Let us set the record straight – dog carriers are safe, regardless of how some people perceive it. The closest explanation as to why some people think it is not safe is because they bought a design or type that made them feel uncomfortable or inconvenient. Since there are a handful of designs to choose from, it is a matter of finding one that makes you feel comfortable while carrying Fido.
Although I love traveling, I cannot say the same for my four-year-old Chihuahua. I used to leave him to my mom when I needed to go out of town. But when a friend talked me into buying a top-rated dog carrier for small dogs, that is when I realized that I could bring him with me wherever I go, be it land or air travel. The problem is that my dog did not feel comfortable on our first trip together. He was very anxious during a four-hour drive. I thought it was because he did not like traveling, but I soon realized it was because of the carrier I bought.
My dog’s anxiety and discomfort in our first trip are not because I put him in an unsafe carrier. Instead, it was more on an unfit product. A pet carrier only becomes unsafe when you do not know how to use it properly. If you put in the effort to learn how to use a specific design before you bought it, then you would not be complaining about how unsafe it is. The truth is that dog carriers are built and designed to keep the pet safe and comfortable while traveling.
Understanding What Kind Of Pet Carrier You Are Buying
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You expect a bevy of benefits when you invest in a dog carrier. Apart from added safety for you and your pet while traveling, it also allows you to bring all your dog’s necessities and put them in one place. Well, that can only be realized if you know what you are buying.
The thing is that there are a lot of pet carriers out there. Every type or model has unique features, some of which are useful, and some are impractical. You can only make the most out of the product if you do some initial study first. In other words, you must come up with a list of pet carriers to consider, read reviews on each, and then choose the right one based on your needs and preferences. That does not sound too difficult to do, right?
Well, a lot of people make the mistake of assuming that all dog carriers are the same. It is why they usually end up regretting their purchase after realizing that it was not the right type. For the most part, these people will think that dog carriers, in general, are unsafe, maybe because they dropped it with the dog inside or perhaps the animal got out of the carrier while in the middle of a flight.
But based on my experience, dog carriers only become unsafe when the owner is clueless on how to use it in the first place. If you do some research and learn how to use a pet carrier before you buy one, then you would not be grumpy because you purchased the wrong type.
Finding the Best Fit
How do you figure out which dog carrier is comfortable and safe for you and your pooch? Let us talk about the steps below:
Step 1 – Measure Your Dog
You do not go out there and start shopping for a dog carrier when you do not even have the animal’s exact measurements. You must get Fido’s length, width, height, and weight to get the right size of the carrier. Be sure that you choose something that allows your dog to stand up, turn around, and stretch inside.
If you are planning to get a backpack or sling type, then you do not have to focus on getting something with lots of room for the dog to move around. Knowing your dog’s weight is also necessary since dog carriers specify a maximum load.
Step 2 – Figure Out How You Want To Use Your Dog Carrier
You also must determine the specific use of the carrier. Some people buy a dog carrier so that they will not have a hard time carrying their pooch when visiting the veterinarian. It can also be used for a short trip to the park or store.
However, know that you cannot settle for a cheap and low-quality carrier that is intended for short trips when you plan to take your dog on long journeys. In other words, you should look for something that offers maximum comfort and extra safety features if you are taking the dog for air travel or an extended road trip.
For air travel, airlines have strict rules when you plan to bring a dog with you. The best option is to buy an airline-approved in-cabin carrier. Contact the airline in advance to get the actual under-seat measurements. Most leading pet carrier brands are airline approved, but you want to be sure with the size.
For car travel, look for a dog career with adjustable straps and other safety features that will keep the animal fastened and secured even on bumpy roads.
Step 3 – Choose The Best Design and Style
You may select between a hard-sided and soft-sided carrier. So, what is the difference? A hard-sided carrier offers the best protection for a dog who is about to join you on a long trip. It is what you need for extended hours on the road or in a train. It is what you need if your dog likes to chew on soft things or always finds a way to escape detention.
On the other hand, a soft-sided carrier is ideal for small and medium-sized dog breeds because you can carry it in different ways, like a sling or backpack. You can only use this one if your dog is used to traveling and does not munch on the soft materials.
Remember those dog carriers, regardless of the design, type, or size, are safe for use. After all, they are made to protect and secure your buddy while traveling. If you are shopping for a dog carrier for the first time, be sure to choose wisely.