The type of carrier you have for your dog may greatly affect his desire to get into it and his comfort while traveling. Dogs unhappy about their surroundings in a car or other moving vehicle may howl, bark, experience stress and be generally miserable. If you must take your dog to the veterinarian, the stress experienced from the trip to the veterinarian's office may raise his pulse and breathing rate and may even result in fear and anxiety.
The type of carrier also may affect how easily you are able to transport your dog. When purchasing a carrier, give careful consideration to your needs and those of your dog.
One of the most important considerations is the size of the carrier. Is
it large enough for your dog? Squeezing big Ben into a carrier that was
made for tiny Tim will reduce Ben's desire to travel. If you adopted a
cute little puppy, consider getting a carrier that will accommodate him
as an adult rather than a small carrier that you will have to replace in
a year or two. In addition, all carriers must have a few standard features.
Soft-sided carriers (only available for small dogs) are more likely to soften any blow to your dog from sliding or jostling during a trip, but they also may have less ventilation and less room to move around. In warm weather, a soft-sided carrier may be too warm. On short trips, such as to the veterinarian's office, a soft-sided carrier may be fine for your small dog and easier for you to handle.
A soft-sided carrier is difficult to clean if your dog has a potty-accident while being transported. Soft-sided carriers usually come with straps that can be positioned around your neck or over your shoulder. Avoid backpack-style carriers or those that allow the pet's head to extend out the top. Dogs should be observed rather than be carried behind one's back, and they can easily escape carriers that don't close completely.
To accustom your dog to being in a carrier, leave the carrier open in an
accessible place periodically. Put a comfortable bed or blanket inside so your dog will venture in to sleep. Once in the carrier, give your dog some treats so he will associate being inside with something positive.