Understanding the Benefits of Dog Ground Transport 

Matt Matasci Matt Matasci · Updated February 23, 2024

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A woman traveling with her dog inside a car trunk for ground transport.

Ground transport is becoming an increasingly popular option for transporting pets over long distances. With dog ground transport, your pet will travel in the comfort of a climate-controlled vehicle with experienced handlers, ensuring their needs are met throughout the journey.

This method of transportation is often much more cost effective than air travel and can be arranged for a variety of different durations, depending on your pet’s needs. Additionally, you may even have the opportunity to travel with your pup and provide them with additional comfort along the way.

Dog Ground Transport is the Safest Method

The primary benefit of choosing dog ground transport over flying in cargo is safety. Why?

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  • When dogs fly in cargo holds, they are exposed to extreme temperatures and changes in altitude and pressure.
  • These changes can be unsafe and even life threatening as it can cause breathing difficulties or other issues for certain breeds.
  • By traveling by road instead, dogs are kept in climate-controlled vehicles and face fewer risks associated with flying in cargo holds.
  • Furthermore, ground transportation allows handlers to monitor and address any potential health concerns during transit which may not be possible when transporting animals by air.

It’s Also the Most Reliable

While many air-based pet transports go off without a hitch, a significant number of them run into roadblocks. Potential issues include:

  • Uncooperative weather — airlines will only allow pets in the cargo area if the temperature at the destination and origin are between 45°F and 85°F. 
  • High demand — there is only a certain amount of space on the plane allotted to animals. Iif the plane’s too crowded you may not be able to get your dog onboard.
  • Bad behavior — let’s face it, it’s hard to predict the way a dog will react to the unfamiliar sights and sounds of the airport. If your dog is barking or growling the airline may cancel his ticket.
Dog ground transport is the safest and most convenient way to get your new puppy delivered.

What Is VIP Service?

The main differences between regular dog transportation and VIP dog transport is the number of pets that will be traveling at the same time. VIP is much more expensive than traditional dog transport, though it offers a higher level of service.

  • Regular dog transportation typically consists of crates or kennels that are placed in a van.
  • Depending on the size of the van, several animals may be transported at one time. These forms of transportation are safe and provide basic protection for your pet.
  • However, they may not be a good fit for older dogs or dogs with special health needs.

VIP dog transport provides an alternative option. Some transport companies have a fleet of custom-built luxury vans specially designed to accommodate your pooch and provide maximum comfort during travel. 

  • The spacious interiors provide ample room for larger breeds and come equipped with soft bedding materials for added comfort. 
  • Some even include features such as built-in water bowls and air vents specifically designed to ensure adequate airflow during transit. 

When it comes to cost considerations, VIP transportation is typically more expensive than regular services. Both VIP and standard dog transportation services provide trained individuals who are experienced in handling pets over long distances.

A sturdy carrier is an important component of dog ground transport.

Guide to Carriers for Dog Ground Transport

When researching the best type of carrier to use for your dog’s needs, there are several key factors to consider. Take into account each of these factors when choosing a carrier for dog ground transport.

Size of the Carrier

Size is one of the most important factors when selecting a dog carrier. 

  • It should be large enough for your pup to stand up, turn around and move comfortably inside without feeling cramped or constricted. 
  • Measure your pup before deciding on a size. Many carriers come in small, medium and large sizes in order to accommodate different breeds and weights. 

Safety Features

Safety is another major consideration when choosing a carrier for your pup. 

  • It’s essential that they are provided with adequate protection while traveling by car or plane.
  • Choose a carrier with a strong frame, breathable mesh sides and secure straps or fastenings.

Pick a Sturdy Carrier

The material used in the construction of the carrier should also be taken into account.

  • Opt for products made from durable materials such as polyester or canvas which will withstand wear and tear over time. 
  • Additionally, look out for features such as padded bottoms or sides which provide extra comfort to minimize movement during transport. 

Other Features to Look For

Finally, keep an eye out for extra features.

  • Pockets on the outside of the product which can be used for storing items like a leash and treats.
  • Some models also come equipped with adjustable shoulder straps which make it easier to carry them over longer distances.
  • Be sure that your car is properly equipped with a secure dog crate or seatbelt harness.

With these factors in mind, we recommend the Petmate Ultra Vari Carrier.

CitizenShipper is the Best Choice for Dog Ground Transport

Traditional pet shipping companies have been around for decades. However, thanks to two-way marketplaces like CitizenShipper, now there are more efficient ways of finding local pet transporters.

You can find experienced drivers using CitizenShipper’s online platform. By using our marketplace, you’ll get competitive pricing without sacrificing quality care for your beloved fur baby during their journey. Some of the offerings CitizenShipper provides that most other dog transporters cannot match include:

  • 24/7 televet service through FirstVet.
  • Book Assurance Guarantee that provides.
  • A pet protection plan that includes up to $1,000 in extra coverage.
  • Easy real-time communication with drivers through an internal messaging system.
  • Helpful, dedicated customer service team.
  • All drivers pass a stringent background check.

CitizenShipper drivers bid against each other for your business, meaning you’ll pay less for your dog ground transport.

Dog Ground Transport Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest way to transport a pet?

Typically, ground transport is the cheapest way to transport a pet.  Longer trips using a transportation service, like CitizenShipper, typically average around $1.00 per mile.  Using a pet transportation service ensures your pet arrives in your new location safely, while minimizing stress and overall cost. 

How much does it cost to ship a pet internationally? 

While shipping your pet domestically is a relatively straightforward process, international shipping can be more complicated.  Hiring a pet transport service to help with international logistics can save a tremendous amount of stress and time.  

Each country of arrival will have specific regulations regarding pet health checks, necessary vaccination, and possible quarantine requirements.  The cost to ship a pet internationally can vary, especially if you need to board your pet for an extended quarantine. 

How much does it cost to transport cats?

The cost to transport cats will vary depending on the transport method.  Cats can be transported via ground or air transit, and are often small enough to be considered a “carry on” item.  Transporting a cat can cost as little as $25 on Amtrak, or as much as $125 to fly in the main cabin of an airplane.

How much does it cost to travel with a small pet?

Traveling with a small pet, compared to a large pet, is much cheaper.  Smaller pets can fit under the seat in front of you and can often qualify as a “carry on” item.  Traveling with small pets on Amtrak can cost $25, while airlines can charge around $125.  Keep in mind certain companies will only allow cats and dogs to travel.  

What does it cost to ship a puppy?

While puppies are small enough to fly in most airline cabins, they can incur additional costs.  Puppies generally require more attention, and therefore can be more expensive than shipping an adult dog or cat.  

Many breeders will utilize an air nanny service to accompany your puppy.  If the air nanny is experienced, or a regular, certain airlines may provide discounted rates or waive certain fees.  Breeders regularly ship puppies to their new homes and are well-versed in arranging transportation.  


Ground transportation can be a great alternative to flying. There are several reasons flying may not be viable: size, health of the dog, breed restrictions or temperature constraints.

Transporting a pet is stressful enough as it is. The task of navigating airport security and ensuring you have the documents for air travel makes it more complicated. With ground transportation this isn’t an issue!

If you anticipate the need to transport your dog in the future, make sure you use CitizenShipper. You’ll save money, have peace of mind that your dog is in good hands and most important of all, your pooch will be delivered safe and sound. Post a listing for dog transportation today and find out how much you can save on dog ground transport!

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