How Much Does it Cost to Ground Ship a Dog?

Patrick MacFarland Patrick MacFarland · Updated July 7, 2023
cost, ground ship, dog

The musical band ABBA once sang that money must be funny in a rich man’s world. And when it comes to pet shipping, it’s probably what you’re wondering.  

You want to transport your beloved pup to another state. But how much does it cost to ground ship a dog? 

Don’t fret about doing hours and hours of research in hopes of finding cost ranges. We’ll outline the factors that affect ground shipping costs and the benefits of pet ground transport.

Cons of Flying Your Pet

Let’s be honest. Although flying your pet across the country can be the easiest way to transport a pet, it comes with many requirements. There are so many variables to consider in determining whether it’s possible to fly a pet. 

  • Airlines will not take exotic pets (usually, only cats and dogs are allowed).
  • If you have big dogs, they’ll have to go in the cargo hold, which can cost over $500.
  • Airlines require a special crate for animals in cargo that can cost up to $200.
  • Air travel in the cargo hold can be a traumatic experience for your dog.
  • With the recent flight cancellations over the holidays, flying can be unreliable because of weather and other factors.

Benefits of Ground Shipping a Pet

The bottom line is that shipping a dog via the ground is more reliable than air travel. The benefits are vast. The reality is that ground travel logistics are more manageable than air travel because there are fewer restrictions. Airlines provide you with many requirements that ground transport companies will not do. There are also a lot more choices to choose from on the internet.

How Much Does It Cost to Ground Ship a Pet?

Now the $64,000 question is coming: how much does it cost to ground ship a dog? There are various variables to consider when estimating the cost of shipping your dog.

Moving Distance

Distance plays a major factor in the price of ground transport. The farther you move, the more it’ll cost. Remember that hours on the road means drivers are on the clock and getting paid. There are also fuel costs and the vehicle’s wear and tear.

Pet Size

Pet size plays a part in the cost. The larger the pet, the more it will cost. The smaller the pet, the less it will cost. It’s pretty simple. However, if you have multiple pets, there may be a package deal you can take advantage of.

Health Documentation

Going online and checking out the state’s regulations is a smart thing to do. Usually, your dog’s vaccination documents are required, as well as a health certificate filled out by a USDA-registered veterinarian. These can cost from $50-$300.


It is required for dogs to be in a crate or carrier during the journey. Special crates that come with food and water bowls are good to have. Those cost in the range of $100-$200.

Why It’s Difficult to Provide a Pet Shipping Cost Estimate

Let’s face it, it isn’t easy to pinpoint the exact cost for transporting a dog via the ground. The variables fluctuate too much. There is a range that drivers can provide. The easiest way to get an exact estimate is by punching in your information and collecting quotes.

How to Get a Free Pet Shipping Cost Estimate by Posting a Listing on CitizenShipper

Our platform offers many advantages over traditional pet transporters. Drivers compete for your business, which is why CitizenShipper can be 60%-70% more affordable than traditional pet ground transportation services. 

Getting a free pet shipping cost estimate on CitizenShipper’s pet transport platform is as easy as 1-2-3!  

  • Step 1: Post a listing on our site with your pet’s transport information.
  • Step 2: A fleet of background-checked and vetted USDA-registered drivers will send you quotes within minutes.
  • Step 3: Compare bids and chat with several drivers across our network and once you choose the driver you like the best, book your trip. 

We pride ourselves in making pet transportation run the way it should — safe, seamless, and stress-free. However, you shouldn’t choose a driver based on just cost. The best and most trustworthy drivers charge a little more. There’s also a VIP service you may want to consider. The bottom line is we want your beloved pet to be in good hands with the drivers on CitizenShipper.

Other Benefits of Using CitizenShipper

Because we pride ourselves in being the #1 pet transporter, CitizenShipper provides some awesome added benefits. 

  • A $1,000 Pet Protection Guarantee
  • A Booking Assurance Guarantee
  • Direct communication with the driver who provides updates
  • 24/7 TeleVet access through our partner FirstVet

Product Recommendations for Pet Ground Transport

Having products for transporting your dog to its final destination is a smart thing to do. Here are some recommendations to help you out. 

Baglher Travel Bag



  • This has multi-functioning pockets, zippers, and fasteners to store all your essentials.
  • Because of all the pockets and spaces, it can meet your dog’s daily needs.
  • Long-lasting and easy-to-travel bag. 

Hemp Calming Max Strength Chews for Dogs



  • Made so that dogs will love to eat them.
  • They are extra strength, which means they will calm your dog.
  • Veterinarian recommended, and safe for your dog to eat.

Bottom Line

Ground shipping a dog is definitely more reliable than air travel. There’s a lot of research that goes into it that could feel overwhelming. At the end of the day, it’s hard work, and why not make life easier for you?

By going through CitizenShipper’s marketplace, you know you’ll have peace of mind during the entire process. Drivers on CitizenShipper understand how much your pet means to you and will ensure proper, loving care during the trek.

Transporting your pet shouldn’t be the worst thing in the universe. Get a driver that saves your day and post your pet’s transport now to get free quotes instantly!