When you fly your pet overseas from New Zealand with us, we professionally fit your pet with the correct sized IATA compliant cage or custom-build your travel crate to spec. If you are unable to come to our stock rooms at Auckland Airport with your cats or dogs, we can explain travel cage sizing over the phone and will send IATA measuring diagrams guide you with instructions by email. This week on Facebook and Instagram we started sharing our top 5 tips for travel crate training success with a little help from Rosie the Border Collie.
Step 1: Park your professionally sized & fitted #IATA approved #travelcrates in your living room. You want your pets to be really comfortable with their new #crate in your home before you start introducing play inside. No drama, no stress. Just let the crate become part of the living room furniture. A little curiosity, sniffing around or pawing at the door indicates they are ready to proceed to the next step
Step 2: Start introducing play in and around the crate to get your pet comfortable with the crate. Don't be shy with the treats or praise! Use them to reward exploring behind the door and staying inside with the door open. No need to push your pets to go in and stay in but reluctant pets maybe encouraged by placing a favourite toy or blanket inside, or some dirty clothes from your laundry basket. Familiar comforts and rewards are key here!
Step 3: Closing the door is almost the final stage. By now, your pet's travel #crate is fun and cozy place they sit or sleep in by choice. Your #pet needs to be #calm and comfortable inside the cage when the door closes. This will be their "home away from home" whilst #travelling. If they seem distressed, open the door immediately and let them out - you do not want their #travelcrate to ever be a scary place. If things start to come unstuck at this stage, don't hesitate to give us a call on 09 256 0999
Step 4: This final stage is really only necessary for pets flying long haul, however it never hurts to see your pet's crate training all the way through to completion. If your pet is quite happy inside their travel cage with the door closed, start making it part of your evening routine with bedtime inside the crate with the door closed. You can even start this early in the piece with the door open and don't hesitate to move the crate to your bedroom if that is where they usually sleep. You want your pet to make their crate their home, their safe space and a personal retreat in the same way they will identity their pet bed or favourite chair in the house as theirs.
Smelly socks, used nighties, freshly worn gym gear and underwear are among pets favourite smells and do let them use these items to mark their crate with your smells. You can always remove them later when they are chill with the crate. Heaps of our clients hold onto the crate even after travel and use it as an indoor kennel or pet bed - yep, eventually cats and dogs really grow to love their lovely travel crates! Continued use of the crate well after your international journey will only smooth the way for further adventures together in future.
If you would like an IATA measurement guide, further information about our drug-free crate-training program or need help at any stage of the game, don't hesitate to contact us. We want every pet to fly safe, calm and happy. There are no stupid questions and we love helping travellers with pets - do get in touch with one of our consultants! Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below!