Why is Leash Training and Socialization Important When Traveling with a Dog?

Doberman with Leash Training

You have just landed in a crowded airport. Your dog is super excited to get out of its crate or carrier. You have your hands full with baggage, laptops, children and trying to figure out where to go and walk your pet, gather your baggage and get everyone and everything in a taxi. There are people everywhere, and the last thing you need is an out-of-control furry friend to deal with.

Or imagine that you are traveling with your dog and your family on a car trip. You decide to give everyone time to stretch their legs at a rest stop. Your child opens the passenger door before you can get your dog on a leash and off they run to explore a new place with great new smells while you chase them in pursuit hollering for them to stop. Not a great scenario either.

For this and many other reasons, leash training your dog is truly worth the time and effort you put in.

Family walking dog

You may think that dogs are born with the ability to know how to walk politely beside their pet parents on a leash while obeying their every command. That is not the case with most dogs. Dogs require training in this skill for them to learn and master it and some learn it faster than others.

Good news, though, because leash-training is among the most beneficial skills that you can teach your dog.

Another thing that you need to do for your dog to make them a good traveler is to teach them how to socialize. Your dog may be very proper, polite and well-mannered with you and your family, but they also need to learn how to interact with fellow dogs, other animals as well as human beings.

Start by analyzing their personality

Before you start either of these endeavors, think for a minute about your pet’s personality. Is your pet naturally shy and clingy, outgoing or protective, stubborn and maybe a bit aggressive?

Also important to know what gets their attention. Will they perform for treats, verbal commands or do they need physical attention?

Taking the time to evaluate your pet’s personality will go a long way in coming up with the most effective way to achieve success in both leash training and socializing your pet for traveling.

Most of all, be patient. These things can take some time, but the pay-off is worth the effort!

Woman walking dog on leash

Leash-training your dog

The first step of training your dog on how to walk on a leash is to introduce them to the harness or dog collar, and, most importantly, the pet leash.

You should start by letting your dog get accustomed to wearing a leash. Find a place where there are minimal distractions. Walk with them from room to room in your home keeping them close to you. Let your puppy wear their leash and collar for short periods around the home while giving the dog treats to reward good behavior. When you do this, your pup will love this time, because the time also represents a time for eating and having fun with you.

Your dog will look forward to training time, and eventually get accustomed to wearing a dog collar and a leash.

Most importantly, teach your dog how to come to you when you call them, and practice this inside and outside your home. When these skills are mastered, you can go on and trouble-shoot leash training with your dog outside.

Trouble-shoot your leash-training

As perfect and adorable as your dog may be, you are bound to come across some issues when you are teaching them how to walk on a leash.  Loose-leash training entails teaching your dog how to walk without having to be pulled or jerked using the leash. Teaching your dog loose-leash walking is one of the qualifications of the Canine Good Conduct (CGC) test.

This 10-step test is a non-competitive test for all dogs, including purebreds and mixed breeds. It is required by an increasing number of apartments and condos and many insurance companies encourage it. Passing the test comes with benefits like your dog being allowed into dog-friendly hotels and an access to advanced training. Introducing the tasks required to pass this test will go a long way to make it easier when traveling with your dog.

How leash training works

If, while walking your dog, it starts moving in a different direction, you should stop and remain stationary until your dog turns its attention to you. Abstain from jerking your dog’s leash when they do this, or even dragging your dog along in the direction you wish them to go. Once you get their attention and they return to your side, then start up again. If they do not follow your lead, stop again. Continue this process until your dog willfully follows your lead.

Another tip: if you see something ahead that you know will distract your dog (like a cat or squirrel, for example), redirect their attention to you before they get the opportunity to lunge forward. Change direction to move away from the distraction. You should be prepared to take this action before this target gets very close to your dog. In short, don’t give your dog the opportunity to misbehave.

If your dog displays bad behavior, immediately grab its attention through verbal communications, have it sit down and take a “time out” by your side. You should discourage any efforts to continue the walk until everyone is perfectly calm (including yourself).

Lastly, exercise your dog enough for mental and physical stimulation, before you go on a walk to avoid your dog from barking at other furry friends while you are on your walk. Also, changing the walking routine and making your dog work for their food are a good ways to mentally and physically stimulating them.

Socializing your dog

Socializing your dog

Why is socialization important before traveling with your dog?

Many dog breeds as well as mixes of these breeds are naturally protective; it’s in their DNA. When removed from their environment, their stress level increases and their guardian instincts kick in. This can have unpleasant consequences in the cabin of an airplane, for example. The last thing you need is to break up a skirmish or have your dog bite someone who gets too close.

Other dogs are simply stressed out from being removed from their daily routine and surroundings. This can cause them to react quickly in situations where they feel they are not in control.

Here are some things you need to do ahead of travel to make your dog more at ease when in closed environments or new surroundings.

Take your dog on walks every day

Taking your dog on daily walks to public places, and around your neighborhood goes a long way in making your dog more accustomed to, and comfortable with the universe and the people in it. When your dog sees the kids coming from school, the school buses and cars being driven up and down the street, and even other animals like cats, the world becomes less scary than before, even after a few walks around your block. You can also change the routes frequently so that your dog can see more, and even get the chance to meet new friends, and a variety of beautiful sights and smells for them to experience. You get benefit from these walks as well!

Make it interesting

Mix it up a little, and let your dog meet a wide range of people: seniors, men, children and women; this will help your dog get used to the idea of people who seem and look different. If your dog only gets used to spending time with you, he may become suspicious of anyone else who is not you.

Make your dog’s calendar diverse, so they can meet many more people and have more experiences.

Remain calm if your dogs act scared when they meet new people and dogs, and don’t push them. Finally, make sure that when people approach your dog to pet it, assure your dog that this person is a good person. Dogs don’t speak English, but they do understand inflections in your voice and body language. Keep tones upbeat. If you have any reservations about your pet’s behavior, ask the other pet owner not to approach.

Take your dog to dog parks and dog-friendly businesses

Dog at restaurant
Courtesy of timeout.com

Let your furry best friend take laps around the dog park and meet and make new friends. Also, you could set up play dates with your friends who have dogs, and your dog may end up striking a great friendship with these newly found furry friends.

A trip to the pet store is great fun for your pet. Bring your pet when you go and get pet supplies. Employees have been trained to deal with dogs and usually have treats to hand out.

Try a pet friendly restaurant. Most any restaurant with outdoor dining is pet friendly these days. Have your pet sit at your feet and enjoy looking around at a new environment. Best to try this in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon the first couple of times when the restaurant will not be as crowded.

After all your efforts, if you do not see a change in attitude in your dog around other dogs or people, you may consider a professional trainer.

It is important to note that more practice brings about more improvement, therefore ensure that you leash train your dog, and increase their interaction with others, and traveling with your dog will be much easier; that is, if everyone else behaves!

Find more information on traveling with a pet.

Duncan Kingori has been in the writing profession for a decade now. He has great experience writing informative articles and his work has been appreciated and published in many popular publications.

Airline Pet Travel – Five Tips to Help Select the Best Route When Transporting Your Pet


Traveling with a pet can be challenging, especially flying with one. There are so many things to think about before finding the right route to transport your pet, then selecting an airline then booking a reservation. Here are a few things you should be thinking about:

Does your airline’s pet policy allow animals? Does the airline fly your route directly? How long should your layover be? Can you change airlines in the layover city? Does your destination country require that your pet enter as air cargo? Can your dog fly in the cargo hold during summer and winter months? Is your dog a larger breed of dog or other animal? Is your dog a breed known to be “dangerous”? Is your dog or cat a snub-nosed breed?

How can your pet fly on a commercial airline?
Before addressing all these questions, you should know that there are three ways that animals can fly on an airplane: in-cabin, as checked baggage or as air cargo.

Flying your pet in the cabin
When flying in the cabin, unless your pet is an emotional support or service animal, your pet will need to fit in an airline-compliant pet carrier that will fit under the seat in front of you. Your pet should fit entirely in the carrier, be able to stand up and turn around and be comfortable in the carrier.


Generally, if an airline’s pet policy allows pets in the cabin, it will allow small dogs and cats. Other animals such as rabbits and birds may or may not be accepted in the cabin. Service animals, those trained to assist with a physical disability or seizures, are always allowed; however, they may be restricted to dogs or dogs, cats and miniature horses as they are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Policies regarding emotional support and comfort animals vary by airline.

Flying in the cargo hold
When flying either as checked baggage or air cargo, your pet will fly in the cargo hold which will be temperature and pressure controlled. It must fly in an IATA-compliant pet crate, which, hopefully, you have acclimated it to before being transported.

With checked baggage, your pet must be accompanied by a passenger and will be checked in at the terminal ticket counter. Generally, this class of service is for pets too large to fly in the cabin but under 70-80 pounds including its crate (maximum weight varies by airline).


When flying as air cargo, unaccompanied pets, larger pets, and pets other than those allowed to fly in-cabin or checked baggage will be checked in and claimed at your airline’s cargo facility. Air cargo is a more expensive class of service as your pet is tracked at every airport on the itinerary. The airline will also assume more responsibility for caring for your pet during the layover when flying as air cargo and many airlines will require that an agent in the originating airport book international pet travel.

How to select the best route when transporting your pet by air.
Here are 5 tips to finding the best route for your pet’s transport.

1.Know the import regulations of your destination country if flying internationally.
If your pet is flying internationally, you need to know what class of service your pet must fly to enter your destination country. Many countries require that your pet enter as air cargo such as Australia, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. Most countries will allow your pet to enter in-cabin or as checked baggage as well.

All countries will require that pets clear customs at inspection points in that country, so you will need to make sure your pet’s first stop in a country is approved to clear live animals. Additionally, if your pet is flying to the United Kingdom, it must arrive on approved airlines.

You can find information on requirements to enter over 200 countries at https://www.pettravel.com/passportnew.cfm.

international pet transport clearing customs
Courtesy of asia.nikkei.com

2. Keep your pet on the same airline
No matter whether your pet is flying domestically or internationally, you need to route your pet’s transport with the same airline company for the entire trip. Once you find an airline that serves your pet’s route, research their airline pet policies and any restrictions they may have regarding flying your pet.

The reason to keep your pet on the same airline is that the airlines do not interline pets, meaning they do not move pets from a plane owned by one airline company to a plane owned by another airline company during a layover.

So, if your pet must change airline companies on a layover, someone must claim it, clear customs (if traveling internationally) and recheck it on the next airline. When traveling internationally, this will mean that your pet must conform to regulations of the layover country. This can really complicate things depending on animal import requirements of the layover country.

If your pet stays on the same airline during the layover, then, if you are flying with your pet in the cabin, you will stay in the secure area of the airport until you board your next flight. If flying in the hold, your pet will transit the layover country and will not need to clear customs. If your layover is over 3 hours, contact your airline to make sure they will hold your pet during the layover. A transit permit may be required.

3. Minimize layovers and keep them short
The third thing to know when routing your pet’s transport is to find an airline that flies your route directly (non-stop). More handling means more stress for your pet. If this is not possible, then layovers should be short, under 3 hours if possible, especially if your pet is flying as checked baggage. Many airlines have facilities in their hub airports to care for your pet (walking, feeding, crate cleaning, etc.) and will do so for layovers exceeding 3 hours if your pet is flying as air cargo.

Pet owners should also be aware of welfare regulations if your trip is very long. Pets, especially puppies or kittens, should not be confined in a crate for very long flights, and your airline may require a rest stop. You should discuss this with them before booking their transport.

planes at airport terminals

4. Leave from larger airport
When flying a pet on a commercial airline, the goal is to get your pet to its destination as directly as possible. The less handling, the better. If your pet is flying from a smaller or regional airport, a direct flight will likely not be possible as airlines generally route through major airports to consolidate their long-haul flights. You may want to consider renting a car and driving to a large, international airport if there is one relatively nearby to catch a direct flight to your pet’s destination, to cut down on the layovers, and to have a larger selection of airlines to choose from.

5. Watch the weather
It is always best to transport a pet in the cargo hold during Spring and Fall when temperatures are not extreme. For the safety of your pet, it should not be exposed to ground temperatures over 85 degrees F* (30 degrees C) or under 45 degrees F (7 degrees C) in any airport on your pet’s itinerary. (origination, layover or destination airports). Holding areas of cargo facilities are generally exposed to the cold and heat. Also, live animals are brought out to the aircraft with other baggage and loaded last, so they can spend time on the tarmac before loading. This is the time they are most at risk; not when airborne, but when on the ground. *75 degrees if your pet is brachycephalic (snub-nosed).

pet transport in winter

If it is not possible to travel during times of mild temperatures, try to find flights late in the evening or early in the morning (summer) or at mid-day (winter) when temperatures are not at their extreme. You will also need to be flexible as as the airline’s decision as to whether to accept live animals on the flight will come on the day and time of departure.

Flying with a larger pet
Large pets must always fly in the cargo hold in larger crates. Before booking, you will need to check with your airline to see whether the cargo door on the aircraft serving your route is large enough to accommodate your pet’s crate. When flying from smaller airports, this may be an issue, and you may need to drive to a larger airports that are able to serve larger aircraft.

Breed Restrictions and Snub-Nosed Pets
Owners of dog breeds generally classified as dangerous and also those transporting snub-nosed dogs and cats must be extremely careful in routing transport for their pets. All airlines have restrictions on these pets and most, including all US-based airlines, will not fly them in the cargo hold. Also, some airlines will require IATA CR82-compliant pet crates for dogs whose breeds are classified as dangerous.

CR82 pet crate
Example of IATA CR82 Pet Crate available at PetTravelStore.com

Contact your airline
Regardless of the airline you select to transport your pet, always contact your airline to confirm that they allow pets on your specific route. Contact their cargo department if your pet is flying as air cargo. Make a reservation for your pet as soon as you can as there are a limited number of pets permitted per flight, no matter what class of service they are transported under.

Keeping these tips in mind when routing your pet’s transport can prevent errors in routing which could result in major consequences for both you and your pet as well as cancellation fees and the possibility of customs clearance in a foreign country. Find more information on flying with a pet.

If you need assistance with booking transport for your pet, email info@pettravel.com, and we would be happy to help you.

Keeping Your Pets Safe at Christmas

Cat looking at Christmas Lights
Courtesy of Adorable Animal Photography

Christmas is a beautiful time of year filled with lights, decorations, music parties and meals spent with friends and family. It is a time of distraction with lots to do and not as much time to relax and keep an eye on what everyone is up to.

Christmas is also a time of wonderment for your dog or cat with new things to explore that they do not normally see in their day-to-day lives. Glittery things, things that light up and blink, new smells from holiday candles and, of course, all of the goodies in the kitchen that go along with the holiday will appeal to their senses and encourage them to investigate and see how these things fit in their world and, of course, whether they are good to eat!

Keeping pets safe from Christmas decorations

Many of our typical holiday decorations can cause havoc on our dogs or cats’ digestive system if ingested, and many of them can cause serious illness to your pet and should be put in safe places away from curious minds.

Tinsel – can you imaging what this will do to a cat’s stomach and intestine if eaten? Eating or even licking tinsel can lead to a very unpleasant stomach.

Snow globes – many imported snow globes contain antifreeze which can cause kidney failure and even death. If you have them, put them where they cannot wind up broken on the floor.

Lights and Batteries – those beautiful fairy lights you use for decorating garlands and other decorations can be harmful to a cat or dog who decides they need to be chewed so as to understand how they work. Keep these out of reach of inquisitive minds.

Poinsettias, Mistletoe and Ivy – the leaves from poinsettias can cause your dog stomach upset and/or diarrhea if eaten in large quantity. Berries from mistletoe contain polysaccharides, alkaloids, and lectins. When eaten, mistletoe can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Eating ivy will cause the same symptoms. Certainly, this will go a long way in ruining Christmas.

Candles – light these only when you are in the room as they can be easily knocked over and cause a fire hazard. Keep these out of reach from larger dogs who tend to eat everything they come in contact with. Some Labs and Golden Retrievers are famous for this.

Salt and Dough Ornaments – although ornaments made from salt dough don’t smell particularly appealing to us, your dog or cat may think differently. Salt toxicosis can result from eating these ornaments, so hand them high on the tree.

Salt poisoning in dogs and cats can result in vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, lethargy, excessive thirst or urination and coordination issues. In severe cases, tremors, seizures, coma, and even death are possible. No salt for your furry friend, ever.

Wrapping Paper – clean up bits and pieces of ribbon and wrapping paper that hit the deck when you wrap gifts. If it looks pretty, it must taste good, right?

Keeping your pets safe from Christmas foods


Making cookies and other Christmas goodies is part of a traditional holiday for many pet owners and, the smells that you create in the kitchen are simply irresistible to our furry friends. You can bet they will be waiting to taste your creations.

Here are foods that you need to keep away from your dog and cat to keep them safe at Christmas and here are the reasons why.

Artificial Sweeteners – many bakers cutting back on sugar will find or create recipes for Christmas cakes and cookies that use artificial sweeteners. These contain Xylitol which, even small amounts, can cause low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or even death in dogs. There are many recipes on the Internet for cookies that are safe for dogs at Christmas.

Chocolate – theo bromide, which is contained in chocolate, can cause muscle tremors, seizures, an irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding or a heart attack.

Grapes and Raisins – keep both of these far away from your dog and cat. Eating these can cause acute kidney failure and even death.

Garlic, Chives and Onions – garlic is a no-no as it is from the allium family and is poisonous to dogs and cats. Onions contain an ingredient called thiosulphate which is also toxic to cats and dogs. It can cause red blood cells in your dog or cat to burst. That certainly gets our attention, right?

Macadamia Nuts – these little jewels are so good and many pet owners splurge on them for the holidays. No slipping one to your dog or cat. Eating macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hypothermia in dogs.

Blue Cheese (such as Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Stilton, etc.) – aside from being high in fat and salt, blue cheese contains roque fortine, a mycotoxin that is naturally produced by various fungi. Why would we want to add mold to our pet’s diet?

Other tips for keeping your pets safe at Christmas

Make the rules clear to your guests: no feeding your pets anything except treats that you have made available for them. Bag up special treats for them before everyone arrives. Guests will love to give your pet a special treat, and it is great way to introduce them to your cat or dog. Whether a small piece of plain cheese, dog or cat treat, carrot or biscuit that you have broken up, it is better than your guests slipping them what they think will make your pet happy.

Christmas libations for your pets are out. Gather up any glasses left unattended and watch out for those punch bowls Alcohol can be deadly for a dog or cat.

Salty, spicy and fatty foods should stay on your plate. They are too rich for your dog or cat’s digestive system and who wants to clean that up in front of your guests while dressed in holiday garb?

Close garbage cans securely. Scavengers work fast and cleaning up garbage spilled all over your kitchen floor is no fun.

Make sure that your pet has a safe place to retreat to if things get overwhelming. Consider confining them if they are not properly trained to behave, hyper, aggressive, territorial or just plain shy around groups of people.

Exercise your pet before the gathering arrives, if possible. A tired dog will be more likely to be less active during the merriment.

Some simple adjustments can go a long way when keeping your pets safe at Christmas. No one wants to rush their best friend to an emergency hospital during the holidays or any other time for that matter.

What You Must Do Before Traveling With a Pet

Traveling with Dog and CatTraveling with a pet can be daunting, especially the first time you both leave home. Whether you are driving or flying, travel can be either stressful or it can be fun and exciting. Wouldn’t it be nice if your pet understood what was going on and did not shadow you looking unsure and anxious as soon as you pull out your suitcase?

Preparing your cat or dog for traveling is one of the most important things you can do to help them get through it. As for you, your worries about their welfare should subside a bit knowing that you have properly prepared them for the experience.

Getting good equipment like pet carriers for smaller pets and pet crates for larger pets to keep them safe is so important. Safety comes first and a carrier or crate that falls apart means your pet can escape which is never good.

The focus here will be how to mentally prepare your pet for traveling, whether by car or air. This preparation is crucial to lessen the stress that your pet may feel on travel day.

There are two major reasons why your dog or cat may be anxious when traveling. First, you are removing them from their known environment in which they have explored and feel comfortable. Second, and especially when flying, they will be separated from you during this time and cannot draw support from your presence. There are ways that you can address both of these fears before hitting the road, but it will take some time.

How do pets learn?

How do dogs and cats learn

Courtesy of Simplycatbreeds.org

Let’s take a brief moment to look at how dogs and cats learn. The first way is through social cues such as smells, body language and verbal commands. This form of learning is useful to help your pet make day-to-day decisions about things they encounter; however, this information comes to them primarily from their surroundings and not so much learned from humans. And, in most animals, scents and smells will trump verbal commands. This is because scent is an extremely important part of learning to your dog or cat. More on that later.

The second form of learning is referred to as conditioning. This type of learning is imposed on your pet from humans and is used a lot in behavioral training. Conditioning is a crucial tool that can be used to lessen stress for your pet when traveling, and it will result in  building experiences well ahead of travel.

How can you use this technique of conditioning to prepare your pet for traveling? Simply put, when you take the steps to introduce your pet to its crate or carrier and to being removed from its environment (and maybe you), you create experiences for your dog or cat to remember. That is why dogs and cats who have traveled previously are better travelers; because they have the prior experience to draw upon. And they know that, in the end, they will be happily reunited with you because you will practice doing that over and over again.

The time and steps it takes to complete the process depends on your pet, its personality and its willingness or interest to learn. If you are lucky enough to skip a step, that is awesome. If you are not lucky, you may have to back up a step and try again. Either way, set aside time each day to work on conditioning your dog or cat to travel.  Patience is paramount here. Stay strong, positive and consistent. The payoff will be worth the effort.

Get good equipment

cat traveling in crateStart by getting your equipment early. If you have a small dog or cat, it may be able to travel in a pet carrier. If your pet is larger or your airline requires it, your pet will travel in a pet crate. Either way, it is important to introduce this new home to them as early as possible. Making a last-minute decision to travel with a pet is not a good idea unless your dog or cat is a seasoned traveler.

First Experience: introducing the new home

Once you have received your carrier or crate, put it in a place where it is easily accessible and as close to where you and your pet spend your day as possible. Take time to introduce the crate or carrier. Keep all access available; zippers open and flaps up and only use the bottom half of the crate.

Put a pet pad, favorite toys and a treat or two inside the crate. Also, include a “used” t-shirt or towel of yours so that your pet will smell your scent when in the carrier or crate. (hence the reference in the paragraph about social cues above). Personalize the crate or carrier to them and make it their second home – their safe place.

Spend time each day encouraging your pet to venture inside the carrier or crate. Feed them there if room permits. Encourage them to sleep in their carrier or crate by putting their bedding in it if room allows. Remember that conditioning your dog or cat for traveling involves rewarding them for good behavior, so treats and attention at every step of the way are crucial for success.

Don’t get discouraged if your pet is slow to take to its new home. Remember that your pet  learns also from your body language. Stay upbeat and try various methods to encourage them to stay inside the crate. (new toys, catnip, etc.)

When some level of comfort is achieved, then put the top half of the crate and the door on, but leave the door open. Note if their willingness changes. More time and attention may be needed at this point.

Second Experience: closing doors

Once your dog or cat is comfortable in the carrier or crate, close it while your pet is in it; however, stay with them and offer verbal encouragement. This step should be performed multiple times for longer periods. Should your pet object when the door is closed, keep it open for a while before closing it.

Third Experience: home alone

Next, move them to a place where they cannot see you. Again, do this for short periods at first, then longer periods and always, when returning, reward them for their good behavior with treats and attention.

Fourth Experience: introducing the car

dogs in car

Courtesy of www.dogingtonpost.com

Now it’s time to introduce the car. Whether you are flying or driving, you will likely start your travels in a car. It is better to have your pet in the carrier before leaving the house, but may not be possible for larger dogs.

If you hear objections to this step the first time, don’t start the car. Just put them in, wait for 5 or 10 minutes with them, take them back in the house and let them out. If you do not sense signs of stress, start the car and either just let it idle or drive around the block. Short trips, then longer trips. Each time, remember to reward good behavior and never punish bad behavior.

If one of the few times your pet has been in the car is to go to the veterinarian, you will need to undo this experience as it certainly was not a happy experience for them. Creating happy experiences will go a long way in conditioning your pet for traveling.

Fifth Experience: go somewhere fun

Next step is to take your dog or cat to somewhere fun: the dog park, a pet store or the home of a pet-friendly friend or relative. Again, lots of “good boys” or “good girls” when you get home and don’t forget the treats.

This step may be a bit difficult with cats, so you may want to take them to a pet friendly restaurant or anywhere where your cat can stay with you while in its carrier. The more your pet is removed from their environment, the better. After all,the goal is to build experiences for them, right?.

Sixth Experience: the cargo hold

Dog in Crate at AirportIf your pet is flying in the cargo hold of an airplane, it is hard to create the environment they will be in. One thing you can do is to put them in a dimly-lit location in your home while in their crate for a time.

Also, try accompanying them through an old-fashioned car wash while in their crate. All the while, reassure them that you are there and closely observe their reaction. When you feel they are ready, send them through on their own. You will have the cleanest car in town and your pet will have another experience to draw on.

Seventh Experience: travel day

If you have done a good job with the first 5 or 6 steps, then travel day will be like another outing and the experiences you have created for your pets will be what they draw upon for assurance. Certainly, they should know that you will rejoin them as soon as they finish their new experience because you have done that every step of the way.

Traveling with a pet does not need to be as stressful as it seems if you take the time to condition your dog to travel. The payoff for both of you will be significant.

Why and How You Need to Address Your Pet’s Health for Travel

Why pet health is important for travel.Are you planning to travel with your pet? Do you want to make sure that you have everything packed and ready? Before the trip, you carefully monitor your health and your children’s health, but don’t forget about your pet’s health! Traveling, indeed, is such a fun and exciting thing to do; however, it does involve many preparations and things to be taken care of. This whole process becomes more challenging when you have a pet as a travel companion.

Aside from all the essential must-haves, you should also not forget about the health of your pets. Traveling is stressful, and your dog or cat should be in good health before leaving home. Health can be something vital and can require immediate attention. As an example, you should not travel knowing your dog has an ear infection.

Here are some steps that you should take to address your pet’s health before traveling.

Visit your vet’s office
Vet Visit for Healthy Pet TravelThere are many things you want to make sure are set before you get on the road with your pet. Visiting the vet’s office is the first and most important step to take. Before you travel you must know that your pet’s health is good and your pet will be able to handle the stress of travel. In order to know whether or not your pet is healthy enough to travel, make sure to have your vet administer many of the fundamental tests and treatments required for pets. Here is a sample:

  • Microchips
  • Rabies and other healthy pet vaccinations
  • Blood tests (required for entering some countries)
  • Check for parasites (fleas, ticks and worms)

Essential documents, such as health certificates, are must-haves when traveling internationally and also require a trip to your veterinarian. Also, it is a good opportunity for you to stock up on any medications that your dog or cat is currently taking.

Microchip implantation
Microchip for Pet Health and TravelImplanting microchips is a must! Not only are microchips required to enter most countries, they are essential for pet identification. Should you be separated from your pet, neither you nor your pet have any understanding of the roads, the neighborhoods or the local animal enforcement, and this will limit the possibility of finding each other. Dogs and cats can be very high strung in a new environment, hence, the probability of losing your pet is pretty high, and you cannot be very attentive to them 24/7. For instance, if your pet is a dog it might follow some animal or even bolt out the door when opened and get lost. Situations can be different; the best way is to be sure that, no matter what, you will be able to find your furry friend. Make sure to register the microchip with your current contact information. Once everything is set, you can be sure that you will be safe during the trip with your pet.

First of all, even without traveling, pets must get their vaccinations. Proof of current rabies vaccination is essential for dogs and cats entering any country worldwide. As to other vaccinations like distemper, parvo virus and kennel cough, you need to talk to your pet’s veterinarian in order to discuss how long you will be absent and whether or not you should have these vaccinations administered before traveling if your destination country does not require them. Vaccinations are essential for the health and protection of your pet, especially when they may be exposed to diseases that are not active their home country.

Blood tests
Secondly, the blood tests are vital for knowing everything is good with your pet’s health and they are healthy enough to travel. Some countries will require Fluorescent Antibody Virus Neutralization (FAVN) blood tests to measure the level of rabies antibodies in your pet’s blood before allowing pets to enter the country. In many cases, this test must be done as much as 3 months in advance and, to enter Australia, 6 months in advance!

Check for Parasites

Ticks are not part of healthy pet travel.There are two types of common parasites: internal and external. Some internal parasites that can affect your pet’s health are hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms and Giardia. All kinds of worms may affect your dog in their own way and some of them can be passed to humans. Dogs infected by worms might have symptoms like weight loss, vomiting and more. There might even be cases when you do not recognize any obvious symptoms. That is why it is best to have your veterinarian take a test and make sure it should not be treated for these parasites.

External parasites include fleas, which are bloodsucking bugs. The existence of these bugs results in itching, biting, scratching and even hair loss. Other types of external parasites are ticks, which are arachnids and also bloodsucking. The dangerous thing about this is that they can be carriers of serious diseases.  Thus, it would be best to treat your dog against such things as fleas and ticks with either natural methods or products such as Advantage, Frontline. NexGard before travel.

Time to Diet?
Obese cat not healthy for pet travelAn overweight pet is not a healthy pet. Not only does excess weight affect a pet’s mobility, it can also affect lead to diabetes, osteoarthritis and even your pet’s breathing. And the effects of obesity can also affect your pet emotionally. If you are planning to travel, and your pet’s weight is not what it should be, then plan to cut back on food intake slowly and supplement with vegetables like green beans and small bits of carrots. You can discuss a dietary plan with your veterinarian. In the end, your pet will be more prepared to weather the stress of traveling after losing those excess pounds.

A Trip to the Groomer
Trip to the groomer for pet healthA clean pet is a better traveler. If you take your pet to the groomer, schedule a visit before traveling. Get them a bath, haircut and get their nails clipped. If you do not have a groomer, get out in the backyard, shower or bathtub with your pet shampoo and brush and have fun. Look out for any ticks or fleas or wounds that your pet may have and get them attended to.

Have all the essential backups
It is very important for you to do your research and be sure that nothing will affect the health of your pet during the trip. No matter all the preparations you do, there are very many external factors that can affect your pet’s health. Obviously, you want to escape from things like that, which is why there are a few things you should do.

Dog drinking waterIt is very common that pets get sick because of the water they drink. Let’s face it. They have been used to drinking one type of water, and now suddenly you give them something else. This can result in health issues. This is a very common issue that pet owners face while travelling which is why you should be careful for your pet not to suffer for pain during the trip. You can take water from home with you so as not to face digestive issues like this. The water can be tap water or bottled water, whichever you prefer. However, this is one way to make sure you will not be facing any problems and will be focusing on enjoying your trip.

It is also a good idea to bring an ample supply of your pet’s food with you. Not only you not have to shop for their food when you get to your destination, it will also prevent the introduction of a new food which can also cause digestive upset. This is especially important if your pet is on a special diet. If you are traveling internationally, be sure your destination country will permit the import of dog or cat food. It will need to be sealed in the original packaging at a minimum and, with many countries, it depends on the ingredients.

The rest of the things that you can do highly depends on the country you are planning to visit. You can find pet import regulations for over 200 countries here.

Final Thoughts
dog in carTraveling itself can be fun, but it becomes even more enjoyable when you have such wonderful travel companions as pets you own. Once you decide to take them on a trip with you, you start realizing the problems you might face. Dealing with veterinary paperwork is very essential, hence, pet health is the most important thing to deal with before you travel. You want to make sure that nothing goes wrong during your vacation, as your greatest focus should be is to relax and not worry about anything and prepare for everything.

Besides all the above-mentioned steps needed to take before you leave on a trip, you also should consider taking a health certificate with you just in case if something goes wrong and you need to visit the vet. Also, make sure that you do your research and find the closest veterinarian offices available in the country you are planning to visit in case of an emergency.

If you follow all the above-mentioned steps, you should be able to enjoy your trip. If there are any doubts connected with your pet’s health it would be better to leave them with a trusted friend or family member. Otherwise, if your pet turns out to be fully healthy, then you will be able to enjoy a very exciting trip with your travel companion!

Contributing to this article is Maria Harutyunian, the PR team lead at Vet Organics. She writes about dogs and pets in general to help pet owners like her take better care furry family members.

Dog Friendly Beaches in Northumberland United Kingdom

Northumberland is a truly spectacular place. Found in the northeast corner of the UK, the county is famous for historical monuments and castles, miles of stunning beaches, many of them dog-friendly, and a majestic and unspoilt National Park. Northumberland is a fantastic place for a wide range of holidays, none more so than one with your dog.

With miles of walking routes, plenty of dog friendly accommodation and a fantastic range of things to do, the county is the perfect destination to visit with your pet pooch. Along with Cottages in Northumberland, a leading provider of holiday cottages, including dog-friendly cottages, across Northumberland, we’re going to take a look at some of the best dog-friendly beaches in Northumberland that you can explore.

Dog Friendly Alnmouth Beach

Copyright Jim Barton and licensed for reuse by Creative Commons License

Alnmouth Beach

Siting at the mouth of the River Aln, Alnmouth beach is a wide sandy bay perfect for your dog to stretch their legs. With the village of Alnmouth backing right onto the beach, there are plenty of things to do when you finished your beach walkies. Head to the part of the beach that is south of the estuary as it is generally a bit quieter, offering you even more space.


Pet Friendly Bamburgh Castle

Photo courtesy of BamburghCastle.com

Bamburgh Castle

The beach in front of Bamburgh Castle, an ancient Norman stronghold, is arguably one of the most picturesque in the UK. The castle overlooks a magnificent sandy beach backed by sand dunes, offering the perfect wide-open space and dog-friendly beach for your four-legged friend to enjoy. The beach is also a great surfing spot if you fancy riding the waves.

Dog Friendly Fishermans Haven

Copyright Cathietinn and licensed for reuse by Creative Commons License

Fisherman’s Haven

This sandy beach has built its reputation as one of the cleanest beaches in the area, making it perfect for a safe and enjoyable walk with your pet pooch. There are a choice of paths leading down to the beach through the rocks and grassy cliffs. In fact, the beach is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, highlighting just how wonderful it truly is. Keep an eye out for the local wildlife, just make sure your dog doesn’t chase them!


Dog Friendly Newton Haven

Copyright N Chadwick and licensed for reuse by Creative Commons License

Newton Haven Beach

Just nine miles from Alnwick you will find Newton Haven Beach, a vast beach made up of sandy areas and rocky areas, giving a nice balance of landscapes. A relatively sheltered bay makes it perfect for long dog walks, while there is also an abundance of wildlife in the area as well. You and your pooch certainly won’t be bored of the great range of coastal walks in this area.


These beaches are just a handful of the many fantastic dog-friendly beaches that can be found all along Northumberland’s incredible coastline. If you fancy a trip away with your dog, Northumberland is the perfect place to go!

To travel to Northumberland from within the United Kingdom, the closest airport is Newcastle or you can take a dog-friendly train. Dogs entering the United Kingdom from other EU Member States or other countries must do so at London Heathrow or Gatwick and take a domestic flight to Newcastle.

You can find requirements to bring your dog to the United Kingdom here.


Can I Rescue a Street Dog or Cat While on Vacation and Bring It Home?

Rescue Dog

Photo Credit: change.org

It happens so often. You are traveling on vacation in a foreign country, walking down the street or sitting at a cafe and you spy the beautiful face of a dog or cat looking scared and hungry. It can be an abondoned kitten or a dog that somehow manages to stay alive while living on the street. You cannot help wanting to rescue it, change its life, take it home and love and care for it.

No one can blame you for how you feel, but the important thing to know is how you can accomplish bringing this soul, that has stolen your heart, home safely and within current laws on pet import to avoid quarantine or refusal at customs.

All countries worldwide base their pet import regulations based on diseases that can be contageous to other animals or humans, particularly rabies. This is a brutal disease that kills nearly 60,000 people a year* from bites from dogs, cats, racoons, foxes, ferrets and other warm-blooded mammals that can carry the rabies virus.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before rescuing a dog or cat in a foreign country.

What country are you visiting?

Let’s first consider the country that you are visiting. Many of the most beautiful vacation destinations in the world are classified by the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) as high-rabies countries as they don’t have structured programs in place to control rabies. Some examples of high-rabies countries are Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Indonesia and China.  Depending on your home country, it could take 4 months or more and multiple veterinary visits before bringing your rescued dog or cat home. Click here for countries considered to be high-rabies.

Oftentimes, regulations are less stringent when importing a dog or cat from a rabies-free or rabies-controlled country.

Where is your home?

If you don’t own a pet already, you may not be aware of the requirements that will be imposed on your rescue pet when entering your country.

Here are some examples of pet import regulations when importing a dog or cat from a high-rabies country:

Home Country: European Union Member State

Pet Import Regulations from high-rabies country: microchip, proof of rabies vaccination, 30 day wait after vaccination, rabies titer test (FAVN), 3 calendar month wait before travel, EU health certificate

Pet Import Regulations from other countries: microchip, rabies vaccination, 21 day wait, health certificate or EU Pet Passport

Home Country: United States

Pet Import Regulations (all countries): proof of rabies vaccination administered no sooner than 30 days before travel, health certificate, screwworm inspection (when entering from some countries)

Home Country: Canada

Pet Import Regulations (all countries): proof of current rabies vaccination (no wait after vaccination), health certificate. If imported unaccompanied, microchip, health certificate and import permit

Home Country: South Africa

Pet Import Regulations (all countries): microchip, proof of rabies vaccination (minimum 30 days in advance), blood tests (dogs), import permit, 14 days of quarantine (dogs)

Home Country: Australia

Pet Regulations (all countries): microchip, rabies vaccination, rabies titer test (FAVN) 180 days before import, import permit, blood tests, parasite treatments, health certificate. Pets can be imported directly from approved countries otherwise pets must be moved to an approved country about 6 weeks before import.

No matter what country you are bringing your rescue home to, we would urdge you to research current and detailed pet import regulations by clicking here.

You must be able to allot the time involved to meet your home country requirements for pet import. If you cannot do that, then you need to make arrangements for their care and veterinary visits until either you can come back to get them or fly them as unaccompanied air cargo to you. This will take coordination with veterinarians and someone to check your dog or cat in at your airline’s cargo facility.

Another consideration is the airline you have booked your round trip ticket with. Many airlines do not accept pets for transport such as Ryan Air, Jet Airways and AirAsia. Many other airlines will only transport pets as air cargo through the services of an agent like British Airways and SAS. If your ticket is booked on an airline that does not accept pets, then your pet will need to fly as unaccompanied air cargo which is more expensive than it  would be if you fly with your rescue.

It all sounds daunting, right? Well, actually, it can be. Sometimes, it is better to try and find an abondoned animal care and adoption in the country where you find it instead of bringing it home. There are rescue organizations in so many countries that may be able to help. Oftentimes pet stores, veterinarians, government agencies responsible for animal control or animal hospitals are aware of rescue organizations in the country you are visiting.

Before falling in love with an abondoned puppy or kitten, consider how difficult (or easy) it would be to take your rescue home with you. We would all agree that saving a life is worth every minute and every dollar spent. Dogs and cats (as well as all animals that can be domesticated) deserve a chance to live in a safe and loving environment, and there are a lot of volunteers and organizations who strive towards that goal. You are simply taking part in that effort.

*Reference: http://www.oie.int/en/animal-health-in-the-world/rabies-portal/

Dog Friendly Beaches in the Canary Islands

Pet Friendly Beaches Canary IslandsBringing your dog to the Canary Islands for a short or long vacation is a good decision as the Canarian government opens more of its island’s doors to our furry friends. The Islands display a warm welcome for dogs enjoying their vacation with their family. A lot of pet friendly hotels on the islands are also willing to accommodate visitors who have pets with them. You could also find some few inns that provide welcome kits for your pet.

Just do not forget to comply with the pet rules that already exist on the islands, especially on their dog friendly beaches. Most public places require that some dog breeds be leashed and/or muzzled, proper pet waste management, and don’t forget to bring their vaccination record and ID card. There appears to be also veterinary clinics available on the islands in case vet help is needed.

The popular dog friendly beaches along the Canarian coast are known to pet lovers because you can bring them for a walk or have fun swimming with them. Some beaches also allow dogs to run free.

Dog Friendly Beaches in the Canary Islands

Pet Friendly Beaches in the Canary IslandsLos Guirres Beach
Situated in Tazacorte, a few kilometers to the north of the Puerto Naos. Half of the northern stony dark sand beach is dedicated for animals. One of the best beach to visit with dogs and on the top of the list of things to do in La Palma.

Playa del Puertito
Situated to the side of the Club Náutico Puertito de Güímar in 2013, Playa del Puertito is the first dog friendly beach in Tenerife and second in the Canary Islands. The southern corner of the dark sand beach is the area that is dedicated for dogs.

El Cabezo Beach
El Médano is located in the municipality of San Miguel de Abona, Tenerife. It is situated in the northern town of Punta de la Jarquita. Alternating big rocks and dark sand make this a fun beach to explore. It is very close to El Medano.

El Confital Beach
Situated at the south end of the La Tejita Beach, in the municipality of San Miguel de Abona, Tenerife, El Confital Beach is a small, sandy spot of about 150 meters of length exclusively for tourists visiting with their dogs. The beach has adopted services like waste repository.

Boca Barranco Beach
The beach of Boca Barranco in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the first beach for dogs in all of the Canary Islands. This dark sand beach is at the end of a small narrow steep-sided valley.

Tres Peos Beach
The Tres Peos beach situated in the municipality of Aguimes, Gran Canaria. It is situated near the southern corner of the Vargas Beach and considered a windsurf sanctuary around the world.

Beach of Los Cuervitos
The beach is also in the municipality of Agüímes, Gran Canaria. There is a small rocky cove in the south of Tres Peos beach where dogs can play.

Las Coloradas Beach
Las Coloradas Beach (El Afre) in Yaiza, Lanzarote. A “half dog friendly” beach where there there are certain periods the dogs are allowed on the beach. This is an alternating rock and sand beach in the middle of the urban area of Playa Blanca.

Playa de Las Teresitas
This beach is situated in the north of Tenerife and will be joining the list of Canary island dog friendly beaches. Situated in a small village of San Andres, this fine white sand beach has a splendid view of the Anaga Mountains along its shoreline. The waves here are calm due to the breakwaters built parallel to its shoreline. This is an ideal beach for families with both young and old children. Family members can enjoy water sports activities like paddle boarding and kayaking.

There is an area dedicated for dogs toward the end of the beach, either the shore end or by the boat side. However, the Municipality of Sta. Cruz forbids dogs to run free amongst the people present at the beach, so you should consider leashing your dog.

Pet Friendly Beaches in the Canary IslandsWhenever you’re planning to travel with your pet to the Canary Islands, always take into consideration a few things before leaving home. Make sure that you research and book pet friendly accommodations where dogs are allowed. There seem to be many top-class hotels or villas that are pet friendly in the Island, and some of them offer small welcome kits with all the basics for your vacation. Remember to get your pet microchipped, bring your pet’s passport, health certificate from your vet, vaccination record and ID card, and other travel documents that may be needed upon entry of the islands.

You can learn more about importing your pet to the Canary Islands here.

Katarina Vancroft is a travel and destination blogger and content contributing editor.

Five Pet Friendly Beaches in Vietnam to Enjoy with Your Dog

The beaches in Vietnam are so beautiful, and they’ve long been hidden under a shroud of secrecy. Luckily, this is no longer the case, and the breathtaking coastline is waiting to be discovered.

If you are planning to travel with your dog to Vietnam, then you need to check out these pet friendly, white, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. With the tropical climate and all that space for running, you and your dog will have a great time.

Here are five Vietnam beaches where dogs are welcome so that you don’t miss any of these beautiful places. If you decide one of these beaches is for you, be aware that all of them come with specific regulations which must be respected. After all, you don’t want to end up paying a fine on your vacation.

Pet Friendly Nha Trang BeachNha Trang Beach, Nha Trang 

The Nha Trang beach is located around a beach resort city and has a six-kilometer stretch of pure bliss. Because of this, you can enjoy the sightseeing while your dog soaks his paws in the powdery sand.

Honestly, this is the most beautiful bay in all of Vietnam, and the beach serves as the connection to numerous islands. However, you should be very careful about going in the water if you aren’t a seasoned swimmer since it’s very deep.

Overall, dogs love the Nha Trang beach and atmosphere it embodies. However, since it’s a very busy beach, your dog will need to wear a muzzle and be leashed at all times.

Pet Friendly Ly Son BeachLy Son Beach, Quang Ngai 

Ly Son is an island situated 2 hours from the mainland, and it offers peace and quiet with untouched nature. However, if you or your pooch suffer from sea sickness, taking a pill before the ferry ride is a must.

Besides the beaches, you can take your dog for a hike or rent a bike and explore the serene surroundings. Additionally, the Thoi Loi Peak offers a magnificent view of crystal blue sea and coral ridges.

Lastly, your dog will appreciate no specific rules and enjoy getting into the sea without a leash or a muzzle. Plus, the parking is free.

Pet Friendly Phu Quoc BeachLong Beach, Phu Quoc Island 

Phu Quoc is the largest island situated in southern Vietnam, and it’s famous for a dog breed called Phu Quoc Ridgeback. This breed has a ridge hair that grows in the opposite direction of the rest of its coat, and it is a fun thing to see.

Your dog will love exploring the national forest, and the yellow sandy beaches without any restraints. But, you will have to pay some attention while in or close to the water as the island experiences some problems with trash.

Still, the water is lovely, the sand is soft, and the topography of the island gives you an opportunity for endless hikes and activities. During these hikes, your dog will love sniffing around, and when they get tired, there is no shortage of places to lie down.

Pet Friendly My Khe BeachMy Khe Beach, Da Nang Province 

Since the My Khe beach is very long and wide, it offers plenty of opportunities for a relaxing day with your dog. The beach is open 24/7, and there’s no shortage of space if you want to watch the sunset with your pooch.

Once you are rested and relaxed, you can take your pup for a run near the water line with the muzzle on. If a muzzle stresses your dog, you can opt for a leash.

Additionally, this beach offers amenities like showers which is a great thing for when you have a pooch that is covered in sand. Plus, parking is also available, and it only costs .01$.

Pet Friendly Mui Ne BeachMui Ne Beach, Phan Thiet Province 

The Mui Ne beach is a long stretch of sand that was once deserted and is now becoming full of beach resorts. However, it’s still unfamiliar to tourists and can be a great getaway for people and pooches alike.

If you want to relax and spend time with your dog, this pet friendly beach is great because it isn’t a very urban place. In fact, pooches can be taken to the beach without a leash and are allowed to explore everything in sight.

More importantly, the nature around this beach is lovely and gives you a chance to take a hike or check volcanic waterfalls. Also, the parking is free. However, make sure to bring water since there’s a shortage of fountains.

No matter where you travel with your dog, we advise that you bring his favorite dog food with you. Some dogs experience intestinal upset from the local cuisine, so bringing your own will ensure a happy vacation for everyone.

These five beaches don’t have strict dog policies, and it would be a shame not to visit them while you’re in Vietnam. When present, rules and regulations are there to ensure the safety of your dog and other travelers, so do your best to follow them.

Find pet passport information for transporting your dog to Vietnam.

How to Crate Train Your Puppy for Travel

How to Crate Train Your Puppy for Travel
Traveling with a new puppy can be an exciting experience, but it’s important to have them settled in and ready prepared before you go. If flying, all dogs and cats must travel in IATA-compliant pet crates or carriers. It is always recommended to restrain your pet when driving, not only for its safety but for the safety of the driver and passengers as well.

Crate training your puppy can help give it a space of its own and will let them feel safe when traveling and also secure in a new location.

Puppies will naturally try to find a space for themselves that’s secure and enclosed, where they can rest and feel safe. Crate training a puppy can help to meet that need by giving your puppy their own private area, as well as letting you establish boundaries early on.

Why Crate Train Your Puppy

Crate training is a popular method for many reasons:

  • Makes travelling with your puppy easier
  • Encourages good behaviour
  • Affordable and easy for your puppy to understand
  • Helps your puppy settle into a new location
  • Keeps your puppy safe when unsupervised or when you have visitors
  • Reassures your dog that they are behaving well
  • Can help your puppy feel safe during storms

Training Your Puppy

Crate training a puppy takes time and patience, but by going slowly, your puppy should become gradually more comfortable with staying in the crate. It’s important to make crate training a positive experience for your puppy. Giving them treats for going to the crate and staying inside can reward and encourage their behaviour. Making the crate comfortable and throwing in some toys and a “used” t-shirt with your scent on it, can also help to make it an appealing space. Be sure and keep the door open until your puppy has used the crate for several weeks.

Crate Train a PuppyYou can try playing some fun games with your puppy using the crate. This will let them know that the crate isn’t just for being left alone in but can also be a different type of space. Bringing your puppy away from loud environments to the crate can also help them to associate the crate as a peaceful and relaxing space.

Once your puppy is familiar with the crate you can start slowly increasing the time they spend inside, making sure to give plenty of treats for good behavour. Eventually you can have them spend a night sleeping in the crate, but be prepared to let them out to pee first thing in the morning. As a general rule, puppies can hold themselves for up to one hour for every month of age, although play and excitement can reduce this time.

Choosing a Crate

Your dog’s size is one of the most important considerations when selecting a crate. The ideal crate size is small enough that your pet won’t urinate in it but large enough so that they can stand up and comfortably turn around. When buying a crate for your puppy, make sure to purchase one that will accommodate its size when it’s fully-grown. While they’re growing you can reduce the space inside the crate by adding a divider.

Travel crates are great option for training your puppy, as they will eventually become comfortable with the crate and won’t be as worried when it is used for travel.

The ideal location for your dog’s crate while training is in a room where your family spends a lot of time together, such as the kitchen or living room. You can also shift it to your bedroom when you go to sleep at night.

What Not to Do

It’s important to never use the crate as punishment, as you want it to become known as a positive place. If your dog associates the crate with a bad experience they will avoid it as much as possible.

Remember not to leave your dog in their crate for longer than necessary. They’re social animals and need breaks to stretch their legs. Plan to let your dog out for several bathroom breaks during the day as well as during play and feeding times.

While crate training can help your puppy adjust to travelling, it’s not a fix for issues like barking or separation anxiety. If your puppy experiences these issues, it’s important not to rely on crate training as a solution and instead consult a professional dog behaviourist.

Crate training can be a great method for encouraging good behaviour as well as protecting your pet. With the right preparation and a little persistence, your pet’s crate can become their favourite place.

Daniel Defendi is a writer and blogger from Perth, Western Australia. You can catch him on Google+ to discuss this piece.