Having your pet familiar with the shipping crate helps them travel. You want your pet to think of his crate as his favourite place to be.
NEVER force them into the crate and slam the door shut. This will only set a negative precedent. Here are some steps that might help your four legged friend:
1. Place the crate in the house in a area that are around the most, somewhere that they can see you
2. Start by introducing the bottom piece of the crate only and put their beds, blankets & their favourite toys in it and make it a comfortable place for them to chill. Leave it like that for a few weeks.
3. Once you think they are ready to move onto the next step, add the top piece of the crate on and make it like a house (No door just yet). Start feeding them in the crate, at first place the bowl near the door and then next meal move the bowl inside the crate, eventually having the bowl be right at the back of the crate. Always give them treats and loads of attention when they go into the crate by themselves!!
4. When they are comfortable to go in & out the crate on their own you can add on the crate door. Push the door closed as you walk by and then open it right away. Doing this several times will take the “event” out of the door closing. Once they're a bit more comfortable with that, close the door and wait for them to look at you and calm down. Once calm, open the door and walk away.
*Don’t open the door if they start throwing a fit, this will only teach them that throwing a fit will get you to open the door. On the contrary, being calm will get you to open the door.
5. When it is time to travel it will also help to place something in the crate that they are familiar with, like the blanket/thin bedding that they been using, your old t-shirt(smelly sock works to :p) something that has your sense on that helps comfort them during the trip.
Now Travel Safe!