How to Ship a Dog

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated March 8, 2023

Shipping your beloved canine can be a nerve-racking event, but proper planning as well as choosing the right driver will put your mind at ease. Properly shipping a dog should be seen as a two-step process – first, training your pup, then preparing your driver for the trip ahead.

Preparing your dog for transport – whether the trip is long or short – is a matter of conditioning. There are a few simple actions you can implement that will help the process:

Get Your Dog Accustomed to a Travel Crate: Steadily increase time spent in a travel crate so your dog is relaxed in his surroundings once its ready to hit the road. Also, be sure to include comfortable pads or blankets he’s familiar with, as well as favorite toys.

Put Your Dog on a Feeding Schedule: Dogs certainly love to eat and usually get their masters to spoil them. Twice a day is fine for any pooch. Keep in mind the driver will have to feed your dog and walk him as well. Also, dry food makes the driver’s job easier.

Put Identification Tags on Your Dog: If you haven’t already, place tags containing your contact information – and the latest rabies vaccination – on your pup. Rabies vaccinations are generally given once a year.

For an extra measure of safety, your veterinarian can implant an RFID ‘chip’  that stores all of your important information in your pet. It’s now standard procedure for animal control agencies and shelters to scan stray or lost dogs for RFID chips using third-party digital services like HomeAgain to locate owners.

Once your pooch is ready for transport, it is vital to be sure your driver is up to speed. Your driver will take your direction seriously, because you know your dog better than anyone.

Choose the Right Driver: This all comes down to you, the owner. It may be tempting to select the driver offering the lowest shipping price, but going with an experienced pet hauler has its benefits. Be sure you interact with CitizenShipper drivers before selecting one, and that your driver is comfortable with all of your dog’s needs.

Provide ALL Medications and a Dosing Schedule: Dogs can require several medications at different times of the day, so portioning medicine into daily morning/evening containers is vital. If your pet requires more than a simple pill, be sure the driver is able and willing to administer the medication.

Provide a List of Emergency Veterinarians En Route: It may take a few minutes of research, but hey, this is your dog we’re talking about. A vet list will also give the driver an extra measure of comfort knowing help is available along the way.

Be Realistic with Delivery Expectations: Your driver may have other shipments along the way to your dog’s destination, so plan far ahead for both pickup and delivery. Also, allow time for doggie ‘pit-stops’.

Communicate with Your Driver: You know your canine best, so tell the driver anything he needs know about you pooch. For example, it is standard to walk dogs every three to four hours during transport. Your dog may have a different schedule – if he does, communicate that fact.

With these tips, your dog and its driver will be ready for the road. Have a tip you’d like to add? Please include it in the comments below.