier are: that it be durable, easy to clean, easy to use, airline compliant if you are going to travel, lightweight, stable and relatively “tip proof”. Your dog carrier should also have a secure closure mechanism. Your dog carrier should make your dog feel safe and be comfortable. Of course, having a dog carrier that is, attractive and has the ability to be personalized is an added perk, (if you want that feature.) The size of your dog carrier needs to be conducive to your pet, and finally your dog carrier should come with a reasonable guarantee.
You may consider should type designs that can look like a nice purse if you are inclined to carry your pet with you when you run errands. There are many designers that have lovely styles in a variety of colors, fabrics and designs.
The Ideal Choice in a Dog Carrier
Your dog carrier should be a sturdy plastic or fabric crate with a secure latch and top and front or side entry is an ideal choice. Your dog carrier should also have plenty of air holes or windows. The size should be comfortable for the dog to lie down but does not need to be large when used for short trips.
Shopping Tips for Choosing a Dog Carrier
Scrutinize the design of your new dog carrier. Check the front door to see if it is spring loaded, these doors can snap shut on a paw or tail. Make sure that the latches are secure. Metal pin latches tend to be more secure than plastic latches. Dial latches can work fine but can be tricky to operate and may get “stuck” in lower cost units. Dog carriers and taxis that open from the side or top as well as the front are a very nice feature. Some dogs might not want to get out of their carriers when they arrive at their new location and trying to get them out of a front only style carrier can be challenging. The lift side or top features of your dog carrier can make this a much easier process.
Dog carriers that are composed of plastic are easy to clean and are very durable. These plastic dog carriers can be easily sprayed or washed out after use. Most plastic dog carriers are airline approved for travel and will be labeled accordingly.
A dog carrier that is soft are sometimes referred to as taxis; they are comfortable and nice for short trips and they are geared for small /toy varieties of dogs. These soft dog carriers are generally not airline approved and offer less ventilation than the hard plastic designs. These styles of dog carriers are softer and more comfortable and can make small dogs feel more secure. They can be harder to clean if “accidents” occur. Many of these small, soft dog carriers have a pull out washable liner that is ideal.
Cardboard dog carriers are less sturdy and are easily destroyed if it gets wet or damp. They are the least expensive carrier and can do the job in some circumstances. Again, like the soft dog carriers, these cardboard dog carriers are meant for small dogs.
Collapsible dog carriers can work fine if they are good quality and durable.
If you are using the dog carrier for airline travel, make sure the size is approved. Go with a slightly bigger size if possible for long trips. This will give your dog more room and ventilation.
Make sure the water and food bowl attachments are study and secure well to the t dog carrier if you will be using that feature.
Additional Tips for Using a Dog Carrier
Acclimate puppies early by offering food or treats in the dog carrier, or by throwing favorite toys into the back of the dog crate for them play.
When traveling in the car with your dog, ALWAYS put your dog in the dog carrier. Dogs can be injured during sudden stops and will run usually run away in the case of an accident. Some small dogs have also been known to cause many accidents as they get scared and try to hide under the seat or near the gas pedal. Remember, even if your dog is a larger sized dog, it is always best and safer for you and him that he be placed into a dog carrier.
Place a towel or blanket that is easily washable in the bottom of the dog carrier--this will keep your dog comfortable.
Dog carriers are an essential part of any disaster plan. Have your dog carriers in an easy to locate area and available incase there is a tornado, hurricane, flood, or fire in or near your home. If possible, you should have a dog carrier available for every dog in your household. With that in mind, you should have a pet carrier for every pet in your household.