Snakes on a Plane? In a Car? On a train?

jesika jesika · Updated January 16, 2024

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Are you looking for a suitable option for transporting your reptile? Shipping a reptile requires meticulous planning and management. You need to take the necessary steps and precautions to ensure the journey is comfortable for your pet. These fascinating creatures are sensitive to even the slightest changes in their surroundings.

What Do You Need to Ship a Reptile Safely?

Shipping a reptile requires a lot of precautions and safety measures. If you choose FedEx reptile shipping services, you will need a special Live Reptile Certification. You will need to undergo a series of tests to obtain this certification. The process of acquiring the clearance and passing tests is time-consuming and expensive. Similarly, UPS reptile shipping also requires you to meet specific conditions through a lengthy process before shipping the reptile. You must meet the shipping box standards and follow the instructions precisely.

How Can You Ship a Reptile?

If you buy a reptile from a distant place and want to ship the animal to your location, you can choose a transportation option that best suits your budget, requirements, reptile size, and other factors. You can choose among the following options:

Transporting a Reptile by Car

If the distance between the pickup location and final destination allows, you can transport the reptile by car. Traveling by car can be the most comfortable and stress-free choice. You can adjust the temperature according to the requirement of your cold-blooded friend. Moreover, you can keep a check on their well-being from time to time and avoid any disturbances or loud noises during the trip. Traveling by car with a reptile also requires specific measures such as:

  • Avoid direct sunlight on your reptile’s carrier throughout the trip, or purchase window visors to block out the sunlight
  • Select the right-sized and proper type of carrier for your pet to ensure they have space to move around yet remain adequately confined to avoid sliding during the journey
  • Keep the carrier secure in its place with a seatbelt or organize items in your car to prevent the carrier from shifting
  • Avoid taking frequent stops and ride at a steady pace to ensure a smooth journey for the reptile
  • Check on your reptile regularly to ensure they are safe and comfortable and do not leave them unattended
  • Adjust the temperature of your car regularly if you transition from a hot climate to a cold one or vice versa

It is advisable to cover your car seats with newspapers or old sheets to avoid staining. You should always carry some extra pet food and water in case of unprecedented delays. If the reptile has any health issues, don’t forget to pack their medicines or other supplies they might require.

Shipping a Reptile by Air

If traveling by road seems unsuitable, you can choose other methods for transporting your reptile. Shipping a reptile by air can be a good alternative in some cases. If the travel distance is long, air shipment can be a faster and reliable solution for transporting reptiles. No airlines allow reptiles in the cabin. So, your only option to transport a reptile by air is to ship them as air cargo.

There are certain restrictions and travel requirements you need to meet before you can ship your reptile through the air. You must have a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian no more than ten days before travel. You can verify that your reptile is not under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) regulations. If you are shipping outside the country, you may need an export and import permit from the countries involved.

All reptiles going as air cargo must be packed safely in appropriate crates. Packing crates must followl the following guidelines:

  1. Use the correct size crate for your reptile. The carrier should provide enough room for the animal to move their body, but not too much space as it may cause injury during the journey.
  2. The crate should be constructed from sturdy and durable material and free of any sharp edges or corners. The door should be secure and prevent your reptile from escaping the carrier.
  3. All crates should have proper ventilation and should be properly labeled. The labels and marks should not interfere with the ventilation outlets. Mark essential labels such as THIS WAY UP and LIVE ANIMAL, as well as your name and address information,  carefully on all four sides of the container.
  4. Fill the crate with absorbent padding that suits your reptile. You can use hot and cold packs if the airlines allow.

To make your reptile more comfortable throughout the air journey, you can familiarize them with their container a few days before travel, so they adapt to the crate and its surroundings.

Is It Safe to Ship Reptiles?

Even though shipping reptiles may seem daunting, it is a secure and safe process if done with appropriate measures in place. Before transporting your animal, it’s necessary to check its health condition. You can take the reptile to a veterinarian for a thorough checkup. A professional pet transportation company can help transport the reptile safely and securely.

What Is the Best Option?  

To avoid confusion and last-minute delays, the safest option is to hire professional pet transporters. When you hire pet transporters, you save yourself from the hardships of tedious preparations and measures necessary to ensure safe travel for your reptile.

The experienced and compassionate staff helps you seamlessly transport a reptile across the country. You don’t have to worry about any regulations or hindrances during the journey.

At CitizenShipper, we offer a platform to help you connect with the best pet transport service providers. If you use FedEx reptile shipping services or UPS reptile shipping, you may need to pay a hefty price and comply with their company regulations to ship your reptile. But, when you choose CitizenShipper, you get personalized services from independent drivers who offer their services at the best prices.

You can post your transport details to our trusted network of professional pet transporters. Whether you are relocating, adopting from a distant location, or a breeder delivering a reptile to your customers, CitizenShipper can fulfill all your reptile transporting needs. 

If you wish to ship a reptile seamlessly, contact us today and get the best pet transportation service at your ease.