The Cost to Ship a Pet in Cargo

Patrick MacFarland Patrick MacFarland · Updated February 23, 2024

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We come across this dilemma all the time. We’ve been transferred to another part of the country and now you’re wondering how to juggle everything that comes with your move. What happens if you have a pet? If you’re looking to move your pet across the country, you’re probably wondering how much it will cost you to ship them. Is it expensive? Is there an economical way to do it? Or is it better to drive them yourself?

Pet travel can seem intimidating and expensive, but with the right service, you can transport your furry friend safely and affordably. In this article, we’ll go over the factors that affect pet shipping costs, the average cost of pet shipping, and how to find an affordable pet travel service.

Factors That Affect Pet Relocation Costs

When it comes to pet shipping, there are several factors that can affect the overall cost. Let’s take a look at them.

Size of the Pet

The size of your pet is one of the main factors that will influence the cost of shipping. For this one, it’s simple, the bigger the pet, the bigger the cost. If you’re shipping a large breed, such as a Saint Bernard or a Great Dane, you can expect to pay more for the service. On the other hand, if you’re shipping a small dog, such as a Chihuahua or a Poodle, you could pay much less.

Distance Traveled

Another factor that can affect the cost of pet shipping is the distance traveled. The simple reality is that pet transport companies usually charge a per-mile fee. All this means is that the farther the distance, the more expensive the shipping service will be. For example, if you’re shipping your pet from New York to California, you can expect to pay more than if you’re shipping them from New York to New Jersey. However, longer-distance trips tend to have a lower per-mile rate than short trips.

Type of Carrier

Believe it or not, the type of carrier you choose can also influence the cost of pet shipping. If you choose a standard crate, you can expect to pay less than if you choose a luxury travel crate. Luxury carriers offer more comfort and safety for your pet, but they also come with a higher price tag. Airlines also have specific requirements about crates, whether they are traveling in the main cabin or in the cargo hold.

Other Factors

In order to transport your pet, you need to have a veterinarian registered with the USDA check your pet to ensure they are safe for travel and have all their vaccinations (like the rabies vaccine). The veterinarian will issue a health certificate called a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. That costs roughly in the range between $100-$300, though if you don’t need blood tests it can be as little as $38. The CVI, along with a document of all your pet’s immunizations are essential for traveling (plus it will avoid quarantine). If you are traveling internationally, your pet will need an import permit for customs clearance.

Average Cost of Pet Shipping

So, how much does it cost to ship a pet? The average cost of pet transport can vary depending on the factors mentioned above, but you can expect to pay in the range from under $1000 to $5000 (if you want to include extra additional packages). The exact cost will depend on the size of your pet, the distance traveled, the type of carrier you choose and other factors.

How to Find Affordable Pet Shipping Companies

If you’re looking for an affordable pet shipping service, there are a few ways you can go about it. Researching online is the first step. You can look for companies that offer discounts or promotions. Many companies offer special discounts for first-time customers, so be sure to take advantage of these offers if you can. However, make sure you don’t have fall online pet shipping scams. Look out for warning signs like those that require you to give out your personal information.

You can also look for companies that offer flat-rate pricing. This type of pricing allows you to get an exact cost for pet shipping, so you know exactly how much you’ll be paying.

Finally, you can look for companies that offer package deals. Many companies offer discounts when you book multiple services at once, so be sure to ask if they have any package deals available. If you prefer going through an airline, you can also investigate the cost to ship a dog or pet via air travel with the pet transport company.

Bottom Line

Pet shipping can be an expensive endeavor, but with the right service, you can transport your beloved pet safely and affordably. Be sure to keep the factors mentioned above in mind when looking for a pet shipping service, and always look for discounts and package deals to get the best price. Whether it is air travel or ground transportation, with a bit of research and planning, you can find an affordable pet shipping service that will meet your needs.