How to Ship a Dog

Shipping your dogs to another state or country is a very stressful task. It is the main reason why people keep looking for new ways to ship them safely and efficiently.

Whether you’re moving to a new house or selling a puppy to someone in a different state, there are some important steps you must take to make sure the dog is safe and use a shipping service that won’t break the bank.

How Do I Ship My Dog to Another State Or Country?

1. Make Preparations for Shipping 

Check the Laws for Shipping Dogs

Before you plan to ship the dog, it’s vital to check the origin and destination regulations regarding the transportation of dogs. It will also help you get any paperwork you need to ship a dog and confirm if there are any quarantine rules upon your pet’s arrival. Additionally, there are certain breeds that are prohibited in some countries or states.

Visit a Vet for health and breed check-Up

As part of the preparations, it is crucial to talk to your vet and ensure your dog is healthy enough to travel. Your vet can also give you special shipping concerns for the breed. For instance, it’s dangerous to ship chows, bulldogs, and pugs in the cargo of a plane. In fact, they are prohibited by many airlines 

Consider the Dog’s Size When shipping By Air

Most airlines will only agree to carry your dog in the cabin if it fits in the carrier under the seat. Each airline has its own specifications, but the space is typically 8-9 inches (20.3–22.9 cm) tall and 15–23 inches wide. However, your dog will be transported in the cargo hold if it doesn’t fit under the seat.

Choose the right time for shipping 

Because of extreme temperatures, airlines can decide not to permit pets in the cargo hold. During winter, for instance, some airlines do not ship animals at all, while others only transport them on daytime flights. However, your dogs can be transported in extreme temperatures if you present an acclimation certificate from a certified vet. 

Automobile shipping is, however, the safest and most reliable option if you must ship your dog during this season.

Purchase the appropriate Shipping Kennel

Regardless of the shipping method you prefer, you need a well-ventilated kennel with enough space for your dog to turn around and stand up comfortably.

Airlines have special requirements for dog carriers, so it will be helpful to check those requirements before buying one. For automobile trips, you’ll need a crate that is crash tested and can be secured with restraints.

Acclimate Your Dog to the Kennel

It is best to purchase your kennel early to get your dog used to it. A good way to start is by placing your dog in the crate from time to time. You can also place the crate in your car and drive around town to make your dog adapt to the sensation of traveling.

2. Shipping Your Dog By Air

The common way of shipping your dogs to another state or country is by air. Even though it’s the most expensive, the safety and speed it offers are worth the extra dollars. Most of the time, you can either take it with you in the cabin or put it in the cargo hold.

No matter the area you choose, you need to follow this process to ensure efficiency.

Book your flights on time. Calling the booking agent directly is the best way to make reservations when shipping your dogs. It will give you a chance to confirm if it’s a direct flight and you can ask for specific guidelines.

Obtain a health certificate from your vet within 10 days of your flight. This is a way of confirming that your dog is healthy enough to travel and that all vaccinations are up to date. 

Give the dog food four hours before the flight. Flying a dog with a full stomach can cause airsickness, but it’s vital for the pet to eat well before the trip.

Exercise your dog and give it enough time to urinate and defecate. You can take it out of the crate once it has been checked.

Place a dog bed, cardboard, towel, or blanket at the bottom of the box for your dog to lie on and prevent it from sliding in transit.

Put the dog in the crate and write “LIVE ANIMAL” boldly on the top and sides of the crate. It is also important to write the dog’s name and delivery details on the crate. Don’t forget to draw arrows indicating which part is top and attach the dog’s photo for easy identification.

Label the dog’s collar with delivery and health information. This will be an easy way to identify your dog if it escapes the crate.

Arrive at the airport early to guarantee a space in the cabin. Most airlines have a limit to the number of pets that can be in the cabin and allot the limited spots on a first-come, first-serve basis. Even if you’re shipping your dog in the cargo hold, you need enough time to get through airport security.

Take your seat, relax, and keep in mind that many dogs travel by air successfully every year.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Dog by Air?

The cost of shipping a dog depends on the size of the pet, the origin and destination cities, and a number of invariable factors. Some expenses you must make include:

  • Travel crate
  • Airfare
  • Transportation to and from the airport
  • Pre-move vet visits
  • International health documents and import permits
  • Government endorsements
  • Customs fees
  • Quarantine fees

With all the extra charges put together, shipping a dog by air costs $500 to $1000, domestically. For international flights, it runs as high as $2000 to $3000.

3. Shipping your dog by  Auto

Shipping your dogs on the road is a cheap and reliable option. It is easier to control the temperature of a vehicle, making it a good shipping choice for all seasons. You can also choose to transport the dog yourself or hire an experienced dog transporter. 

Transporting Your Dog by Yourself

Driving the dog in your own car gives you personal control and keeps your pet in familiar surroundings. However, you still need to invest time and effort and obtain veterinary certificates when crossing state borders. 

Here are some tips to ensure your dog’s safety and comfort in a vehicle:

Label your dog properly, making sure it wears an ID tag and a collar containing your contact information. Carrying a current picture of your dog will also be helpful in identifying it when it escapes.

Avoid shipping your dogs alone. It is important to ride along with someone that can assist with driving and help you watch the dog if you need to visit the store or the restroom.

Secure your dogs in the car with solid dog seat belts or crash-rated crates. Riding with your dogs in the front seat or in your laps is not safe. It is even declared illegal in some states. 

Plan your route carefully, adding as many stops as possible. You can plan stops at roadside packs for short trips or book pet-friendly hotels for longer journeys.

Gather ample food and medication for the trip. Keeping the medical records on hand will also be very helpful 

Keep the car cool and well-ventilated by opening the windows a little if it’s hot outside. Always remember not to leave your dog alone in a hot car and avoid shipping your dog in the back of a moving truck

Hire a Professional 

If you prefer using a transport company or independent transporters, ensure you research and find a company or transporter with excellent reviews. You can ask your vet for guidance and recommendations or list your dog’s shipping requirements and your contact info on dedicated online platforms to meet independent transporters. 

Here are factors to consider when evaluating your options:

Verify the number of stops the transporter makes before reaching your destination. Too many stops can increase travel time and stress out the dog.

Ask about the other animals traveling alongside your dog. Options with a variety of pets will be extremely stressful for your pets.

Find out the exercise provided for any trip longer than 5 hours. It is important to know if your dog will be worked or allowed to run. Avoid any company or transporter that releases dogs in fenced areas. Such an environment is severely stressful and inherently dangerous for your dog.

Be informed about the feeding schedule. Make sure the transporter knows when and what your dog eats and has a schedule that works with that.

Check if the company provides a climate-controlled environment for your dog. Find out how the temperature is regulated and the type of ventilation, especially for extreme cold and hot periods. 

The Cost of Shipping Dogs by Auto

Dog’s shipping cost by automobile depends on the distance and needs of the dog. The average cost starts at $200 to $300 for a 5-hour drive. For longer distance shipments, the average cost is $350 to $600.

Bottom Line

Considering the complexities of shipping, you need to plan well ahead of time. Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan

  • Transporting your dogs by yourself is best for short distances, but requires a lot of effort.
  • Ground shipping companies provide the best climate-controlled environment for your dog.
  • Transporting your pet by air is the safest, especially for long-distance

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