How to choose a cat or dog carrier for the aircraft cabin and luggage compartment
Have you planned a vacation, decided to take a dog on a trip and are already looking forward to walking with your four-legged friend through the streets of an unfamiliar city? To get started, make sure you have everything you need for the trip - in particular carrying - otherwise your trip can easily be interrupted at the airport.
Why do you need a carrier at all? After all, your fluffy is kind and affectionate, he definitely won’t hurt anyone. At home in comfortable conditions, this may indeed be the case. But in a noisy airport, chaos, stress during a flight, when there are a lot of people around, the situation will no longer be so pleasant for your pet. Well, you are unlikely to like catching a dog if it suddenly runs away from fear somewhere.
First of all, the carrier is needed for your furry friend, and not at all to protect the people around you from the dog. In carrying the pet will be both comfortable and safe - this is a kind of portable house for the animal. That is why it is so important to choose a carrier that will be as convenient as possible for him, and at the same time will not bring problems to you.
So how do you choose a dog carrier?
First you need to find out what the conditions for transporting animals are with the airline you are flying with. You don’t want to buy comfortable mobile housing for a pet, and then find out that they won’t let you on board the plane with your carrier, do you?
It should be borne in mind that some airlines require you to report a flight with an animal right at the time of buying tickets. Some allow a warning 36 or 24 hours before departure - these points should be clarified in advance.
Once you've chosen where you want to fly and when, all that's left to do is decide which airline you'll use and find out the terms and conditions for transporting a pet in a carrier.
Also, if you are planning to travel to different countries over the next few years, you can immediately see which airlines fly there. Knowing their requirements for transporting animals will help you choose the carrier option that suits the conditions of the airlines you need. This is the case when half an hour of studying information will save extra money, time and effort.
If you did not find the necessary information on the websites of air carriers or it is not enough, do not hesitate to call the company's hotline to clarify the details - this will save you from problems when flying. It is important to know exactly what type of carrying is allowed, its dimensions and weight.
Why do companies set limits on the dimensions of carriers? This is due to the fact that during the flight, the carrier must be under the seat of the seat in front, and space there is always limited. Some carriers allow you to place the carrier on the floor near your feet, but you will need to attach a special seat belt to it.
Also, sometimes there are requirements for the design of the carrier itself - for example, a certain size of holes and cells - it should not exceed 2.5x2.5 centimeters so that your dog cannot accidentally stick its paw or tail there. A prerequisite for all airlines: the door must be closed so as to completely exclude its accidental opening.
Another non-obvious advice would be to weigh the pet along with the carrier in advance - very often the dog will be weighed at the airport right in it. Therefore, if your pet's weight is close to the upper limit set by the airline, you should take a lighter carrier.
Usually, animals are allowed in the cabin in a carrier, the weight of which does not exceed 8-10 kilograms. If you have a larger animal, he will have to fly in the luggage compartment - at the same time, you can arrange for him the most comfortable mobile home.
Surely you thought that in the luggage compartment the pet would be cold at flight altitude. However, these thoughts are in vain - the air temperature is maintained at a comfortable level for dogs.
Now let's look at what kind of carrying.
Usually they are divided into soft and hard, depending on the type of materials from which they are made.
Soft carriers are suitable if you have a small dog whose weight does not exceed 5-6 kilograms. Such carrying can be made in the form of a bag, a backpack or a special sling. Often they are made of leatherette or textile with plastic inserts that help the carrier keep its shape. Ventilation holes must be present, and the bottom must have sufficient density.
Such carriers are usually very light, can be folded, they are convenient to store and transport. They are also usually warmer, which is important in the cold season.
At the same time, they get dirty quickly and need to be washed regularly. Another disadvantage is that they are not made for large dogs.
Rigid carriers include plastic and metal.
The plastic carrier can be shaped like a basket or a container. The difference between them is where the door is located - in the basket it is on top, and in the container in front. At the same time, in both versions, convenient handles should be provided so that it can be carried.
Models made of this material are the most popular because they combine lightness, comfortable shape, optimal ventilation and reliable protection of your pet from adverse environmental influences. Also a big plus is their hygiene and ease of maintenance - plastic surfaces are very easy to clean.
The disadvantages include only the fact that often such carriers do not fold up, so they can take up extra space at home or cause difficulties during transportation. At the same time, the owners often use them even in the apartment, creating a separate safe place for their pets.
In addition, it should be borne in mind that plastic products can break when dropped or under strong pressure - this is important to consider during operation.
Metal carriers are most often made of aluminum, sometimes they are made of steel alloys. To maintain strength and lightness, they are made in the form of a grid, so they can resemble small aviaries. Since they are most often bought for larger breeds of dogs, they must have a strong bottom and handles for transportation.
Due to the fact that in such a carrier the dog can be seen from all sides, it may not feel comfortable and safe enough.
However, metal carriers are very durable, can be spacious and are often made collapsible for easy storage.
What other recommendations are there?
Be sure to choose models that have enough holes for ventilation - during times of stress, the dog will definitely need more air. Also in the carrier should be a bowl of water. Some dog owners often recommend putting ice in there, which will melt slowly, which means that the water will splash less when moving.
At the same time, the design of the carrier itself must be shaped so that water does not flow out of it, even if the bowl capsizes - this is a prerequisite for most airlines. To increase comfort, some travelers cover the bottom of the carrier with special moisture-absorbing diapers that are attached to double-sided tape.
In addition to the bowl, the carrier should also have a leash and a muzzle, and the dog should be able to straighten up to its full height, lie down, turn around and take a comfortable position. Therefore, it is definitely not worth buying end-to-end carriers.
It is also important to consider that when buying a carrier with wheels, they must have a full lock function, otherwise they will have to be removed during the flight.
So, we have gone through all the important points that will help you choose the best carrier for your dog. To make your pet more comfortable traveling, it is worth introducing him to this new mobile home in advance. Let him feel at home that this is his place, that it is convenient and safe. Put his favorite toy or bedding with a familiar smell in the carrier - and then your four-legged friend will feel calm everywhere.
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