We use three sizes of cage depending on the size and number of dogs traveling: 109x69x75cm, 89x60x66cm and 78x55x60cm. These are classified as Extra Large, Large and Medium. By way of guidance we are to able to get two Large dogs in an Extra Large Cage, 4 Medium dogs in and Extra Large Cage (2 Medium dogs in a Large Cage) and 6-8 Small dogs in a Extra Large Cage (4-6 Small dogs in a Large Cage). Of course this depends on the size of the dogs which is why it is important that you are accurate when booking your dog a place. We NEVER overcrowd the dogs and always ensure that they have water in the cages and enough space to move around and lie down. It is the responsibility of the person booking the transport to be comfortable with the size of the cages as only you know the exact size of the dog. If when we collect the dog it is in our opinion too large for the designated cage we reserve the right to not take the dog or to charge extra if space allows.
We took advice from a number of vets who recommended that dogs prefer to travel in company so we always try and have at least two to a cage, size allowing! The reason for this is that dogs are less stressed when they have company and so long as they can stand up and stretch to change positions while actually traveling they are more comfortable snuggled up. We ensure the dogs are introduced to each other before hand if they haven’t met before the transport, and we carry a couple of extra cages in case dogs need moving during a transport.
To date the vets advice has been spot on. Only issue we have had is with dogs traveling on their own wanting to go in cages with other dogs!
With the Large Van we are able to open the cage doors to access the dogs with the van doors CLOSED which we do if we are in any doubt about a dogs tendency to try and bolt!
Please remember that dogs MUST travel with a collar on. We carry over 40 leads (leashes) with us so that in the event of an emergency we can put one on every dog, so please ensure your dog travels with a good quality collar. We prefer dogs NOT to have a harness as they are more prone to snag on a cage.
We DO NOT put blankets or bedding into the cages at the beginning of the journey. We do put absorbent towels in which are changed regularly throughout the journey. Experience tells us that this is when a dog is most likely to be sick or go to the toilet (especially if they have been fed prior to travel) so we always leave it a couple of hours to let the dogs settle, and then give them their blankets. You are more than welcome to provide favourite bedding etc. We have plenty of space to take it with us. We do this for the well being of the dogs: last thing they want is to start their journey on a soiled blanket!
In our view it is far more hygienic to be able to clean and disinfect the metal trays in the cages, pre, post and during a transport (we carry disinfectant on all transports) than it is to keep bedding clean or regularly change bedding.
We will NOT transport a dog that has been sedated under any circumstances. In our experience the dogs fight against the strange feeling of the sedative as it wears off and they can react badly, and no way could we repeatedly administer a sedative to keep a dog quiet – and nor would we even consider it.
You MUST get your vet to complete the Clinical Examination section of the pet passport to confirm that he and you are happy that your dog is fit to travel.