Shipping a Puppy? Here’s How to Do It Safely

Patrick MacFarland Patrick MacFarland · Updated February 23, 2024

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Three puppies sitting on a white background with tips for safely shipping a puppy.

Are you considering shipping a puppy? Pet shipping can be a stressful and intimidating process, but with the right knowledge and preparation, it doesn’t have to be. This guide will provide you with the best practices for shipping a puppy safely and securely.

Choosing the Right Carrier

The first step when shipping a puppy is to choose the right carrier or crate. There are several factors to consider when selecting a crate, such as size, durability and ventilation. You’ll want to make sure that the carrier is large enough for your puppy to move around, while still providing enough security to keep them safe during the journey.

When selecting a carrier, look for one that is made of durable materials and has plenty of ventilation. You’ll also want to make sure that the carrier has a secure latch, so that the puppy can’t escape during the trip. Additionally, you may want to consider investing in a carrier with extra padding or cushioning to help keep your pup comfortable.

It’s also important to keep in mind that puppies tend to get anxious during travel, so it’s important to choose a carrier that is both sturdy and comfortable. If possible, try to find a carrier that has a removable top, so that you can easily access your pup during the journey.

Prepping the Puppy for the Journey

Once you’ve selected the right carrier, it’s important to start preparing your puppy for their journey. Start by acclimating your puppy to the carrier. Let them explore the carrier and spend some time inside it. This will help to reduce the stress and anxiety that they may experience during the trip.

You’ll also want to make sure that you meet all of your puppy’s needs during the journey. This includes providing them with food and water, as well as any medications they may need. You should have a health certificate that includes their rabies vaccination and others, too. If possible, try to feed your puppy several hours before the trip, so that they don’t experience any motion sickness.

Finally, it’s important to travel safely with a puppy. Make sure to secure the carrier properly in the vehicle and be sure to follow all traffic laws. Avoid making sudden stops or turns and be sure to check on your pup periodically to make sure they are comfortable.

Ensuring a Safe and Secure Ride

In addition to preparing your puppy for the trip, it’s also important to ensure a secure ride. Start by choosing the right travel route. Try to plan a route that avoids high-traffic areas and long stretches of highway.

It’s also important to familiarize yourself with any regulations and laws that may apply to shipping a puppy. In some cases, you may need to obtain special permits or paperwork in order to transport your pup. Be sure to research the laws in your area so that you can ensure that you are following all applicable regulations.

Finally, it’s important to take steps to ensure the safety of your puppy during the journey. Make sure that the carrier is properly secured and that your puppy has plenty of room to move around. Additionally, try to avoid leaving your puppy in the vehicle unattended.

Tips for a Smooth Trip

When shipping a puppy, it’s important to take steps to minimize stress for the pup. Make sure that the carrier is comfortable and provide your puppy with blankets or toys to help keep them calm. Additionally, try to provide your puppy with plenty of breaks during the journey, so that they can get out and stretch their legs.

It’s also important to make sure that your puppy has all of the necessary documents. In some cases, you may need to provide proof of vaccinations or other health documents. Be sure to check with the carrier before you begin your trip to make sure that you have all of the necessary paperwork.

Finally, it’s important to provide your puppy with comfort items. Bring along a favorite toy or blanket to help keep them calm during the journey. Additionally, make sure that the carrier is stocked with food and water so that you make sure your puppy stays hydrated and nourished during the trip.

Wrapping Up

Pet travel is a big undertaking, but with the right preparation, it doesn’t have to be stressful. When shipping a puppy, it’s important to choose the right carrier, prepare your pup for the journey, ensure a secure ride and take steps to minimize stress. Additionally, make sure to have all of the necessary documents and provide your puppy with comfort items.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your puppy has a safe and secure journey. If you need additional help with shipping a puppy, there are a number of resources available to help you, such as pet shipping companies that exclusively ship puppies, ground shipping services and pet-friendly travel guides. You can also check out IPATA, where you look at which pet transport companies to avoid and which ones are star quality. They also have a section on air travel and which are the most pet-friendly airlines.

If all those options are too expensive, you can go for an alternative like a two-way marketplace like CitizenShipper. We are 60-70% more affordable and drivers on our network will transport your perfect pup with care, treating them like as if they were their own pet.