We Have Crate Expectations
The most important step to take before your pet travels is a tough one for many people –acclimating him or her to a travel crate. Your pet will spend most of their travel time inside of it, so it is imperative that you take the time to find the right one. Get it at least two weeks in advance and allow your pet to sniff around and explore it.
Here are some practical tips on how to prepare animal travel crates that are applicable to air, land or sea travel:
Get the Right Size Crate:
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the crate should be big enough for the animal to get up, turn around and lay down inside of comfortably.
Ventilate All Four Sides:
Every travel crate should be ventilated on ALL FOUR SIDES. If it doesn’t have holes, you can use a drill to make them. Depending on the size of your pet, we recommend that you drill 5 holes across and 3 rows down. The holes should be as big as possible, without your pet being able to stick his nose or paws through. Generally a 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch drill bit does the job.
Always Provide Water Dishes:
The clip-on bowls from the pet store are fine, but if you have a bigger pet, consider fastening a plastic Tupperware bowl to the door of the kennel with a zip-tie. A great way to ensure your pet has access to water for as long as possible is to freeze the water in each dish the night before travel. This will ensure it doesn’t spill during the ride to the airport.
Provide Suitable Bedding:
The airlines require an absorbent material on the bottom of all travel kennels. We have found that shredded newspaper is the absolute best – and a liberal amount, at that. The newspaper is easily discarded at the other end and provides comfortable padding during the trip. An old T-shirt with your scent on it for comfort is also a good idea. Try to avoid thick blankets and beds as they trap heat during the summer.
Avoid Battery Operated Fans:
While they are great for cooling your pet at home and in the car, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will not allow any battery-operated devices on an airplane. If you attach one to your animal’s travel kennel, the TSA will most likely confiscate it.