How to Introduce Your Dog to a Pet Carrier

(Pet Carrier) by Richard Martinez  |Last updated 12-15-2021

Being a dog lover it is obvious that you always want to have your furry friend beside you all the time. 

Your small cute dog can be accompanying you to the mall, coffee shop, grocery store, etc. Also, if you travel frequently or planning to go on a vacation with your dog, you want him to be comfortable while traveling with you. 

To make this happen, you just need something to carry your pet which keeps him safe while traveling, for that a pet carrier is a useful thing that makes your little pooch to sit in and make it easy for you to carry him along with you wherever you go.  

It is always beneficial to use pet carriers that provide a safe and reassuring environment. Although there are several other advantages for you and your dog using a dog carrier such as: 

  • The pet carrier provides warmth and comfort 
  • Keep your pet safe especially when you are busy with something else and not around your pet. 
  • A pet carrier provides a comfy and comfortable place for your dog to rest while you are outside with him in places like malls or restaurants.   
  • Hanging out with your pet for a whole day would be more easy and enjoyable with a pet carrier, as you don’t need to worry about how to carry him around.  
  • Nowadays, a pet carrier has become a must-have item for dog owners, having a stylish dog carrier can be a fashion statement for you.  

Though a pet carrier has several benefits, providing a dog carrier to your dog and introducing positively is challenging. Usually, dogs are naturally inclined to seek out a “Den”, which they find a safe place to sleep and shelter. If you want a carrier becomes a haven for your pet to shelter when they feel the need for comfort or security then it is important to make sure you introduce it gradually and gently to your dog.   

Here are some ways which can help you introduce your dog with the pet carrier: 

Dog Carriers:  Buying Tips

1. Buy a Carrier That Fits Your Dog

There are so many types of dog carriers available in the market that are extremely handy for pet owners who need to take their little friend on long trips.

To make your pet feel secure and comfortable it is important to choose a suitable dog carrier. Considering the different styles and designs of pet carrier available in the market there are some parameters that you should consider while choosing a luxury pet carrier, these are: 

The carrier size

You first need to measure the height and length of your dog to select the correct carrier size, the carrier which you are choosing should be larger enough for him so that your dog can easily turn around and to curl up or stretch out when lying down.  

2. Quality and Design

Dog’s carrier comes in a variety of styles and it is vital to choose the type of carrier that suits your dog. Buying a good designer dog carrier is a long-term investment hence, it is also important to consider the design of the dog carrier that has the proper support structure to protect your pet.  

  • The pet carrier should not have a collapsing roof 
  • It should be balanced and level for the comfort of your pet 
  • The pet carrier should have proper ventilation  
  • The carrier material should be suitable and safe 
  • It should have an adjustable strap and enough storage space  

3. Stability and safety of the carrier

In case you are traveling in your car with your puppy, there are chances of an accident if you have left your dog roaming around in your vehicle, or your dog can get seriously injured or injure others if they get airborne. To hold your dog in a comfortable dog carrier might be the way to go when it comes to car safety for dogs. 

Steps for introducing Your Dog to the Pet Carrier

Here are five steps that you can try with your dog when introducing a pet carrier.  Don't rush the process if your dog acts anxious.  Extra treats, a soothing voice and lots of praise will help your dog overcome any hesitation and anxiety on his part.

1. Place the Pet Carrier in Your Dog’s Room

Put the carrier in the place where your dog goes to rest and spend most of the time to encourage house training. The carrier training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog’s age, temperament, and experience. The pet carrier is always associated with something pleasant, with the carrier’s door open spend some time with your pet near the carrier, and help him to gradually become accustomed to it. Let your pet explore the carrier without hovering over him.  

2. Ensure the Pet Carrier is a Happy Place for Your Dog

When gradually your dog becomes used to seeing the pet carrier, encourage your dog to enter the carrier, try to stimulate your dog’s mind by dropping food and toys. Try to put some treats inside the pet carrier to build your dog’s interest or place a favorite toy especially tempting chew toy inside the carrier. If the dog refuses to go all the way inside at first, that’s okay; don’t force him to enter.  

You can continue tossing treats into the pet carrier until your dog will walk calmly into the carrier to get to play and have the food.  

3. Make Your Pet Comfortable With Closing Carrier Door

As your pet seems comfortable spending time inside the carrier, try to feeding him when he is inside it. When your dog becomes confident enough to go inside the carrier, start calling your dog over to it for a treat. When your dog goes in, say “in” and praise him for as long as he’s in the carrier and when he comes out, toss in another treat and repeat.  

Gradually start closing the door and locking it before giving your dog a treat. Once he’s eaten the treat, open the carrier’s door and let the dog come out and repeat. Now, increase the amount of time the door stays shut. If your dog stays calm while the door shut, give him more treats or if he seems upset or tries to get out, do not give him treat and try again with less time in the carrier.  

4. Practice Picking up the Carrier and Walk Around with Your Dog Inside

Once your dog learns that a closed carrier door is okay, try picking up the carrier gently and keep dropping a treat into the carrier every few seconds and walk around in your home or backyard with him inside. This will help get your dog to get used to the motion.  

Alternately, if your pet carrier is on wheels, push your dog around inside and outside and see how he reacts to the motion.

5. Get Your Dog Used to Be around People in the Carrier

Traveling with your pet, especially when you have to go by car or plane is another challenge because your pet might become fearful of people and things that aren’t part of their everyday life. Before planning a long trip, get your dog comfortable traveling around people inside the carrier and to do that take your dog on short trips.  

You can take your dog to fun places like the park, the streets near your house, mall, or any other public place using the pet carrier. When you plan to take your dog on a plane, you should take them on a car ride in the carrier first. The car ride will help your dog to get used to engine noise and motion.  

Pet Carriers and Dog Crate Cautionary Notes

Using a dog crate correctly is very important, there are so many benefits of giving crate training to your puppy but there are some times and ways that you should not crate your dog.  

The times when people misuse a crate have no benefits to them and can be led to lessening their quality of life.  

There are the times a dog shouldn’t be crated for psychological or medical reasons

  • You should not keep your dog so long inside or cannot crate a dog longer than they can hold their bladder 
  • Never crate your dog for more than 5 hours (Except Overnight) 
  • If your dog is genuinely afraid of the crate then you shouldn’t crate him. It would be cruel to do so. 
  • Crating your dog for hours even at a time of evenings or on weekends, he would miss out on exercise, mental stimulation, and companionship. So, never crate him so much. 
  • You shouldn’t crate your dog in warm weather, kept your dog free during hot weather so that he moves around freely and find a cool place to relax. 
  • You should not crate your dog for your selfish reasons or just to get them out of the way.  

Final Words

By using tips of introducing a carrier to your pet as mentioned above you can make a positive experience for you and your dog. Understanding the need for a pet carrier is just a first step, you need to make sure to do extensive research before introducing your dog to the carrier. 

The above ways can surely help you introducing a carrier to your dog and help your pet to reduce the anxiety and feel safe while traveling in the carrier. Also, with a crate training your dog will surely begin to find comfort in the dog caret. 

Author bio

Richard Martinez is a writer and a pet lover who loves to share different and new stories among his readers. He is an enthusiastic person.

About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, beagles, English bulldogs, carin terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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