How Can I Ship My Dog to Another State? Answered!

Ulhas Sukhare Ulhas Sukhare · For Shippers · Pet Shipping · 24 April 2020

Dog transportation guide.

Every day, hundreds of pet owners across the country are looking for new ways of relocating their pets safely and swiftly to a new home.  Whether it’s because you have purchased a new puppy from a breeder in another state or you are relocating the whole family dog transportation doesn’t have to be stressful.

However, there are several key things you must consider with every option. So let’s break down some of the most popular methods of moving dogs, from driving yourself to a professional dog transportation service. 

Air Shipping Your Furry Friends

1. Ship Your Dogs as Checked Baggage

The most direct way of shipping your dog to another state is flying. This tends to be the most expensive dog transportation method, with airline fees ranging from $80 to several hundred dollars. But the main concern isn’t affordability — it’s safety. Checking your dog into the plane’s cargo hold can be risky, as the change in temperature and pressure causes breathing problems. Every year, dozens of animals die in the cargo compartments of commercial airplanes. This health hazard is why many airlines simply refuse to transport dogs.

Pet Shipping with CitizenShipper

If this is your best option, take your time to research airlines with a good reputation. Also, consider some extra dog training with similar conditions for your pet before its big journey. It would also be wise to seek professional veterinary advice before the trip. A cargo trip is definitely not a suitable option for very old dogs who may have pre-existing health conditions that can be exacerbated by the extreme conditions of the hold. Additionally, snub-nosed dog breeds like boxers and bulldogs are usually not allowed to fly in the cargo hold because of potential breathing issues.

2. Travel with the Dog in the Cabin

Luckily, there’s an alternative for pet relocation of smaller dog breeds. If your furry friend weighs no more than 15 pounds and its crate can fit under a seat, they could fly in the cabin as carry-on baggage. The fees can still be prohibitively expensive and the health hazard is still present. But if this option is acceptable to you and your airline, consider hiring a flight nanny to ship your dog to another state.

If you are going to fly with your dog by yourself, consider the best way to ensure your dog has a calm flight. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends that you should NOT sedate your pet during a flight as this can increase the risk of heart problems. Most airlines will refuse to let your dog on the plane if its been sedated. 

Stay Calm and Carry On

There are many other, safer ways to keep your dog calm:

  • Ensure its crate is as comfortable as possible.
  • Place a thick warm blanket on the bottom of the crate and have something to cover it to mimic nighttime.
  • Provide your dog with an exciting chewy toy that will keep them occupied throughout the flight.
  • Make sure you have a way to give it water if the flight is longer than an hour  Just like us, the conditions inside the cabin can be very dehydrating for your pet. 

Once you land, allow your dog to relieve itself as soon as possible and get lots of attention from you. If possible, have someone meet you at the airport so you can spend some time with your puppy on the journey home. 

Different rules apply for animals that are certified as comfort or aid dogs. Again, check with your airline for all the information before committing to the tickets. 

Dog Transportation on the Road

1. Drive the Dog in Your Own Vehicle

If flying pets to their destination sounds too risky, there are alternatives. If you’re asking yourself, “Can’t I ship my dog to another state by simply driving?”, the answer is yes. Fuel is cheaper than ever, but you’ll still need to invest plenty of time and effort. Make sure you have the necessary veterinary certificates when crossing state lines and plan your route carefully. As mentioned before, certain states are currently restricting road travel, so stay on top of things to avoid getting stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Plan Ahead

If you choose to drive your pet, be sure to plan your route carefully. Making lots of stops for your dog to have a runaround and enjoy some road snacks is important. The side of a busy highway might not be suitable for this so look for routes that include detours to small towns or plan a longer stop at a roadside park. 

Just as seatbelts are essential for humans, your dog should be restrained when in the car with either a pet belt or inside a crate. This is both safer for the dog and for you. Make sure your dog has a nice comfortable surface to lie on and if your dog gets travel sick – there are plenty of natural options such as ginger tablets to ease nausea. 

Try and keep your dogs routine as close as possible to its normal one on your journey to ease other stress. This might mean making your journey several days instead of one long drive. It will be worth it for your furry friends to also enjoy the trip!

2. Contract a Professional Dog Transporter

Of course, if it’s too much of a hassle to personally drive your pet to another state, you can always hire a professional. List your dog transportation requirements and contact information for your live animal for free on a dedicated online marketplace, and independent transporters will get in touch. Before choosing which one to hire, be sure to browse through their ratings and reviews from other pet owners. Feel free to exchange messages and get all the information you need, from the size and type of their vehicles to their preferred payment processors. You’ll get a reply within a short turnaround time. 

Up to Date Communication 

The great thing about a personalized shipper is easy communication. You can get updates on your pet’s journey along the way and know exactly when your dog will be arriving home. You might even be able to arrange for photos of your dog’s big journey with your driver so you can have a visual record too!

Moving pets is a growing area in the US so you can be assured you will find a driver that has experience with all types of dog transportation from purebred puppies to litters of kittens. 

Do Your Research and Make a Solid Dog Transportation Choice

So if you’re wondering “How can I ship my dog to another state?”, the answer should be clear. There are many methods available, but some are less practical than others. They should have all the information on specific requirements for secure interstate pet transport in your area and beyond. Additionally, you can have peace of mind that your beloved dog is in safe hands and will not just survive but thrive on its interstate journey! Create a free listing on CitizenShipper and find out how much you can save on safe, reliable and affordable dog transportation!

Last updated at February 10, 2022

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