Dog Owner’s Guide to Pet Shipping Services

Adaeze Nwakaeze Adaeze Nwakaeze · Updated: September 27, 2023 / Published: January 10, 2023
A dog sits comfortably in the backseat of a car being transported by pet shipping services.

If you’re a dog owner who needs to ship your pet, the task can seem overwhelming. The uncertainty about which pet shipping service to choose, confusion over the regulations and paperwork involved and the general feeling of stress can make it seem impossible. But the good news is it doesn’t have to be! With the right preparation, pet shipping services can make sending your furry friend to their destination a breeze.

To make the process smoother, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the different pet transporters available, along with some tips to ensure your pet’s journey is as stress-free as possible.

Taking the train is an option for smaller dogs. For other animals, you may need to search for pet shipping services.

What Are The Different Types of Pet Shipping Services?

Due to the complexity of traveling with an animal, pet shipping has become a popular transport choice.

Pet Shipping with CitizenShipper

From simple ground transport to international flights, plenty of options are available to get your pet where they need to go.

But which one is right for you? The answer varies, but the transport option you choose will depend on your pet’s needs, your budget and the distance they need to travel.

Here are the most common pet shipping services available:

#1. Air Travel

This is easily the fastest way to transport your pet. Though the cost of air transport is on the high side, the remarkable speed of delivery can make up for it.

One thing you need to remember regarding air travel is that your pet must travel in an IATA-approved crate. The airline you choose must also allow pets onboard.

Plus, additional paperwork may be required when traveling with a pet by air, all of which you must complete before you can book your pet’s flight.

You also need to consider your dog’s breed before deciding on air transport since many airlines restrict the breeds they accept. For instance, some airlines may not accept certain snub-nosed breeds like pugs and bulldogs due to their sensitive respiratory systems.

If you decide to go with air travel for your pet, check with the airline beforehand to confirm that they accept pets and understand their specific requirements.

#2. Train Transport

Train transport is an excellent option for shorter distances as it’s usually cheaper than air travel and has fewer restrictions.

Most trains allow pets onboard as long as they’re in a carrier and can fit comfortably in the available space. Train services like Amtrak only accept dogs that are 20 pounds or less, so there may be restrictions depending on the size of your pup.

Besides the size limit, other restrictions can also apply depending on the train line, so be sure to check with them first before booking your pet’s trip.

#3. Ground Transport

The most affordable and flexible option for pet transport is ground transportation. This method usually involves driving your pet to their destination in a car, van or bus.

You can either drive your pet yourself or use the services of a professional pet transporter. While you may be tempted to drive your pet yourself, it’s important to remember that transporting your pet can be stressful for them and you may have difficulty managing the task on your own.

Plus, there’s the additional hassle of finding pet-friendly accommodations for overnight stays, managing their safety when you take bathroom breaks and dealing with the various regulations of different states you pass through. That’s why many pet parents opt for the services of professional pet shipping services.

These transporters have the necessary experience and equipment to transport your dog safely and securely, and they also provide additional services such as VIP transport service, door-to-door delivery, and more.

At CitizenShipper we connect you with reliable and experienced pet transporters who are excited to transport your furry friend with care. 

All the drivers on CitizenShipper are pre-screened, experienced in handling and caring for animals and have the necessary equipment and supplies to transport your pet safely whether you are transporting a cat, a dog or any other pet.

Also, CitizenShipper allows you to compare prices through an online bidding system so you can find the best deal for your pet’s transportation needs and save money in the process.

Before you hire pet pet shipping services, visit the vet.

How to Prepare Your Dog for Pet Shipping Services

Before booking a pet transport service, it’s important to make adequate preparations for your pet’s journey. 

Here’s a quick checklist of things you should do before getting your pup ready for their journey:

#1. A Visit to the Vet

One of the most important things to do before transporting your pet is to take them to a vet who will examine them to identify any potential health issues that may impede the travel process.

They will also provide you with all the necessary paperwork, such as health certificates and other documents that the pet transport company may require. 

#2. Updated Vaccination Certificates

Depending on the mode of pet transport you choose and the distance your pet is traveling, there may be certain vaccination requirements that must be met.

Usually, the USDA requires that dogs must have a valid rabies vaccination certificate before transport, especially if they’re traveling across state borders. Other vaccinations your dog needs include distemper, canine parvovirus and canine hepatitis.

If your pet is traveling internationally, it is imperative to review the vaccination requirements of your destination country. These requirements may vary based on the country or state, so be sure to inquire about the specific requirements for your dog’s destination.

#3. Microchipping

If your dog isn’t already microchipped, it’s a good idea to get one before their departure. Microchipping is a quick and easy procedure that can help identify your pet in case they get lost or separated from you during transport.

It is also wise to update the information on your pet’s microchip if there have been changes since the time your pet was chipped. You can update your pet profile on the microchip registry database before your pet’s trip.

#4. Travel Crates and Crate Training

It’s important to ensure that your pet is comfortable and safe during transport. That’s why it’s crucial to purchase a travel crate or pet carrier that meets the specific requirements of your pet transport company.

Your pup should be well-familiarized with their travel crate before their departure. So, start crate-training your pup several weeks before their departure if they aren’t already used to being crated.

This will help make the transition easier for your pet and help prevent them from getting stressed or anxious during their journey.

#5. Import Permit

If you are moving your pet to another county, the destination country will require you to obtain an import permit before your pet’s arrival. 

Pet parents and breeders transporting their pets into the US must apply for an import permit through the CDC. Some of the application requirements include a valid rabies vaccination certificate and a microchip number.

#6. Specific Pet Travel Restrictions and State Regulations

Moving your dog across state lines or countries may require that you meet certain guidelines and regulations. It’s pertinent to be aware of the specific requirements for animal transport set out by your destination.

In some states, you may need to present a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) and other health certificates upon arrival. You should also know any quarantine requirements that may apply to your pup’s destination.

If you intend to fly your pet, you must take the airlines’ breed restriction policies into consideration. Most airlines do not allow the transportation of certain snub-nosed breeds of dogs or cats in the cargo area due to the risk of respiratory distress during flight.

So, you might have to make alternative arrangements for your pet’s flight if their breed is not allowed by the airline. Fortunately, your pet transport company can provide you with all the information you need about your destination’s regulations.

How CitizenShipper Drivers Help Prepare Your Dog for Pet Travel

Already getting overwhelmed by the thought of preparing your pup for transport? Don’t worry; you don’t have to do it alone!

CitizenShipper can provide you with all the help and support you need to prepare your furry friend for transport!

These drivers can help you with paperwork, obtain the required documents and permits and even find the appropriate crate or carrier for your pet’s size. 

Drivers on CitizenShipper are also familiar with all the requirements for pet transport to different states and countries, so they can help you navigate through the regulations easily.

When you hire a pet driver on CitizenShipper, you get a $1000 pet protection plan, an instant messaging system that allows you to talk directly with the driver and 24/7 FirstVet services!

We are rated the #1 pet transportation platform in the US — a position that’s earned us the trust of over 100,000 pet lovers in the country.

To take the stress off yourself and ensure a safe and comfortable journey for your furry friend, consider booking a pet transporter on CitizenShipper today!

Here’s how to get started:

  • Create an account on Citizenshipper.
  • Post a free pet travel listing and receive quotes in minutes.
  • Compare bids from interested pet transporters
  • Review transporters’ profiles and ratings.
  • Message your preferred driver to discuss your requirements and negotiate the cost.
  • Finalize your pet transport booking.
Know what to look for when shopping between pet shipping services.

Characteristics of High-Quality Pet Shipping Services

Before you take the leap and hire a pet transporter, it’s important to ensure they meet some industry best practices.

Here are key qualities to look out for:

#1. Professionalism and Experience

Make sure your pet transporter is knowledgeable and experienced in the transportation of pets. Ask questions about their experience – especially with transporting dogs of your pup’s size and breed.

You should also find out if they are licensed, insured and familiar with all the regulations and requirements for pet transport.

#2. Safety

Safety should be your top priority when selecting a pet transporter. 

Ask about their safety protocols, the type of vehicle they plan to use for transport, and how often they stop for rest or bathroom breaks during the journey.

#3. Communication

Good communication is essential for successful pet transport.

Ask your transporter about their availability to answer any questions or concerns you may have during the trip, and observe how they provide feedback during your initial conversations.

#4. Stellar Reputation and Reviews

Endeavor to read the reviews of your pet transporter. Testimonials from former customers can give you a better idea of their services and the quality of care they provide.

#5. Competitive rates

You should aim to find a pet transporter who provides quality services at competitive prices. But be sure not to compromise safety and quality for cost.

Product Recommendations for Animal Transport

To ensure your pet is comfortable during their transport, it’s essential to have the right pet items and supplies.

These are a few products we recommend having on hand before the trip:

  • A pet carrier or crate

Choose a pet carrier that is suitable for the size of your pup and allows them room to move freely.

  • A collapsible water bowl

Make sure your pup has access to fresh water during their journey. A collapsible water bowl is ideal for pet transportation, and it can even double as a food bowl.

  • Comfortable bedding

A soft, comfortable bedding or cushion will make sure your beloved furry friend has a cozy and relaxing journey.

  • Toys and treats

Pack a few of your pup’s favorite toys and snacks to keep them entertained during the trip.

Whether you drive your pet alone or hire pet shipping services, a travel bag is always a good idea.
  • Pet travel bag

To keep all your pet’s items together, a pet travel bag is an invaluable item. Get one that’s lightweight and water-resistant.

Having these items at hand ensures your pup has everything they need for a safe and comfortable journey.

Use CitizenShipper to Find Industry-Best Pet Shipping Services

At CitizenShipper, we understand how difficult it can be to make travel arrangements for your pup. That’s why we are rated the #1 pet shipping service on the market. 

Rest assured that your pup will have a safe and comfortable journey with our drivers.

So, don’t wait any longer — post a free listing today and receive transport quotes instantly.

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