How to choose pets carriers
When your pet needs to be taken out of the house on holidays, weekends or at a veterinary clinic, your pet will be more comfortable in a pets carriers.
Pets carriers are available for different pets, differ in design, materials, sizes and are suitable for different situations.
What are pets carriers?
Pets carriers are required to travel with your pet in the car, on public transport or on a plane.
Transport boxes for dogs and cats are almost identical and only differ in size. Carriers for small animals such as ferrets, rodents and reptiles look like ventilated plastic containers. Birds are transported in special cages.
There are several basic types of holders: bags, containers or boxes, backpacks and baskets. It is convenient to have two types at the same time – for example, a fabric bag for short trips and a plastic container for long trips.
What formats are bags and backpacks for transporting animals?
A padded bag-shaped bag made of durable fabric or fake leather is suitable for carrying cats, puppies and pygmy dogs. It looks like a gym bag with a ventilation hole and a flat bottom or better, a frame bottom. The carrier is usually small and doesn’t get in the way of public transport or a car.
The bags should have comfortable footprints and a shoulder strap or straps – it will be useful when you have to carry other hand luggage at the same time. Bags with an extra compartment or pocket for a travel bowl, or water dispenser are useful. The most practical is a frame bag with reinforced seams and rigid bottom, which will resist the weight of your pet and will not bend.
The wheeled, walled and reinforced bottom transport cases are suitable for carrying medium-sized animals. They are equipped with ventilation windows and a handle for transport.
Disadvantages of the bags: the material can be not very breathable, in summer the animal can get warm in the bag, and in the rain the cloth can get wet. The soft walls do not protect against bruises and your pet can damage them with their claws and teeth.
What are the advantages of backpacks and pet bags
If a cat or small dog is sedentary, quiet and weighs no more than 5-6 kg, you can put them in a backpack and put them on your back. The animal will not get wet from the rain – the products are sewn from nylon. Such backpacks are popular with cyclists, although not all pets feel comfortable traveling in one position.
Small dogs should feel comfortable in a small bag that keeps them close to their owners, making them feel closer and less nervous. Ideally the bag should be at the owner’s breast level.
Many backpacks and sling bags have windows or openings for the head so that the pet can see what’s going on. The opening can be covered with a sturdy mesh or transparent lookout. These supports are popular for walks in town with the cat, especially if they are equipped with a rigid frame.
What are the advantages of plastic transport boxes
A plastic container is considered the most comfortable and reliable way to transport your pet: on it, the pet rests on a solid surface, protected from shocks and suffers less bumps.
A good plastic carrier can have car seat holders, and the door can have a mesh net or a strong ventilation net. A trough or travel bowl for the pet can be attached to the side. The floor and walls will not get wet so you can use the rain stand, put it on the wet floor or put an absorbent nappy inside.
The locks must be secure so that not even a strong dog can open the carrier by itself. You can put your pet’s favorite toy in the box during the journey.
Animals can be transported in baskets and animal carts
Special baskets made of plastic or natural materials can be used as car carriers. Some options will also be suitable as a permanent place to sleep at home – this will reduce transport stress because the animal gets used to the basket. A bed can be placed inside.
Baskets are well ventilated, rigid and durable enough, but wicker products are afraid of moisture and absorb strange odours, which are inconvenient to clean. The baskets may be too bulky and not suitable for air travel.
Pet carriages are often needed for outings: they are convenient for taking small, sick or elderly pets for walks to get fresh air. These carriages, like prams, can be accompanied by carrier bags, backpacks and other accessories.
Tent houses for animals
Tent houses are light-frame constructions made of fabric and durable nets. They are mostly used for exhibitions: the walls can be unfolded and removed to get the pet, or the net, or transparent film can be left for others to see.
Soft walls won’t protect your pet from injury, so it’s not suitable for travel.
How to choose a pets carriers by size and weight
All types of transport boxes are divided according to size and breed: large, medium, small and dwarf. As a rule, small and dwarf dog carriers are also suitable for cats and puppies.
Before buying, the animal must be measured in order to choose the carrier with these data. There are general rules: the size of the animal must be large enough to stand up freely, turn 360 °, lift the head and extend its length. The height of the carrier should be 10 cm higher than the height of the dog, and the width should be approximately equal to two sizes of the animal’s chest.
Do not buy a carrier that is too large for the pet to hang inside and not bump against the sides. It is important to consider the weight of pet, so that the structure does not fall apart in the way, the handles do not come loose and the wheels do not hold, therefore it is better to weigh the animal before the purchase and check the parameters on the product labels.
For long journeys, a carrier that is 1.5 to 2 times the size of your pet is required. If you plan to transport two pets on the conveyor, divide it into two compartments to ensure there is enough room for both and no risk of injury.
What to watch out for when buying a pets carriers
For medical visits a fabric bag is sufficient, for serious travel and flights it is better to buy a plastic carrier.
The suitcase should be equipped with handles of different lengths: short – to carry in your hands, long strap – to hang the suitcase on your shoulder . Bags with foam inserts are warmer in winter and keep their shape better.
In addition the bottom should be rigid and waterproof so that the animal feels supported and moisture does not leak in case of force majeure. It is important to carefully inspect the seams, locks, straps and accessories to check their resistance. There should be no pungent chemical odor, nor sharp or stabbed parts.
In a plastic box the doors are important: they must be made of metal, well closed and fastened, but easy to open and close. The handle on the roof should be strong, but if the animal is big and heavy it is better to buy a model on casters. For easy cleaning it is best that the top of the cutter can be removed.
A good angle of view is important – this will prevent the pet from panicking in an enclosed space. There should be ventilation holes around the perimeter of the conveyor.
To keep the pet warmer on the conveyor, it can be covered with a special cover. Most i mportantly: dark boxes and suitcases get warmer in the sun.p
What is the difference between pets carriers for air travel?
For air travel, carriers may require special types of transport boxes to meet certain requirements. Some companies allow small pets to be transported in the cabin – on the carrier that fits under the seat; others require the pet to be prepared for the flight in the luggage compartment.
Airlines tend to detail the rules on the transport of pets, and set clear requirements for the design of the carrier – this information is always available on the official website. Most often for air travel, use double-locked plastic transport boxes, bowl locks and well-ventilated troughs.
Which accessories are useful for transport in the vehicle.
Belts and harnesses of various configurations are necessary to limit the mobility of the animal in the car if it is transported without a carrier, for example, the animal will not fall out of the seat during sudden braking and will not jump out of the car.
Sliding pet grilles allow you to create more space for your dog. They can be placed in the window or luggage compartment, can be adjusted in width and height, and are easy to dismantle.
The car interior and seat covers are useful for protecting seat upholstery from pet fur, claws and teeth, slightly limiting your pet’s mobility.
Dog ramps can be useful if the pet has short legs, is elderly or fragile, has joint diseases or a fragile musculoskeletal system. As a result, attempting to jump into or out of the vehicle can be harmful.
What to carry rodents and other small pets.
Rodents – hamsters, rats, rabbits, ferrets and other small animals – must also be taken to the veterinarian or to take them on holiday or to the cottage. For such animals, the most common ones are special suitcases, strong small cages or small plastic containers with ventilation holes.
Soft bags have footprints and nylon nets for ventilation – they are used to transport ferrets, hamsters or guinea pigs.
Plastic containers are similar to small baskets or cutters for dogs and cats. They also have a handle and holes for air circulation. Rodent containers can be made of transparent plastic so you can observe the condition and behavior of the pet.
Never carry your pet in a plastic bag or bottle as it may choke. A cardboard box is not suitable: rodents will quickly make a hole in it and escape.
How the birds are transported.
Transport cages for feathered pets are not designed for a permanent life. Their peculiarity is that they are more compact than usual and are not completely open. For example, the floor and part of the walls are insulated with durable plastic or plexiglass inserts – this protects the birds from unnecessary noise and light.
Inside portable bird cages there can be travel containers for food and water, as well as a perch for sitting down. The product should have a robust handle on the lid for convenience.
How to transport reptiles and fish.
Reptiles should be transported in tightly closed, opaque plastic containers with shallow but frequent ventilation holes and a closed bottom. Containers should not have sharp corners or sharp parts so that the animal is not bumped or injured. It is important that the container does not freeze or warm up in the sun.
Containers with darkened glasses and no sharp corners or hermetically sealed multi-layer bags are normally used for the transport of fish.