How Much Does it Cost Per Mile to Ship a Dog?

Adaeze Nwakaeze Adaeze Nwakaeze · Updated March 13, 2024

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A dachshund puppy biting a dollar bill, with text overlay asking for the "Cost Per Mile to Ship a Dog.

So, you’re looking to ship your beloved pup but don’t want to break the bank. That’s understandable! And you’re not alone, in a survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), they found that 37% of animal owners travel with their pets each year. Pet transportation doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. The cost of shipping a dog by ground is relatively affordable. On average, ground transport will cost around $1 per mile.

One of the best ways to get the most out of your dollar is by using a pet transportation marketplace. Because transporters bid against each other for your business, you can select an offer that fits within your budget. You don’t need to sacrifice quality to save money when you use a pet transportation marketplace — on CitizenShipper, you can chat with drivers, read reviews from previous customers and browse driver profiles to make sure you pick the perfect driver. CitizenShipper is the #1 pet transport marketplace in the United States, making it the go-to choice when you need to relocate a pet.

But you also need to consider that the exact cost of transporting your dog will depend on a few factors, including the size and weight of your pet, the distance of their journey, and any extra services you may need. To better understand how much it costs per mile to ship a dog, we have put together a comprehensive guide on dog shipping costs.

Why Ground Transport Is the Safest Dog Transport Option

Unlike air transport, which can be stressful and disruptive to animals, ground transport is much gentler and allows your pup to travel comfortably. With ground transport, your pup will be in the same vehicle for the trip, so there’s less risk of injury or other issues during transport. Plus, the proximity of pet transporters to the animals makes it easier for them to keep an eye on your pup throughout the journey.

In addition, many pet transport companies use climate-controlled vehicles to keep your pup comfortable and safe during the trip. So, the issue of heatstroke, respiratory problems, and other health issues is effectively eliminated — meaning brachycephalic and other short-nosed breeds can travel safely, too.

Ultimately, your pup’s safety is a top priority when shipping them, and ground transport offers a more secure option than air travel. If the BTS report of pet injuries and death related to air transport makes you think twice, ground transport is definitely the way to go.

What Dog Ground Shipping Options are Available?

Depending on your budget and preference, you can choose from several transportation options when transporting your pup. At the most basic level, there are three main types of ground shipping: DIY pet transport, traditional pet transport services, and CitizenShipper.

Why DIY Pet Transport Is the Most Simple Option

DIY pet transport is exactly what it sounds like — you do everything yourself, from packing and loading your pup into the vehicle to driving them to its destination. This is probably the cheapest option, but there are a few potential drawbacks. For one, gas, food, and lodging costs can add up quickly, running into hundreds or even thousands of dollars. So, whatever you save on transport can quickly be eaten up by other expenses.

Traditional Pet Transport Services Have Limitations

Traditional pet transport services are local pet shipping companies specializing in transporting pets from one location to another. They typically charge a handling fee for each pet, which can be anywhere from $100 to several thousand, depending on the size and distance of the trip, but most typically charge by the mile.

Why Pet Transportation Marketplaces Like CitizenShipper Offer More Options

CitizenShipper is a platform that connects pet owners with verified and insured pet transporters with experience safely transporting animals. Pet transport cost per mile may differ based on the transporter, but it’s typically between $0.50 to $1.60 — so if your trip is a few hundred miles, this can add up to some significant savings.

You can reduce your costs by choosing a transporter that offers pet ride-shares. Pet transporters on CitizenShipper will often agree to transport pets on their existing trips with other pets for a reduced fee. So, if you don’t mind your pet sharing the transport with other pets, you can get your pup to its destination for a fraction of the cost. Otherwise, you can opt for VIP solo transport, where your pet will have the entire vehicle to itself.

The bidding system on CitizenShipper also gives you the added benefit of comparing prices and choosing from multiple transporters so you can pick the one that best fits your budget and needs. While the cost per mile is a key factor when considering ground shipping, it’s not the only one. In addition to price, you’ll want to consider the transporter’s experience, reputation, and safety record. So, do your research, read reviews, and ensure that the transporter you choose is best suited for the job.

A dog and a cat promoting free driver quotes.

Factors that Affect Ground Transport Costs

When it comes to the cost of ground transport, there are a few key factors that can affect the total price, such as:

#1. Distance of the Transport

As with any transportation service, the farther your pup has to travel, the more it will typically cost. For instance, the distance from New York to California is about 2,900 miles — so you can expect to pay about $2,900 if you choose a transporter that charges $1 per mile.

#2. Size of Pet Being Transported

Larger breeds typically require more space, and so will cost more to transport. For example, shipping a Great Dane from California to New York, you can expect to pay more than transporting a Chihuahua.

#3. Pet Transportation Service Type

Services like VIP pet transport tend to be more on the high side, while ride-shares are usually much more affordable.

#4. Whether or Not a Pet Travel Crate is Provided

Most transporters will require your pup to be crated for their safety, and the size of the crate you need can also affect the price. A small crate usually costs around $50, while a large crate could cost as much as $500.

How Much Does it Cost Per Mile to Transport a Dog?

The exact cost of shipping a pet via ground transport differs based on the abovementioned factors. But depending on how far you need to ship your pup, you can expect to pay anywhere from $0.50 to $1.60 per mile for ground transport. However, you can reduce this cost with pet ride-share and other discounts which you can get from drivers on CitizenShipper when you transport dogs or cats.

Benefits of Using CitizenShipper

Aside from the cost savings, there are many other benefits to using CitizenShipper for your pet transport needs, such as:

  • A bidding system that allows you to compare prices.
  • 24/7 FirstVet services.
  • Vetted and USDA-registered drivers.
  • A $1,000 Pet Protection Plan.
  • An instant messaging platform.

All of these features combine to make us the #1 pet transport platform. Trusted by over 100,000 pet lovers, CitizenShipper prides itself on providing a safe and reliable service at an affordable cost.

Conclusion

When it comes to transporting a dog, the cost per mile can vary based on a variety of factors. But with CitizenShipper, you can compare and find the best option for your budget — from ride-shares that are as low as $0.50 per mile all the way up to VIP transport if you’re looking for the best for your pup.

Plus, you get the added benefit of our 24/7 FirstVet services, Pet Protection Plan, and more — so you can trust that your pet is in safe hands. Post a free listing today and start your pet’s journey with CitizenShipper!