Animal Transporter Salary: Work From Home Opportunity

Matt Matasci Matt Matasci · Updated: September 19, 2023 / Published: July 12, 2023

These days it seems like everyone is looking for a way to either work from home or be self-employed. Non-traditional employment is an increasingly popular way to earn an income — and that makes sense! When you work for yourself at home, you can skip the daily commute, choose when and how often you work, and for ambitious entrepreneurs, the opportunity to start and expand your own business is the American Dream.

One increasingly popular way to be your own boss is by starting an animal transportation business. A pet transportation marketplace like CitizenShipper is a great place for a budding animal transporter to get started building their own business and get started on the road towards working from home. Yes, initially you’ll need to physically be in the vehicle transporting pets. But with a little gumption, great communication, excellent customer service skills and of course, an affinity for pets, you could take on your own team of drivers. At this point, you can be working from the comfort of your own home, booking jobs for your own fleet of animal transporters!

Skills Needed To Become an Animal Transporter

One of the best things about becoming an animal transporter is that the barrier to entry is low. You don’t need a college degree or specialized training to become an animal transporter. However, there are a few skills that make it more likely for you to succeed in the business.

Love for Animals

If you don’t love animals, then transporting them isn’t going to be a very good job for you. While there will be plenty of good times on the road with your furry companions, at times animals can be difficult to deal with. You need to be patient, comforting and relaxed when working with animals. Many pets take cues from the humans around them — if you’re impatient or angry, it will negatively affect the animals you’re transporting.

Enjoy Driving or Traveling

Being comfortable on the open road is another major skill needed to succeed as an animal transporter. In order to meet the deadlines of your clients, you’ll have to be comfortable spending long hours on the road. People that love to travel will find pet transportation a particularly rewarding experience, as you’ll be able to venture to corners of the country you never thought you’d visit.

Ability to Handle Different Animals

Some transporters using CitizenShipper only move dogs or cats, but most are open to a wide variety of animals. If you’re comfortable with transporting different species of animal, you’ll find yourself winning more bids than those that stick to the typical dog and cat jobs.

Factors that Affect Pet Transporter Salaries

Before we dive too deep into working as a dispatcher that books transports for a team of drivers, let’s explain what needs to be done to get to that point. The salaries of drivers using CitizenShipper varies widely — the most serious, dedicated animal transporters can bring in between $6,000 and $10,000+. What do you need to do to reach that level of income? Read on for a few of the most important factors that affect how much you’ll make as an animal transporter.

Offer Additional Services to Increase Your Earnings

Some pet owners will simply choose the lowest bid on CitizenShipper, but many don’t. Remember, you’re going to be transporting these people’s family members. Pet owners are willing to pay a little extra if they know that they are getting the best possible care for their fur baby. But before you can charge more per-mile than other transporters on the platform, you’ll need to justify why it’s worth paying more to use you to move their animals.

Offering additional services is a great way to catch the eye of a pet owner. Take a pet CPR course and other veterinary classes so you can instill confidence that even in an emergency, the animals in your care are in good hands. As an animal transporter, you can also provide additional equipment like blankets, carriers and more and list those on your driver profile. CitizenShipper’s “Offerings” section allows you to list a wide range of items and services you offer. Some of these offerings include:

  • GPS tracking
  • Solo (VIP) rides
  • Extra large crates
  • Specialty foods
  • Medicine administration
  • Collars and leashes

Building a Strong Reputation and Customer Base

The most important way to expand your animal transporter business is by making a great impression on each and every one of the pet owners you encounter. If you’re using a platform like CitizenShipper to book transport jobs, take a strategic approach to communicating with customers. It’s not just about having the lowest bid — in fact, over half of customers on the marketplace choose a transporter with a higher bid. Why? Because they’re made comfortable throughout the communication process and have built trusting relationship.

Remember, your first impression is extremely important. CitizenShipper is full of real, everyday people who are understandably anxious about transporting their beloved animals with a total stranger. The way you communicate with customers can give them peace of mind, but if you take the wrong approach, it can make them even more nervous and very unlikely to book with you.

CitizenShipper makes it easy to present a convincing sales pitch to customers and once you’ve won a shipment, stay in touch during the trip. Here’s some advice on how to win your first bid and keep the animal transportation jobs rolling in.

  • Develop your messaging strategy: Create a plan of when you’ll reach out to customers, what you say when you reach out to them and how often you follow up.
  • Don’t lead with a bid: Instead, reach out with a custom message to each pet owner. This level of detail goes a long way in the eyes of shippers.
  • Get to the point: Avoid long blocks of text — try to keep the reading time of your message below 15 seconds. Bullet points (just like we’re using here) are a great way to distill information into easy-to-read, bite-sized chunks.

CitizenShipper animal transporter profiles have a section for reviews. Every shipper (in this situation, the pet owner) can rate the driver using a five-star system — exceptional service gets you five stars, while one star ratings are the lowest. When you first sign up for the marketplace, you won’t have a rating, so booking your first gig often comes down to the excellent communication skills we discussed above. And yes, for your first transport you may need to offer the lowest bid, but once you start winning you can start raising prices.

Even the best, most reliable drivers get the occasional poor review, but when you consistently do a great job those poor reviews will be obvious outliers and your overall rating will stay high. If you receive a bad review that’s obviously unfair to you, reach out to CitizenShipper’s customer service. While the platform’s policy is to display any and all reviews, it is possible to have a review removed if there are certain circumstances that warrant this action.

Pro Tip: It’s not just the customers you book that you need to be concerned with impressing. Let’s face it: you can’t transport every pet on CitizenShipper. Whether the timing or routing doesn’t work out, always treat every potential customer with exceptional professionalism — they may need to transport a pet again in the future and if they had a great experience communicating with you, they just might book you the next time!

Expanding Your Service Area

We recommend that as you get used to CitizenShipper’s pet transportation platform, you start small. Look for bookings in your area and don’t try to bite off more than you can chew right away. Once you’ve completed a few transports within your home state or perhaps to adjacent states, you can start to be more ambitious.

One of the benefits of booking long transports is the opportunity to “stack” shipments. What does that mean? It means that you transport multiple animals on one trip. Need an example of stacking transports?

Let’s say you live in Texas and book an animal transport job from Dallas, TX to Detroit, MI. While you’re on the road, you see that there’s a Labrador retriever that needs to be transported from Memphis, TN to Chicago, IL. You reach out to the pet owner and, using your exceptional communication and business skills, win the bid! Now instead of only making money on the initial trip, you’re getting paid double for a drive you’d be making anyways!

When you start stacking trips, keep in mind that the routes won’t always align perfectly. If you do take on a second animal along your trip and it looks like it will affect your previously-promised ETA, be transparent and let the owners of the first animal know that you may be slightly delayed. Most of the time, it won’t be a problem. Before you start stacking trips, make sure all parties are willing to be flexible about pick-up and delivery times. If they aren’t, you shouldn’t risk your reputation by delivering a pet later than promised.

Specializing in a Particular Type of Animal Transportation

Another way to increase your income as an animal transporter on CitizenShipper is by specializing in moving a particular animal or animals. Dogs are the most commonly transported species on our marketplace, followed by cats. However, just about every type of domesticated animal has been transported by drivers using CitizenShipper. If you have a background or training with a certain species, or even just an affinity for the animals, you can find more lucrative jobs.

Of course, transporting certain species of animals like horses or other livestock requires specialized training and equipment. You can’t just load a horse into the back of your pickup! If you have the right background and are willing to make the initial investment in the equipment, you should find a healthy return on your investment. Another consideration is that livestock owners are usually particularly knowledgeable about transporting their animals, so if you don’t demonstrate expertise they’ll be unlikely to hire you.

Transporting exotic animals is another way to increase your profit margins. You’ll need special certification from the USDA before you can transport exotics, but once you’re certified you can charge a pretty penny to move these sorts of animals. What’s even better is you don’t necessarily need a specialized vehicle to transport exotic animals like snakes or hedgehogs — anything from a sedan to a SUV will suffice.

Become an Air Nanny

Many animal transporters on CitizenShipper don’t just drive pets from point A to point B! These transporters offer what’s known as “air nanny” service. Typically an air nanny meets the pet owner at the airport, accompanying the animal through security and the boarding process. They then fly along with the animal, retrieve it after disembarking, and deliver it at the destination.

Air nannies can accompany smaller dogs or cats that fly in the cabin or those that must fly in the cargo area. Sometimes the pet owner even takes the same flight as the animal and air nanny — they just need an extra hand! Either way, offering air nanny services is a great way to diversify your animal transportation business and book even more jobs!


Animal transportation is a growing industry with plenty of opportunities to operate your own business. These days, more and more people are looking for ways to be their own boss and even potentially work from home — if you’re an animal lover, why not try transporting animals using the CitizenShipper platform? It’s easy to use and there are hundreds of listings across the country posted each day.

Even better, once you’ve established yourself as a transporter on the platform, you may even be able to start working as a dispatcher. That means you’ll be able to work from home and book transports for other drivers. To learn more about becoming an animal transporter, visit our help center for specific articles!