Spike: not that much of a #CrateHappyPet. However he is SAFE.
When I was in graduate school at the University of Arizona, I missed the animals that I lived with on the farm, being in a studio apartment building. I went to the humane society and adopted a cat. It was December, so actually weren’t a bunch of cats available for adoptions. Still, I chose a black cat because I was worried no one else would take him from his shelter life. I took him back to the humane society to be neutered. That morning when Idropped Al ( Al stood for alley cat) off, there was a crisis in the spay/neuter clinic. A girl brought her cat into the clinic in a pillowcase instead of a carrier crate. Her cat, scared by the sound of the car, motion of the car or a strange sounds from the neighborhood, struck out by biting, HARD, on the girls fingers. So hard in fact, that the cats teeth sunk into the skin, then muscle, ticked bone, and went all the way THRU a finger.and out the other side.
This led to the woman standing at the spay/neuter clinic bleeding
profusely at the admissions counter. My life was changed that day. I made a
mental note that I would never transport a cat (in and of itself a scary
proposition for most felines) without having a real carrier crate. Even though
this woman’s cat had been laid back, sweet and never scratched or bit, fear
changed it into a panicky fighting machine. Heath visits are hard enough with a
furry family member. That day I promised myself that I would take the variable
of events from unstable containment off the table. I bought an airline certified
carrier for my animals.
Now I have been working with people’s pet and solving
behavior issues (as an animal communicator) for over fifteen years. I have come
across many other reasons to use carrier crates for furry family members.
I get called when things aren’t going well. Sometimes, well, make that most times,
the humans have expended all other options before they call me, and they still
aren’t sold on what I do for a living. They are trying my services simply
because they do not know what else to do, and they want to keep doing SOMETHING.
Out of the 5 reasons someone would call an animal communicator, carrier
crates usually fall into the behavior issues. Probably the most common situation
I recommend them in is for a dog to have a “home of his own”. If you put
blankets and treats inside a dogs crate, and make it off limits to anyone else,
he knows he has a safe place to retreat to. This is a sure cure for a smaller
dog that is being abused or bullied around by a bigger dog. Most dogs do not
mind having other canine company if there is a place they can go to relax and be
safe. A crate provides that, and a larger dog cannot follow a smaller dog into
the space. I cannot count the number of times an owner gets a young rambiuos
puppy, and the older smaller dog just want to get out of the constant onslaught
of attention. This doubly true if the dog was living by himself before and did
not have ANY canine attention before.
For a young puppy or a dog new to your
home, a crate provides a home for him where you know he is not destroying your
shoes while you are gone. Again, the knowledge that it is “his place” makes
thsi crate desirable. Think back to a new job you started. Wasn’t it a lot less
chaotic to know where you were supposed to be and what you were supposed to be
doing? A crate sets those boundaries for a new dog. If the dog does have a ton
of energy, you can put a favorite treat or Kong in with them to keep them
Crates are also very effective for dogs with potty training.
Because of the close space, they will not soil their crate unless they REALLY
need to go. So, with a dog that may have a smaller bladder or poor boundaries
for “accidents”, you can have them in the crate for a specific amount of time,
then take them out and walk them to do their business. This type of training
goes hand in hand with the “pee stick process” I talk about in my book.
For those of use who travel with their dogs, crates provide consistency and a
reminder that they have a “home”. No matter what airline or hotel you are in,
the crate will be a constant reminder that they have a special place just for
them in the world.
I don’t usually use a carrier crate with cats at home,
but I NEVER take them anywhere without being with one because of the experience
I stated above. The exception to that maybe a pregnant mother. She likes to have
a protected safe area to house her kittens, one that isn’t large but is cozy and
easy to get in and out of. When I brought my foster kittens home, they came to
my house I carriers. Plus, there have been studies at rescues that have found
cats do better if they have a cardboard box in their cage. I think that data can
be extrapolated to having access to a crate that is theirs.
When you get a crate carrier, make sure it is large enough for your animal, and sturdy enough
to last. If you are going to be flying, mKe sure the crate meets the airline
requirements, which are different depending if you are keeping your pet in the
cabin with you or they are large and need to go in cargo. I have flown many
times with feral kittens from the farm. Surprisingly, the sound of the plane
quiets them and they have been easy travelers.
Good luck with the pets in your life, and make sure to keep both you and them safe and comfortable by
purchasing them the portable home known as a carrier or crate.
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