How to acclimate your pet to a crate before travel
It is important that you purchase an IATA approved pet crate that meets the correct size and dimensions of the animal you are transporting.
It is not always possible to have the time to acclimatise your pet to a crate, however, if you have the opportunity to allow your dog/cat to become accustomed to the crate environment before travel, it will make for a far pleasant an experience and potentially reduce stress for your pet.
If you have an anxious dog you could try administering St John's Wort for dogs a couple of days leading up to travel. St John's Wort helps to relax and calm your pet (always consult your vet before administering). Check out the Youtube clip above, it is a great guide to crate training!
It is important to know that ALL crates that are being shipped in cargo require labelling on the outside. This is a regulation set by IATA to ensure that all handling staff and ground crew are aware that there is a live animal in the crate and what type of animal is being transported.
You will need to ensure that an absorbent pet pad is placed in the bottom of the crate, adequate bedding (I like to use a pillow) is provided for your pet to rest on and that there is a water feeder and food feeder attached to the inside of the crate door. A funnel is also required to be attached by a cable tie to the outside of the crate door to enable staff to provide food and water to your pet.
Remember the more prepared you are before your international travel the calmer both you and your beloved pet will be!