How Do You Transport a Dog Across the Country?

Cagri Sarigoz Cagri Sarigoz · Updated January 16, 2024

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Traveling thousands of miles with your pet as you traverse the country is a big undertaking. Even just thinking about dog transport and its travel logistics can be overwhelming and stressful. Although there are many options, your dog’s size, breed, and temperament will dictate what’s best for you. Learning about the various pet transport methods will help you choose the best way to transport your dog across the country.

Air Transport Options

Air transport is safe, efficient, and for some pets, affordable. Your air transportation options may vary depending on your dog’s size and breed.

  • Cabin – If your dog is small enough, it may be able to travel in the main cabin. Most major airlines charge around $125 each way for your pet to accompany you on your journey. Dogs must comfortably travel in a carrier that fits under the seat. There are strict regulations regarding the number of pets allowed on each flight, so reserve your pet’s ticket early.
  • Cargo – Larger dogs too big to fit under the seat must ride in the cargo hold. Regulations by the airline companies make the cargo hold very safe for dogs. The air pressure and temperature remain consistent, ensuring a smooth and stress-free trip. Keep in mind that each airline has restrictions surrounding the type and size of dog crate acceptable for the cargo hold.
  • Air Nannies – Pet transportation services like air nannies can help simplify complicated travel logistics. Air nannies will accompany your pet on the airplane, even staying with your pet through long layovers. These services can range in price from a few hundred dollars to upwards of $1,500 depending on the size and age of your pet and the flight duration. Air nannies are ideal for people transporting new puppies across the country.

Ground Transport Options

Although ground transportation may take longer, it is often the best option for you and your pet. Ground transport is ideal for traveling with a large dog or multiple pets. Multiple animals can fit safely in a car, and you can take as many breaks as necessary.

Ground transportation can also be more relaxing for pets with extreme anxiety. Riding in a car can be more soothing and calming than an airplane. Ground transportation is much safer for older dogs or those with medical conditions. Brachycephalic dogs must travel across the country using ground transport options.

Pet Transportation Services

Utilizing a professional pet transportation service is the best way to take the guesswork out of pet transportation. Professional services like CitizenShipper can help accompany your pet on a journey across the country, using either air or ground transport.

How Does Dog Transport with CitizenShipper Work?

CitizenShipper is a pet transportation marketplace with over 14 years of experience. Starting with CitizenShipper is easy and only takes a few simple steps.

  • Step 1: Register! You’ll need to register with our online platform. It only takes a few minutes, and we just need some basic information about your pet and your journey. It’s always free to register and list your trip.
  • Step 2: Select your driver. Now it’s time to sit back and wait. Our community of professional drivers will send price quotes for your trip. You’ll have the chance to read each driver’s biography and ask questions to choose the best driver for you.
  • Step 3: Pay the small fee. Once you confirm your transport, you’ll pay a small fee to CitizenShipper. We base the price on the total distance of your trip. We aim to make ground transportation services affordable and uncomplicated. You’ll pay your driver separately using the best payment platform for your driver.
  • Step 4: Bon Voyage! On the day of your trip, your transporter will come to pick up your dog. You can message your driver during the journey and receive up-to-date photos and videos. Your driver will have access to TeleVet professionals throughout the trip, so rest assured your dog is in safe hands. CitizenShipper even offers a free $1000 Pet Protection Plan for all pet transports.

Transporting a Dog Across the Country FAQs

It’s not every day you move across the country, so it’s normal to have questions about the trip. Your pet is part of your family, and their comfort and well-being should be your utmost priority. CitizenShipper transporters are experienced and passionate about pet care, treating your pets as if they were our own.

How Much is Cross-Country Transport?

Although it’s a big undertaking, you can still find cost-effective options for transporting your pets across the country. Cross-country transport costs will vary depending on the distance traveled, age, and size of your dog. Large dogs tend to cost more than small dogs, while puppies can be the most expensive because they require extensive care.

Most major airlines charge around $125 per pet each way, while pet transporting services using ground transportation will cost between $0.50 and $1.60 per mile. Although longer trips are more expensive, shorter trips cost more per mile. Choosing the correct pet transport method depends mainly on your pet and overall transport budget.

Is Transportation Stressful for My Dog?

New sights and sounds can be stressful for your pet, and a trip across the country certainly is a unique experience. Be sure to prepare your pet for the trip with plenty of training. A pet that’s comfortable in its carrier will have a much lower stress level. Ground transportation may be a better option if your pet is particularly anxious. Traveling in a vehicle can be soothing, quieter, and calmer for a nervous dog.

How Do I Know My Dog is Safe?

Professional pet transport services can provide the peace of mind you’re searching for. A $1,000 Pet Protection Plan backs every trip with CitizenShipper, no matter how long or short. Pet transporters have continual access to FirstVet, a TeleVet system that can triage common dog health concerns, like motion sickness or nausea. You’ll get real-time updates along the route with videos, photos, and regular communication with your pet transporter.

 Transporting your dog or cat across the country doesn’t have to be stressful (or expensive.) Get a free quote for safe, reliable pet transport from CitizenShipper.