5 Best Pet Shipping Alternatives to Royal Paws

Patrick MacFarland Patrick MacFarland · Updated July 1, 2024

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A black and white cat with striking orange eyes peeks out from inside a gray and lime green military pet transport carrier.

When it comes to transporting your pets, ensuring their safety, comfort and well-being is essential. Royal Paws, a well-established name in the pet transport industry since 2000, has been providing high-quality, personalized, door-to-door pet relocation services. They focus on reducing stress and ensuring the utmost care for pets during their journey.

However, shopping around is extremely important when trying to select a pet transportation company. After all, you want the best transporters for your pet. Here, we explore five of the best alternatives to Royal Paws, each offering unique benefits and standout features.

silhouette, running

1. CitizenShipper: The Pet Shipping Community’s Favorite

CitizenShipper is a rapidly growing name in the pet shipping industry, renowned for its innovative peer-to-peer model. This platform connects pet owners with a network of independent, trusted drivers who specialize in transporting pets safely and comfortably.

  • Founded: 2008
  • Specialization: Domestic travel within the US and Canada
  • Model: Peer-to-peer marketplace connecting pet owners with drivers
  • Key Features:
    • Personalized service with vetted and reviewed drivers
    • Highly flexible scheduling and routing options
    • User-friendly online platform with transparent driver reviews and ratings
    • Strong community focus ensuring high-quality, trustworthy service
    • Unique offerings like 24/7 televet access and a complimentary pet protection plan (which can be upgraded for a fee)

CitizenShipper’s community-driven model has resonated with many pet owners, making it a top choice for those seeking a reliable and cost-effective pet transport solution. Plus, CitizenShipper offers extra perks that can put pet owners at ease. For example, there are several pet protection plans that can guarantee your pet’s safety. There is also a 24/7 TeleVet access and a messaging system where you can communicate directly with the driver.

Logo of Starwood Pet Travel featuring a stylized image of a dog and a cat inside a green diamond, with the company name in teal lettering to the right, specializing in flying dogs internationally.

2. Starwood Pet Travel: Premium Service for Global Reach

Hailing from Cape Coral, Florida, Starwood Pet Travel is known for its meticulous approach to pet relocation, providing door-to-door service worldwide. Their focus on professionalism and attention to detail makes them a leading choice for high-quality service.

  • Founded: 1984
  • Specialization: International travel
  • Model: Full-service pet relocation company
  • Key Features:
    • Expertise in international pet relocations, navigating complex regulations and requirements
    • Comprehensive services including veterinary checks, paperwork, custom travel crates and real-time updates
    • Emphasis on safety and comfort with experienced handlers and optimal travel routes
    • Personalized care tailored to meet each pet’s specific needs and preferences

Starwood Pet Travel’s commitment to excellence and extensive experience make them a standout choice for pet owners who want the best for their furry companions, especially for international travel. From veterinary checks and paperwork to custom travel crates and real-time updates, Starwood Pet Travel handles every aspect of your pet’s journey.

Logo of PetRelocation featuring a blue and black text alongside a blue icon resembling a paw and an arrow.

3. PetRelocation: A Solid Choice for Pet Transport

Pet Relocation is another reputable alternative to Royal Paws. They are known for their dependable service. They offer both domestic and international pet relocation, handling all logistics to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience for both pets and their owners.

  • Founded: 2004
  • Specialization: International travel
  • Model: Full-service pet relocation company
  • Key Features:
    • Experienced team with deep understanding of pet travel complexities
    • Full-service options including travel logistics, veterinary requirements, custom travel crates and door-to-door service
    • Focus on safety with climate-controlled vehicles and pet-friendly travel arrangements
    • Responsive customer service providing regular updates and support throughout the relocation process

While Pet Relocation may not offer as many premium or personalized options as some other providers, their reliability and comprehensive service make them a trustworthy choice for pet owners. Your pets will be taken care of, which is the number one priority.

Airpets International logo

4. Airpets International: Trusted and Efficient Pet Relocation

Airpets International is a highly respected name in the pet shipping industry, known for their reliable and efficient service. They cater to both domestic and international relocations, ensuring that pets arrive safely and comfortably at their destinations.

  • Founded: 1966
  • Specialization: International and domestic travel
  • Model: Full-service pet relocation company
  • Key Features:
    • Extensive experience in the industry with a proven track record
    • Full range of services including pre-travel consultations, veterinary care, quarantine arrangements and door-to-door transport
    • Prioritizes the well-being of pets with climate-controlled vehicles and flights and custom travel crates
    • Excellent customer support, providing guidance and updates throughout the journey

Airpets International’s reputation for professionalism and comprehensive approach makes them a reliable choice for pet owners looking for a seamless relocation experience. Your pet will be in good hands when choosing Airpets International, especially because they are USDA certified and a member of IPATA.

Pet shipping logo.

5. Air Animal Pet Movers: The Premium, Costly Option

Air Animal Pet Movers is one of the most expensive options in the pet shipping market, but their premium service justifies the cost. They specialize in both domestic and international relocations, providing top-notch care and service throughout the process.

  • Founded: 1977
  • Specialization: International and domestic travel
  • Model: Full-service pet relocation company
  • Key Features:
    • Offers premium service with meticulous attention to detail
    • Experienced staff including veterinarians and pet travel specialists
    • Comprehensive care covering all aspects of the relocation process, from paperwork and veterinary checks to custom travel arrangements and real-time updates
    • Ensures safety and comfort with the best travel routes and climate-controlled environments

While Air Animal Pet Movers is the most expensive option, their high-end and premium service and attention to detail make them a worthwhile choice for all sorts of pet owners who want the very best for their furry friends.

Bottom Line

Choosing the right pet shipping service ensures your pet’s safety, comfort and well-being during transit. While Royal Paws remains a reliable option, sometimes you want to explore the field and see what other options are out there. Alternatives like CitizenShipper, Starwood Pet Travel, Airpets International, Pet Relocation and Air Animal Pet Movers offer varied benefits that might better suit your specific needs.

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