Some lucky pet owners have an easy time acclimating their pets to their travel crates. However, not all furry friends immediately love their travel crates. If your pet needs some extra help, not to worry! Here are a few tricks for getting pets more comfortable in their crate as you prepare for your upcoming move:
- Feed them in their crate. Start with the door open, and as you progress, start closing it all the way. As soon as they are done eating, let them back out!
- Why it works: A positive action while they are in the crate with the door closed means positive conditioning. Also keeping the time span short reduces anxiety and shows your pet that being inside their crate is no big deal!
- Cover crates with something light and breathable with the door closed for short increments of time so they cannot see what is going on around them.
- Why it works: having a crate covered will actually help them feel more secure! Think of it like their personal den/zen space. A covered crate will also emulate the low lighting of traveling on the plane.
- Ease your pet into the crate for longer periods of time incrementally when you are home first before you start leaving them in a crate when you are gone.
- Why it works: This allows you to have some separation from your dog, but allows them to see & hear you while you are home. Doing this in small spurts reinforces that it’s not a big deal to be inside their crate. Once they are doing well inside their crate, start leaving the house for quick errands!
- If possible, have them sleep in the crate at night.
- It doesn’t have to be every night but it’s a great start as they are naturally more relaxed during night time. Start with the crate in your room and gradually move it closer to the door until they are in a different room.
- Why it works: By leveraging their circadian rhythm it will condition them sleep in their crate.
- Bonus: This also helps with dogs that struggle with separation anxiety!
Start with these tricks and you'll be on your way to having a calmer pet when it's time to move!