5 Best Pet Shipping Alternatives to Pet Van Lines

Patrick MacFarland Patrick MacFarland · Updated July 1, 2024

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A woman sitting in the driver's seat of a car smiles while holding a small, fluffy brown dog, showcasing one of the happy moments you won't miss with pet shipping alternatives to pet van lines.

When it comes to moving your beloved pets, finding a dependable pet shipping service is important to ensure their safety and comfort. One way to get the best possible service is to shop around, because there are many different companies available. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, making it important to review the companies before committing.

Pet Van Lines has been a notable name in the pet transport industry for years. They offer comprehensive services throughout the United States, building a strong reputation for transporting pets with care and efficiency. However, pet owners may want to search the field for better alternatives because of cost, specific needs, or personal preferences. Here, we explore five of the best alternatives to Pet Van Lines, each providing unique benefits and standout features.

silhouette, running

1. CitizenShipper

CitizenShipper is a two-way marketplace where you can peruse a list of drivers available to transport your pet. This platform ensures you are connected with trusted, independent (and vetted) drivers who specialize in transporting pets in the safest and most comfortable way possible. CitizenShipper offers personalized service, which leads to a more relaxed experience for pets.


  • User-Friendly Platform: The online platform is intuitive, making it easy to find, compare and book drivers. The transparency of driver reviews and ratings helps ensure peace of mind.
  • Experienced Transporters: The marketplace includes a diverse network of background-checked transporters who prioritize the safety and well-being of pets. Each transporter is ID verified and passes a thorough background check.
  • Flexibility: Unmatched flexibility in scheduling and routing. Whether you need a last-minute booking or a specific route, you can find a driver who can accommodate your needs.
  • Competitive Pricing: Because many transporters bid on a job, CitizenShipper ensures competitive pricing. Pet owners can compare quotes and select the best option based on their budget and preferences.
  • Comprehensive Insurance: The platform strives for pet safety and so it provides comprehensive insurance coverage and 24/7 customer support, which adds an extra layer of security and peace of mind.


  • CitizenShipper doesn’t operate outside the United States, providing only domestic pet transport.

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

Based in Cape Coral, FL and operating in various countries, Starwood Pet Travel is known for its meticulous approach to pet relocation. They offer door-to-door service worldwide, ensuring that pets are handled with the utmost care throughout their journey.


  • Global Experience: Starwood Pet Travel has extensive knowledge of international regulations, documentation and requirements. Their experience helps navigate complex customs processes and ensures compliance with all necessary regulations.
  • Comprehensive Services: From veterinary checks and paperwork to custom travel crates and real-time updates, Starwood Pet Travel will handle every single aspect of the journey.
  • Safety Above All Else: The company prioritizes the safety and comfort of pets, employing experienced handlers and choosing the best travel routes to minimize stress.
  • Personalized Care: Each pet receives individualized attention, tailored to their specific needs, which includes climate-controlled vehicles and special accommodations to ensure comfort and safety.
  • Professional Reputation: With a reputation for professionalism and attention to detail, Starwood Pet Travel is ideal for those seeking a high-quality service.


  • Higher Cost: Premium service comes with a higher price tag.
  • Starwood only offers international transportation.

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

4. PetRelocation

Established in 2004, PetRelocation is another reputable alternative to Pet Van Lines. They are known for their dependable international pet transportation service.


  • Experienced Team: PetRelocation has a team of professional experts who understand the complexities of pet travel and work to make sure everything goes smoothly.
  • Full-Service Options: From arranging travel logistics and handling veterinary requirements to providing custom travel crates and door-to-door service, they cover all aspects of pet relocation.
  • Focus on Safety: The company prioritizes the health and safety of pets.


  • Costly Services: PetRelocation services can be more expensive, particularly for international relocations.
  • Lengthy Relocation Process: The relocation process can take a long time because of the meticulous coordination and preparation.

Airpets International logo

4. Airpets International

Airpets International is a respected name in the pet shipping industry and they are known for their reliable and efficient service. They offer domestic and international relocations, which creates a pet-centric approach where they arrive safe and sound at their destinations.


  • Experience: Airpets International has years of experience in the industry, which means they have the knowledge and skills to handle complex relocations.
  • Comprehensive Services: They offer a full range of services, including pre-travel consultations, veterinary care, quarantine arrangements, door-to-door transport and more.
  • Safety and Comfort: The company prioritizes the care and comfort of pets, using climate-controlled vehicles and flights and providing custom travel crates.
  • Customer Support: Their team offers excellent customer service, guiding pet owners through every step of the process and providing updates throughout the journey.


  • Price: Higher cost compared to some other providers.
  • Availability: Might have limited availability during peak moving seasons.

Pet shipping logo.

5. Air Animal Pet Movers

Founded in 1977 in Tampa, Florida, Air Animal Pet Movers is one of the most expensive options in the pet shipping market, but their premium service truly justifies the cost. They specialize in both domestic and international relocations — handling all aspects of the relocation process.


  • High-End Service: Air Animal Pet Movers offers great service, which ensures that every step of the way is handled with care and comfort.
  • Experienced Staff: The company consists of experienced professionals including veterinarians and pet travel specialists who understand the needs of traveling pets.
  • Safety and Comfort: Uses the best travel routes and climate-controlled environments to ensure the safety and comfort of pets.


  • High Cost: The most expensive option among the listed alternatives.
  • Long Lead Times: Due to the comprehensive nature of their service, it may take longer to arrange transport compared to some other providers.
  • Staffing Concerns: May be understaffed due to a variety of reasons, which will lower the quality of the pet transport process.

The Wrap Up!

Choosing the right pet shipping service is crucial to ensure your pet’s safety, comfort and well-being during transit. While Pet Van Lines remains a reliable option, 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.