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All dogs will need a high-quality crate or carrier. Even if you don’t plan on taking long trips with your dog, a crate will be necessary even for quick veterinary visits and possibly for training purposes. Here, your Lansdowne veterinarian advises you on picking the right one.
First things first: make sure the crate you buy your dog is the right size. If you can, bring your dog along when shopping for a carrier so you know he’ll fit. Remember that if your dog is young, he may grow to become much larger, so pick a crate that will fit him when he’s grown up.
Examine the latch mechanism on the crate’s door. Does it work correctly and look secure? Dogs that are especially aggressive, determined, or fearful can sometimes chew through flimsy plastic locks. Especially clever dogs can even unlatch a door if it’s accessible to them from the inside! You’ll want to pick a crate that keeps your dog secure.
Check the weight limits on the crate’s packaging or underside. If your dog weighs more than this number, you’ll need a different crate that can support your dog’s mass. Again, remember that your dog will probably weigh more in the future if he’s a puppy now.
All crates should have proper ventilation slits along the sides, top, or on the door. These openings need to be large enough to let in fresh air, but not so large that a dog could stick his paws or tail through, potentially causing harm.
Remember to consider your dog’s comfort when he’s traveling in the crate. Is there space to put a soft blanket or towel along the bottom? For longer drives, you might even need to be able to fit water or food dishes in the carrier. If your dog isn’t relatively comfortable in his crate, it will be that much harder to get him in when transportation is necessary.
If you’d like a second opinion on what size and type of dog crate to purchase for your canine companion, don’t hesitate to call your Lansdowne vet’s office . He or she can help you with this important investment!