Things to look for in a driver when transporting your pet

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated February 23, 2024

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chihuahua dog near a transport bag ready to travel

When you need to transport your pet, you want to be sure that you are placing it into good hands, so your furry friend arrives on time and is taken care of in the best possible way. A marketplace-based company like CitizenShipper is a great option to get in touch with experienced pet transporters all around the U.S. You just post the details of your pet transport with a picture of your furry friend, and available drivers will send you offers. In a jungle of available drivers, it can feel really hard to decide on which one to trust. We will guide you through some things to watch out for in choosing the right driver for your individual case.

Consider a fair price

Let’s start with the things which will catch your eye first. One of the most obvious aspects to take into consideration for your decision is the price. To get an understanding of the market it’s important that you get several offers from several providers. If the driver of your dreams is way above the market price, it can be useful to confront them with lower offers to bargain the price down. Stay open to pay a bit more because a driver with good service can be worth the price: Watch out for a good price-performance ratio. Some drivers will have specific pet transportation equipment necessary to make the journey that will fetch a higher price. 

Read the reviews

The next thing to look at before starting communication with a driver is their reviews. The big advantage of working with a platform like CitizenShipper is that each client has an insight into previous customers’ experiences with the available drivers. What do they reveal? Watch out for negative ratings and see how the driver resolved the issues. Whatever you read, relate it to your own personal needs. Maybe you don’t care if the driver is a bit curt as long as they do their transport job well. Based on these comments you should have a first insight into the drivers’ experiences and their qualities.

Review their communication

A good driver is approachable, friendly, and open to respond to all of your concerns regarding the move. It’s part of their job to answer all of your questions and take care of your needs. Don’t be shy about asking questions because the replies will be the most helpful pieces of information when making your decision. Mainly if you feel like so many others are anxious about sending your pet on this journey, you should decide on a person, which is easily reachable and replies fastly to your messages. You might want to ask them if their fast communication services are also available during the shipping. How often will they inform you about where they are and if everything is ok with your pet?

Ask them about their experiences 

Like in every job, experience makes a pet driver an excellent pet driver. A long drive can be a stressful and challenging experience for your pet. It is important that it is accompanied by a person who knows their job and is trained in communicating with and taking care of the type of animal you want to transport. Probably the reviews will already reveal some of their experiences. Still, you should ask them directly about how long they are in business and their specific experiences with the type of animal you want them to ship. 

Their knowledge about pet travel will reflect their level of experience. Professional pet movers should be able to tell you all travel regulations in interstate shipping as well as which documents and which vaccinations your furry friend needs before and through the travel. They should inform you about what equipment and supplies you have to pack and give you comprehensive information about what carrier is the best for your type of animal. Do you feel cared for and like the driver knows their business? That can be a great indicator for a good driver and is a perfect base for a decision.

Ask them how they will take care of your animal

The love for pets is probably the most important thing in this job. If you get a sense that a driver truly cares for the well-being of animals, you can be sure your creature is in good hands. While this is very hard to determine, you should ask the driver care-related questions:

  • How many breaks will you take with my pet?
  • How often will you let them out or take a walk with them on the road?
  • What do you do with my pet in case you have to stay somewhere overnight with them?
  • Can you follow my instructions regarding the specific needs of my pet?

Trust your instincts in reading the driver’s responses.

Look for certifications

One important thing to look out for in choosing a driver is their license and which procedures and the policies they follow. You should check if your driver or their business is certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and signed up for the International Pet Animal and Transportation Association (IPATA). The policies of these organizations should secure your pets’ well-being. 

Ensure they are insured

Last but not least, you should ask about their insurance. Private pet transporters can choose a variety of insurances to secure their businesses and the animals they transport. To make sure that your pet is safe if there is, for example, an emergency situation and it has to go to the vet, ask the driver which insurance they choose and do your research on it. A good and trustworthy driver makes sure all circumstances are covered – Choose this one, even if it costs you a few $ more.

Good luck with finding the perfect driver, and we wish your pet a safe journey!