For most Shiba Inu owners, there will eventually be a time when a pet carrier will be of great use - whether for transportation, airline rides, or sudden emergencies.
For some, that time will come sooner than others.
Pet carriers help owners transport their pets safely and comfortably. Pet carriers are also useful to quarantine your pets in various situations such as a when you have visitors or workers visiting your residence.
Most importantly, a pet carrier is an essential item to have in times of emergencies when you and your pet must evacuate quickly.
If you don’t have a pet carrier for your Shiba Inu yet, it might be time to consider if you are prepared for emergencies without one.
Read on to learn all about the types of available pet carriers that will work best for you and your Shiba Inu.
What Exactly Is a Pet Carrier and Do I Need One?
For most dog owners, a pet carrier is a useful and sometimes essential item that can hold, transport, and protect your dog in various situations.
As for the reasons why you might need to keep your dog in a single place, here are three situations where a pet carrier would be of great use:
- Transportation: While some dog owners may be comfortable with letting a Shiba Inu freely move around in the car, the sheer number of digital features in modern cars makes this a recipe for trouble if the dog gets excited. While some may argue about the necessity of a carrier for car trips, a pet carrier is a necessity when it comes to air travel. Another perk of a proper pet carrier is the ability to affix your dog's information to either the side of the carrier or threaded around a handle.
- Emergencies: In the event that you experience a tragedy like a fire or fast-moving flood waters, a pet carrier is a great way to keep track of your pets. Whether you have enough time to convince your dog to go into its carrier or you are out on a rescue mission to reunite with a Shiba Inu who has gone missing, a pet carrier is ideal for ensuring that your Shiba Inu is safe and secure.
- Short-Term Confinement: In cases where your Shiba Inu would be exposed to situations that trigger aggression or other unwanted behaviors, such as children or other small dogs, it may be best to use a pet carrier as a private room for the dog. When used toward this end, a pet carrier is more akin to a mobile home than a time out. If your Shiba is well acquainted with your carrier, it may even appreciate the chance to go in.
Types of Pet Carriers
The pet carrier market can be broken down into three major categories. This section will detail the merits and flaws of each category, as well as what you should bear in mind when considering such a purchase.
These types of carriers are made from the same non-rigid fabrics as backpacks and sleeping bags.
Pros: The non-rigidity of soft-sided carriers means that they are more comfortable for your Shiba, making them ideal for long trips by car.
That same quality also extends to their owners, meaning that it can be a less unpleasant experience when keeping the carrier on your body, such as in your lap when you want to be near your pet without letting it roam around.
Many soft-sided carriers also feature pockets and flaps that can be used to conveniently store things like treats and medications.
Cons: Dedicated Shiba Inus with aspirations of escaping require far less effort breaking free of a soft-sided carrier than would be required to escape from a hard-sided one.
Another drawback of soft-sided dog carriers when compared to their hard-sided counterparts is that soft-sided carriers offer very little protection from kinetic impacts like collisions, falling or punctures.
Pros: This is the sort of carrier that you want if your primary worry is security.
Additionally, hard-sided carriers have a defined shape that does not warp or bend without great effort; this makes them perfect, and required, when you have to travel with your dog in the cargo hold of a plane or train.
Lastly, hard-sides do more than keep your Shiba from breaking free, they also reduce the risk and lessen the severity of potential injuries from impacting against a physical force like somehow dropping the carrier or being involved in an automotive accident.
Cons: Try sleeping along the foundation of your house instead of over your bed and you will soon agree that long-term exposure to hard surfaces does not lead to positive outcomes.
While you may be able to offset some of this issue with a beach towel or some small pillows, it is an issue that cannot be ignored when going on long-distance car trips.
One other drawback to hard-sided carriers is that they tend to be heavier than soft-sided ones.
Your lap and knees will swiftly convince you that keeping a hard-sided dog carrier, especially one being used to house a fully-grown Shiba Inu, across your lap is a bad idea.
Beyond the concerns you may have over getting a hard carrier or a soft carrier is the notion of purchasing a carrier with wheels.
Pros: Having wheels along the bottom means that you have to exert far less effort moving your Shiba Inu around.
The fact that wheeled carriers are so much lower to the ground can also offer a calming benefit to your Shiba who may not be accustomed to frequent travel within a dog carrier.
Cons: A dog carrier on wheels can be problematic when it comes to clearing the size restrictions set by airlines and railroads; an otherwise acceptable carrier may be too tall to be classified as carry-on due to the added height from the wheels.
Features To Look For In A Pet Carrier
When deciding on a pet carrier for your Shiba Inu, the following four features should be carefully considered:
- Is there breathing room?
Does the carrier afford your Shiba enough room to properly breathe? Does it have an acceptable degree of breathing holes?
How hard is it to, well, carry? While its fine to get a pet carrier that's study and does not easily give way, that can become a hindrance if you have to move it frequently. A carrier that is too heavy to move is a carrier soon-fated to collect dust and a carrier that is too light to move may be of questionable construction.
- How easy is it to clean the pet carrier? Like any room in a home, a carrier requires regular maintenance and cleaning. While one carrier may offer an impressive array of security features and options, that same carrier may require so many components that a thorough cleaning becomes a major chore. You want a carrier that can easily disassemble to reach any soiled or dirty surfaces, but not at the cost of durability nor security.
- Does it make concessions to concessions? Does the carrier have space or fixtures to mount a water bottle or food? While this feature may not be relevant for short-term trips, say from the home to your vet, any long-distance trips with a dog in tow demands an access point for food and drink.
How To Find A Correctly Sized Carrier For Your Shiba Inu
Once you have pared down your options for a pet carrier, it is important to keep your specific Shiba Inu in mind.
Adult Shiba Inus range from 13 to 17 inches high from the withers and 18 to 22 pounds in weight.
If you are unclear on how to measure your Shiba Inu by its "withers," simply measure the distance between an even floor and the ride between the dog's shoulder blades.
Once you have an idea of how much of a ceiling to look for, the next step is gauging the ideal width. As mentioned before, it is imperative that your carrier affords enough space for your Shiba to turn around without issue.
If you happen to be caring for a Shiba puppy, it would be a good idea to invest in a carrier that can handle the dog in its adult years; you can pad out the gaps in space with some extra cushioning.
Should I Get an Airline-Approved Pet Carrier?
While most airlines are indifferent to whether you store your Shiba in a hard carrier or a soft one, you will require one in order to travel the skies with your dog.
As to what sort of approval you are looking for, it is important to know that there is no uniform set of requirements used by all domestic and international airlines.
If you have even a hint that you'll be flying with your Shiba(s), it is important to look over the various airlines you prefer and search for a carrier that meets all their requirements.
Our Favorite Pet Carriers For Shiba Inus / Small - Medium Dogs
Hard - Sided:
Petmate Sky Kennel (24" Height)
Our favorite hard-sided pet carrier is the Petmate Sky Kennel
For the majority of Shiba Inus the 24" in height carrier should be a good fit.
You can choose one size down or one size up for smaller or larger Shibas.
This hard-sided kennel is reasonably durable in comparison to similar kennels but of course not as sturdy as they were, say 15 years ago.
This Petmate Kennel is manufactured in Texas and the company states that they are making a commitment to manufacturing their products as "green" as possible.
This kennel features good ventilation as well as sturdy steel wires in the doors and windows.
To learn more about the Petmate Sky Kennel and check prices, click here.
Soft - Sided:
Portable Soft Pet Carrier or Crate or Kennel for Dogs
Most soft-sided carriers are made for smaller dogs but this Top Pets Soft-Sided pet carrier can comfortably fit all sizes of Shiba Inus.
In general, people choose soft-sided carriers because they need a carrier that can be portable and easy to store when not in use.
Soft-sided carriers are also a bit lighter in weight, though the large size version of this carrier is a bit heavy.
It's important to take into consideration the size of your Shiba Inu and your own physical capabilities before deciding on a soft-sided carrier.
Large Shiba Inus that move a lot will carrying them in this carrier quite an ordeal. As a tip, owners of large soft-sided crates use small dolly's to roll this carrier with dog in tow over long distances.
To learn more about the Top Pets Soft-Sided Pet Carrier and check prices, click here.
Rolling / With Wheels:
Pet Gear I-GO Plus Traveler Pet Carrier
The I Go2 Pet Carrier is actually a rolling pet carrier, a backpack, and a car seat carrier all-in-one.
The carrier is quite efficient as a rolling carrier but unless you are built like a football player, I wouldn't recommend trying to "backpack" your Shiba Inu in this due to the size, weight, and overall bulkiness.
Overall, this pet carrier is pretty well constructed and features a lot of handy pockets to hold leashes, treats, etc. The zippering system is secure and seems that it should hold up well for some time.
Some parts of the carrier made with plastic would be the only concern in terms of long term durability. Heavy handling, dropping, or extreme elements could wear out this carrier in the long term. However, these cons are acceptable at the carrier's current price point.
There is ample ventilation and your Shiba Inu is able to view out through the large front as well as side windows.
To learn more about the I Go 2 Pet Gear Pet Carrier and check prices, click here.
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