Planning ways to minimize stress is an essential part of the transport process. You can help promote a positive experience for each animal with just a bit of preparation. Be sure to check out the video and downloadable resource for more details on each step. For more transport info, visit our cat transport page.
Crates should be large enough so each dog can stand, turn around freely, sit upright, stretch, and lie in a natural position.
Line the bottom of each crate with one or more puppy pads to help absorb liquids, prevent the dog from slipping and provide cushioning. For puppies or dogs with a history of ingesting foreign materials, consider using an alternate crate liner or bedding.
Affix a water bowl to each crate. Water bowls should contain a small amount of water or be filled with crushed ice to reduce spillage.
Optional: Placing a few treats or squeeze-cheese in the back of the crate will encourage dogs to enter. These snacks may also help puppies maintain normal blood sugar levels during the trip.
Arranging Crates in the Vehicle
Once the crate size is determined for each dog, plan the location of the crates within the vehicle to optimize the available space, keeping in mind the safety and welfare of the dogs.
Set up the crates with the largest on the bottom and arrange them to allow for adequate airflow through each crate.
Once the crates are loaded, securely fasten them to avoid any shifting during transport.
At a minimum, crates must be fastened to the vehicle itself and, once secured, should not move when pulled or pushed.
A built-in restraint system, tarp straps, and/or ratchet straps are effective methods when used as designed.
Cloth-covered bungee cords should not be relied on to secure crates during transport as they are rarely strong enough to adequately secure the weight of a loaded crate and deteriorate with continuous use.
When it is time for loading, dogs should be presented one at a time.
Loading dogs by weight from largest to smallest will ensure that an appropriately sized crate is available for each dog.
To prevent escape, handlers should ensure the vehicle’s door is closed until they secure the dog in the crate.
Do not remove the leash until the dog is safely secured inside the crate.