If you already have one, and your little one is used to it, even better. If not, the sooner we send it to you or the sooner you purchase one to get your pet used to the carrier.
Keep in mind that you must buy one approved by IATA with the correct measurements; this is very important because if it does not meet the necessary space requirements, your pet won’t be comfortable, and they may deny boarding. Remember that the first thing to consider is to measure your pet correctly to ensure the carrier’s size is right.
Everything has to be gradual. Animals should be gradually accustomed to the carrier. Pressuring them from the beginning might cause them to associate it with negative experiences, like going to the vet or traveling. It won’t be pleasant for them, and it will be more challenging to get them used to it.
Steps to get your pet used to the carrier:
- Let them familiarize themselves with it.
- It’s best to leave the carrier assembled in plain sight without making a big deal out of it. You can remove the door to start. It should appear as just another household item, and introduce it to your pet slowly through playtime, treats, and their familiar blankets. Let them approach it, smell it, and explore it at their own pace. They need to get used to its scent. Gradually, they will realize it’s theirs and that they can use it for play or rest.
- It can become their new bed or play area. Having it in the living room is a good idea. Once they are accustomed to the carrier being around, you can gradually add the door and start testing closing it for longer periods.
- Show them that it’s theirs.
- Place their blanket inside so they can rest comfortably. Add their toys and put some food inside to make it a positive and inviting space. Play with them around the carrier, and let it be visible and accessible to them. Show your pet that it belongs to them.
- If they are very afraid, take it step by step.
- If your pet is hesitant and gets scared even with just sticking their head inside the carrier, a more gradual and structured adaptation is needed. By disassembling the carrier and leaving only the bottom part, you allow your pet to get used to it at their own pace. Place their blanket on top or leave some treats inside for them to become familiar with going over it. Never force them. Keep their food bowl nearby or even inside the carrier to help them get accustomed to it gradually. After a week of them seeing it as a normal part of their environment, you can assemble the top part of the carrier. The next step is to introduce the use of the door.
- Once they are accustomed, use the door.
- Once your pet enters the carrier comfortably, plays or sleeps without showing fear, as if it were just another household item, you can try closing the carrier door. First, install the door and repeat the process to let them get used to it.
- Later on, start by closing the door while you are present and reward them with treats. Stay by their side and don’t move away. Gradually, you can start moving away until they can be alone in the carrier without feeling anxious.
- Begin by trying this for 5 minutes on several days while you are present, then move to another room, and eventually extend the time to help your pet become familiar and comfortable with the carrier.
If you want to transport your pet in the best conditions, fill out our online form, and we will inform you about all the possible route options.