How to make your pet comfortable with their pet carrier
Pet carriers can be scary for pets who have never been in one or have previous negative experiences with them. There are many reasons your dog, cat (or any other pet really) might not like their carrier. They are smaller than the open spaces they are used to, they are used to take pets to places they might not have been before, and sometimes it's just because its new to them.
One of the benefits of creating a luxury pet carrier is that we have a lot of experience thinking about and learning how to make pets comfortable in their new bag. I had my own experience getting Baby G used to her carrier, but I’ve definitely learned a few new tricks while building the Shaya Carrier.
First things first, if you’re new pet is young, get them in their carrier asap. Even if you don’t actually need to use the carrier, it’s important to get your pet used to being in their bag. It’s even better if you are not going anywhere – that way it’s not leaving your pet wondering where you are going – it just seems like a new place to chill.
The rest of our advice on getting your pet comfortable with their carrier applies to any pet – no matter the age.
- First leave your carrier on the floor – somewhere your pet can easily access. Leave it there for a few hours and let your pet sniff around and get used to it being in their space.
- After a few hours you can try putting your pet in the carrier for the first time. Put one of your pet’s blankets or a t-shirt you have worn at the base of the pet carrier. Having something your pet is already comfortable with in the carrier automatically makes them feel more at ease. Familiar scents can be especially comforting, which is why the shirt you put in the bag needs to have been worn recently.
- Once your pet is in their carrier talk to them in a calming voice and give them a small treat. Do not use a bone or treat that takes more than a few seconds to chew. You want to keep feeding your pet treats every minute or so for about 10 minutes. Then you can walk away and let your pet do their thing. They may lay down in the carrier or they might jump out and sniff around. Either result is okay. You don’t want to force them to stay in the carrier their first time around.
- During the next three days repeats steps 2-3 again. Maybe try keeping your pet in there for 20 minutes this time.
- On day four put your pet in the carrier and make sure they are secured by the interior attachment. You should attach them by their harness. If a carrier does not have an interior clasp, then we recommend not using it. If you don’t have one of these, then your pet could jump out the carrier if you leave a part of it open. Once your pet is secure in their bag, put it around your shoulder and go for a short walk. We suggest walking your daily potty walk.
- For the next two days repeat the walk. After two days, put your dog in the carrier and close all openings and repeat the walk.
- After these walks, your dog should be getting more and more comfortable with their bag. You can begin to use your bag on car rides, subway trips, or to go to a restaurant. The more you expose your pet to their carrier with everyday activities, the less likely they will have problems if they need to go in the carrier for long periods of time.
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