Shipping a pet for Christmas – The Complete Guide

 Imagine surprising your child, partner, or loved one with a  gorgeous wriggly puppy or silky soft kitten under the Christmas tree. Now – that’s a Christmas to remember! A pet is a classic Christmas gift  – but there are some critical do’s and don’ts to consider before committing to this memorable gift. Read on for the complete guide to selecting and shipping a pet for Christmas.

Shipping a pet for Christmas

cat christmas

Find your perfect pet

The first step in giving the perfect pet present for Christmas is finding your perfect gift. As traditional pet stores become less and less common, many future pet owners will look to specialized breeders or rescue shelters to acquire their new furry friend. Depending on where you live these may be located very far away – perhaps even in another state. If you know the breed of dog or cat you want, you can start by contacting local breeders in your area.

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If you’d like to give a rescue dog it’s forever home, research your local shelter on Facebook, where they often have updated profiles of all the dogs and cats available for adoption. Another option for finding a pet for Christmas would be to check old fashioned classifieds pages both on and offline. You may get lucky here and find your perfect pup! 

Think outside the box this Christmas!

Don’t limit yourself to just a dog or cat. There are plenty of pet options out there that make wonderful Christmas presents. Perhaps a sweet hedgehog, unusual bird, or even a flock of chickens is the answer! If someone you love has always wanted a pet but struggled with allergies, a fur-less creature such as a reptile or even a fish is a good alternative.

Dog in christmas

Get your timing right 

If you do choose an animal that currently doesn’t live close by you will need to arrange for it to be transported. To do this – timing is everything. Contact your preferred breeder or shelter as early as possible to ensure that you can get your pet under the tree on the big day.

If you are buying a puppy or kitten there is a strict period before they can be safely weaned from their mother. Shelter dogs on the other hand maybe need to undergo some health checks or vaccinations before being ready to settle into their forever home. 

The other timing issue to consider is how you will get your new pet to your home. There are a few different options here. 

  • Drive yourself.

This will be a time-consuming endeavor in an already packed silly-season calendar.

  • Hire a pet nanny.

This kind of service entails hiring an individual to collect the pet and escort it home. While a good option, be careful you choose a person with strong public reviews. 

  • Use a pet shipping marketplace such as CitizenShipper.

This option will allow you to submit bids to a market place and get quotes from reputable and experienced pet shippers. You will be able to communicate quickly and easily with potential shippers and read reviews of their previous trips. 

Christmas is a busy time for everyone! Make sure you book your pet shipper with as much time in advance as possible. Allow plenty of time for the drive, roads are often busier around Christmas, and perhaps even schedule a few days for the animal to relax and feel safe again after its big journey. 

Get permission

A pet is a wonderful gift but it is also a long commitment of both time and money. Make sure the pet receiver is ready for that big commitment! If you are looking for a pet for your children – make sure your children are old enough and mature enough to take on the extra responsibilities of feeding and walking. If the pet is for a loved one that you don’t live with – ensure you are convinced it’s something they really want before deciding. 

Cat shipping

Plan the handover!

All pets can take a while to adjust to their new homes – no matter how filled with love they are. Christmas can be a hectic time for many families with lots of visitors, loud noises, and interrupted routines. Try and give your gift in a quieter moment of the celebrations so that your gift recipient and their new furry friend can meet each other in a calm and bonding manner. That being said, be sure to have a camera or your phone ready to capture every single second of the love at first sight that is bound to occur. 

Iron out the details

A pet can be a wonderful Christmas present – but it does require you to be prepared, organized, and thinking ahead! Don’t be put off though. Read on for a complete list of things to consider and organize before you ship a pet for Christmas.

Shipping a pet for Christmas?


  • Choose the perfect pet for your loved person. Is it a cat dog or mouse?
  • Ensure the pet receiver is ready for the commitment. 
  • Research a reliable and affordable pet shipper. Use a marketplace to get the best deal with a trustworthy driver.
  • Book and arrange your pet to be shipped, allowing for heavy Christmas traffic and the unexpected!
  • Think ahead for the first few days of having a pet around the place. Don’t just give the gift of an animal but plan in a bed, a week of food, and some other basic needs
  • Have the camera ready to capture the surprise!


  • Try and drive yourself far distance last minute in heavy Christmas traffic
  • Buy a pet for a person that isn’t prepared for it
  • Leave the planning to the last minute
  • Avoid doing enough research into your pet shipper
  • Choose a pet shipper based solely on price
  • Forget the food and other pet essentials


So there you have it! All the essential information you need for selecting and shipping a pet for Christmas! We wish you a merry and safe Christmas with your family and furry friends. 

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