Have you ever tried to take your furry friend on a road trip, only to have him whine and whimper the entire time? Or, worse, tried to fly with them only to be told they can’t even board the plane? No matter how much we love our furry friends, transporting them can be a real hassle. That’s why more and more pet owners are turning to animal transport services. These professionals help get beloved pets where they need to go, safely and efficiently. Do you need help finding an animal transport service that delivers to all 50 states?
Here, we’ll take a deep dive into the ins and outs of animal transportation. We’ll tell you how to prepare for a long trip and where to find a service that can deliver your pet to any location in the United States.
How Does the Animal Transportation Process Work?
Animal transportation services offer an easy and stress-free way to safely deliver your pet where they need to go. But how does the process work?
First, you’ll search for animal transportation services that offer coverage to your destination. Many of these businesses are regional, only operating within a specific portion of the country. If you’re struggling to find an animal transport service that delivers to all 50 states, you’re in luck. As a pet transportation marketplace, CitizenShipper drivers are located all across the United States. It’s quick and easy to find a transporter that can complete your pet shipment — in fact, you don’t even have to find them because they come to you!
On the platform, you’ll post details of your shipment. Within just a few minutes, you’ll receive quotes from competing transporters. You can read reviews, browse driver profiles and even chat via an internal messaging system before you select a driver.
Pet Travel Requirements
There are also pet travel requirements and documentation you need to consider regardless of your chosen transport mode. For instance, in most states, you’ll need a health certificate for your pet issued by a licensed veterinarian no more than 10 days before the travel date.
Once you’ve taken care of all these details, it’s finally time for your pet to hit the road! Your driver will pick up your pet and take them to their exact drop-off point, but that’s only if you opt for door-to-door delivery. Otherwise, you may have to take them to the meet-up spot yourself and the transporter will take it from there. Just be sure the driver you chose is an accredited IPATA member. The International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA) is an internationally recognized association in the pet shipping industry that sets standards for the safe and humane transport of animals. In line with that, all IPATA members must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which means you can trust that your pet’s safety is their top priority.
Requirements and Documents Needed for Pet Travel
Before your pet can embark on its journey, you’ll need to prepare some paperwork for the traveling pet. And no, a crayon drawing of them with a happy face won’t cut it. Here’s what you need:
#1. Vet Visit
First up, it’s time to make an appointment with your pet’s favorite doctor: the vet. USDA animal transport regulations require that your pet is up-to-date on all vaccinations and that they’re healthy enough to travel. The veterinarian conduct an health examination and provide the necessary vaccinations to ensure they’re ready for their trip.
After the examinations, the vet will provide you with a health certificate — the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection — a health document stating that your pet is fit to travel. This health certificate must be issued no more than 10 days prior to the travel date and is only valid for 30 days from the time of issue.
#2. Rabies Vaccination Certificate
If you’re traveling with a dog or cat, you must provide proof that your pet has been vaccinated against rabies. This vaccination is a legal requirement in all 50 states. You’ll need to provide a copy of your pet’s rabies vaccination certificate when crossing state lines.
#3. Other Vaccination Certificates
Depending on the state to which your pet is traveling, you may need proof your pet has been vaccinated against other diseases. Most states require dogs be vaccinated against canine parvovirus, canine distemper, hepatitis and canine influenza vaccines. Alternatively, cats require feline leukemia, calicivirus, and rabies vaccinations. Check with the state you are traveling to, just in case.
#4. Travel Crate
Some pet transport services require you to provide a travel crate for your pet, while others provide their own. One reason to provide your own carrier is that you can get your pet used to the smells and feel of being in it for long periods of time.
The size of the crate depends on your pet’s type and breed. You must also ensure the crate is durable, escape-proof and meets the standard requirements — usually the IATA (International Air Transport Association) and USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). The animal must be able to stand up and turn around inside of the carrier. IATA gives the approved crate measurement as Container length = A + ½ B Container width = C x 2 Container height E = D + bedding. Look out for the measurements when purchasing yours.
#5. Understand State Regulations
Even though it may appear tedious and unexciting, it’s important to pay attention to the state regulations. Each state has their own pet travel rules and regulations, so check them in advance before crossing state borders.
For example, Hawaii has strict rules for bringing animals into the state due to their unique ecosystem. California restricts the entry of ferrets into the state and has since not changed its stance, even amidst several outcries from different ferret owners.
Most states require your pet to be strapped with a seat belt when not in a crate. However, this seatbelt law is mainly for pets in a VIP vehicle that may not be crated. To avoid last-minute stress, ask your transporter questions and research state regulations ahead of time.
The Major Factor that Causes Health Problems in Transported Animals
While traveling with your pet can be an exciting adventure, it’s important to be aware of the potential health risks associated with transport. Stress is one of the biggest factors contributing to animal transport-related health issues. The stress of travel can cause a range of issues, from digestive upset to respiratory problems. And for animals with preexisting health conditions, stress can be dangerous for them.
Other potential health risks include dehydration, overheating and injury during transport. For air travel, the potential risks are even greater. Pets can be exposed to low oxygen levels and extreme temperatures during the flight. Choose a transportation service that prioritizes safety and health and to make sure your pet is up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations before the trip.
Money Talks: Are Animal Transport Services Expensive?
You may be thinking, “All of this sounds great, but is it affordable?” The answer is — it depends. Most people assume that animal transport services are expensive. And it can be! But the truth is, it really depends on the type of service you choose and the distance you are traveling.
For instance, you can expect to pay more for airplane transport. This is because you will not only need to buy a carrier and buy your pet’s airfare, you’ll also need to buy a plane ticket for yourself or an air nanny. If you drive your pet cross-country by yourself, you’ll save money but it’ll take much longer. Hiring a traditional pet transporter is usually more expensive than hiring a driver through a marketplace like CitizenShipper.
Whether you want to go to the other end of the United States or just want to move to a neighboring state and need to bring your pet with you, pet transport services can make a huge difference. Using CitizenShipper, you can easily find reliable and affordable pet transporters to deliver your pet safely and conveniently in the shortest time possible in any state in the United States.
So, don’t wait anymore! Submit a free listing today and start your pet’s journey right away.
Adaeze Nwakaeze is a content writer with a knack for delivering engaging, informative content. With a background in writing, she excels at creating compelling pieces that capture her readers’ attention.