Pet transportation requires careful handling to ensure the safety and well-being of our furry friends. This article will guide you through some considerations to make your pet transportation experience safer and more secure.
Collar vs. Harness
When handling pets, you have the option to attach their leash to a collar or harness. Choosing the right option can help prevent escapes and injuries. Both choices have their advantages and disadvantages:
Collars: Ideal for identification tags, but they can exert pressure on sensitive areas and risk the pet slipping away. If using a collar is preferred, consider using a Martingale, or no-slip collar. These collars are designed to help prevent pets from slipping.
Harnesses: Distribute force across the body, reducing the risk of injury and escape. No-pull harnesses are especially great for dogs who are persistent pullers. When using a harness, ensure it fits appropriately to avoid slipping or restricting the pet's movement. P.S. Harnesses are also great for cats!
**Quick Tip** While we suggest using a harness as they are generally safer, it is best to consult with the pet owner to determine the right choice based on the pet's size, breed, and personality type. We recommend adding information about leash options in your intro message to new customers. It is best to have these conversations before the shipment is arranged, so that both parties can arrive prepared for a safe journey. You may also consider investing in a harness to have on hand in case the customer is not able to supply one for you.
During your transport, there may be times where you need to stop for a bathroom break, a walk, or where you need to transfer a pet to a receiving party. Below we’ve outlined some tips on how to handle pets safely.
- Leash Ready-When transferring a pet out of a crate or vehicle, have their leash on hand before opening any doors, especially for nervous pets or those who may be a flight risk. If possible, have a second person assist you with the transfer. If an animal shows signs of aggression, consider using a pair of gloves for handling.
- Refrain from retractable leashes-Retractable leashes are harder to control and can cause injury to the pet. If a dog runs to the end of the leash at a high speed, the leash could break and/or the dog could hurt their neck (especially if the leash is attached to their collar)
- Proper Grip-Once securely fastened, wrap the leash around your palm, leaving enough slack for the pet to move freely. Avoid wrapping it around your wrist to prevent injuries.
- Avoid Pulling- Sometimes pets have a mind of their own and insist on pulling in a certain direction. Instead of dragging a pet who wanders off, use positive reinforcement techniques to get them back on track. Call them by their name and use treats to encourage good behavior. Once again, no-pull harnesses are recommended for persistent pullers.
Microchips and AirTags
Both microchips and AirTags can act as powerful tools to keep tabs on pets, offering peace of mind to owners and ensuring a faster and more efficient response in times of need.
Microchips: These tiny devices are implanted under the skin, providing a permanent and unobtrusive way to identify pets. In the unfortunate event that a pet goes missing, these microchips can be scanned by veterinarians or animal shelters, facilitating a quick reunion with their owners. Check with the pet’s owner prior to the start of transport to see if their pet has been microchipped.
AirTags: Equipped with advanced tracking technology, AirTags offer real-time location monitoring. These tags can be attached to an animal’s collar using an AirTag holder. This enables pet owners to pinpoint their pet's exact location using a smartphone app, reducing the time and stress associated with searching for a lost pet. Keep in mind that location tracking will only work if the pet is in the vicinity of a smartphone.
**SAFETY REMINDER** It’s important not to attach an AirTag near a pet’s mouth or somewhere they can chew on it. If swallowed, AirTags can be a health hazard. Always consider the pet’s temperament and consult with their owner before choosing to attach an AirTag.
While the above measures can be instrumental in preventing escapes, it is highly recommended you have a plan in place in the unfortunate event that a pet goes missing while in your care. To help with this, we’ve outlines some suggested steps you can take below:
- Immediate Search: Act promptly in the event of a pet escape. Call the pet by its name and use treats to attract its attention.
- Contact the Owner: Inform the pet's owner immediately to collaborate in the search effort.
- File a Report: Report the missing pet to the police and/or animal control, providing detailed descriptions.
- Check Local Resources: Contact animal shelters and vet clinics to inquire about newly found pets.
- Spread the Word: Post flyers with a current photo in the area and leverage social media groups for wider outreach.
By prioritizing proper leash usage, mastering handling techniques, and implementing preventative measures, pet transporters can significantly reduce the risk of escapes and ensure the safety of the pets entrusted to their care. Always stay vigilant, communicate with pet owners, and be prepared to take swift action in case of an unfortunate escape.