Stuff needed for transports

Daisy laying in the grass

I talked about the crates and a couple other must have items needed for transports, but I did not go in depth. Here I want to get a little more detailed. If you have nothing else on a transport, you need three things, one is a slip leash. This is very important, you need to be able to secure the dog so he does not get away. The second item you must have, is a crate or kennel. The third, pee pads. There are so many types of leashes out there. They are made from many different types of materials, there are different styles and configurations, but for transport, the best is a simple slip leash. I will say that you should not, actually do not bring choke collars or shock collars or the prong collars. Choke collars are designed to choke, prong collars are designed to inflict pain on the dogs neck, shock collars are designed to shock the dog and cause pain. I never recommend any of these, unless there is a life or death problem a dog has. There is no place for these in rescue transport. Keep in mind (regardless of your philosophy on those collars), you are going to be in the company of people who love dogs, if nothing else, those collars will not go over well. Most dogs coming from a shelter have nothing, so a slip leash is perfect. You just slip it over the dogs head and it will tighten as necessary. Even if the dog has a collar, do not trust it, you do not know where that collar came from, how old it is, what condition it is in. Remember. you do not want to be the one to have to call the transport coordinator and say you lost the dog! This is one of the areas where we can keep it simple, a few slip leashes of different sizes will be you best friends during a transport. Like I said always use your leash, because you know where yours has been. Also having your leash will making transferring the dog safe. You keep the dog on your leash until the other rescuer has his leash on the dog, now the dog is always secure with no chance to escape. There is a whole multitude of kennel sizes styles and types. The three main types are the plastic “airline approved” kennels, soft sided kennels (nylon cloth with a frame for support), and wire mesh kennels. I prefer the plastic kennels over the metal wire ones for transport. I do not recommend the soft kennels at all. These kennels will not hold a dog, they can be chewed through and the dog can escape. I find the plastic kennels are a little more compact and easier to put in the car. Kennels can be expensive. I’m always looking out for kennels at yard sales and flea markets. Sometimes you can get lucky and the person holding the sale will give you the crate / kennel if you tell them you do dog rescue. I recently took a dog in from an owner surrender and a kennel came with the dog. It is a collapsible kennel from Nylabone (the chew toy maker). It is the coolest crate. It is nice and sturdy and is folds down into a flat shape. Storing these takes a lot less room then the non folding type. The one I have an older one that has a flat top. The new ones are arched and that does not lend it’s self to being stacked if you have a big transport, but not many people use mini vans, where you can stake crates two high. I found a few other collapsible kennels while doing research for this article. Care eze has a collapsible carrier with a flat top, but I have not personally used one, but looks like it is along the lines of the Nylabone. The same with this Suncast  Pet Carrier. The nice thing about these crates is that they do fold flat for easy storage and that will give you more room, if the crate is not needed, especially in a vehicle during a transport.  Petmate crates are by far the most popular. They are easy to clean, every store sells them and they work fine. They just don’t fold flat. They do come apart and will store inside it’s self and that will reduce the height by half. A very important note about crates, if you use one that has clips that hold the two halves together, you MUST reinforce the clips with nylon wire ties. The clips have been known to unclip and then you animal inside can get away. By “wire tying” the top and bottom together, you insure that your precious cargo makes it to the destination. One of the great things about any of these plastic crates, is ease of disinfection. After each transport you need to wash the crate with soap and water, Dawn dish soap works great (to get any solid dirt and crud out of the crate), then disinfect the crate by wiping it down with either a bleach solution or disinfecting wipes. You can even use a spray if you wipe the crate down to distribute the liquid. It is very important for the health of the dogs you are transporting and the health of our own dog to keep your equipment clean and sanitary. During the transport article, I talked about protecting our vehicle with pee pads. Lets talk about pee pads now. There are so many brands and types of pee pads on the market now. I typically used the disposable pads for at home and as extra pads in case there is an accident during transport. I use reusable bed pads for in my vehicles under the blanket. Invacare makes a nice size reusable pad. While researching  for this article I also found  Ezwhelp reusable whelping pads that look like they are very similar to my bed pads and they come in different sizes and look to be a little cheaper. The first time you have a dog or puppy pee or worse, on your car seat, you will be thanking me, because you have our seats covered. I put links to the stuff I recommend to make it easier for you to find the products, without having to search local stores or search the Internet and hoping you found what I was talking about. My personal ethics, only allow me to link products that I use, would use or have used and that I would recommend to my own family or friends. This is important to me that you know where I am coming from. This web site is dedicated to helping you, help dogs. If I can make that a little easier for you by showing you where you can get the stuff I like, use and talk about, then I’m doing my job. At the end of the day: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DOGS!