Things to look for when hiring a pet transporter online

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated June 3, 2024

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We love our furry friends with our hearts and our souls, so sometimes it can be hard to trust others with them, especially when they’re total strangers. But there are many circumstances where it’s unavoidable to do so, for example, a relocation. In COVID-19 times it’s even more complicated because the need for physical distancing makes it hard to meet shippers in person beforehand, so we can only rely on the information we get online. This article will provide you with an overview of finding a professional pet carrier online that is skilled, experienced, and trustworthy.

Make sure they are licensed and insured

Professional pet movers should be licensed by the USDA, if they transport regulated animals, like cats or dogs. This doesn’t count for reptiles, birds, or fish. You should also counter-check if your pet shipping company has signed up the International Pet Animal and Transportation Association (IPATA). This is an international network of pet shippers, who are compassionate and committed to providing professional pet transportation services around the globe. If your relocation company is a member of IPATA, they are strictly required to obey the live animal regulations of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This juristical frame will guarantee that your pet will be transported legally and safely.

Another important factor is your pet shippers insurance. Ask about where they are insured and what the insurance covers because your pet shipping company should provide insurance against any harm that might come to your pet. For example, a Pet Care Liability Insurance is tailored to the pet service industry and covers if your loved animal has to go to the vet in an emergency.

Is the company informed about the A-Z of pet traveling?

Different countries and different states have different regulations regarding pet travel. If you want to relocate your pet long-distance you want to cooperate with a provider, which knows their stuff and can tell you everything about which documents, vaccines, and certificates your pet needs to travel. They should know which airlines they can cooperate with and which regulations are currently in place so your loved creature doesn’t end up in quarantine. Check out their websites for information and ask them about the guidelines affecting your individual case. 

Get quotes and compare prices

One of the most obvious things to look out for in hiring someone from the world wide web is the price. To make sure that you don’t get ripped off, you should ask for quotes from different pet shipping companies and post your shipping on the previously mentioned marketplace websites. Make sure that you inform the providers with all the details about your pet, the distance, and special information. Ask about how binding the estimates are and about possible additional fees, to be sure that you don’t pay much more than promised. On this basis, you will be able to find a good price-performance ratio.

How long have they been in business?

The quality of service is strongly connected to the amount of experience. If we’re talking about pets, it’s important that professional shippers are familiar with dealing with all kinds of furry personalities. Does your shipper have experience with your specific pet? It’s not the same to ship a dog, cat, or horse. Make sure that you choose a shipper which has knowledge about shipping your animal type.

What do their reviews reveal?

One of the best resources in the online world is community-generated reviews. They will tell you how a company puts its promises into practice. Get on their social media web pages and check their Google reviews. If you see negative ratings, see how the companies resolved the issue rather than immediately dismissing them. Marketplace companies such as CitizenShipper offer the advantage that you can see both overall ratings as well as the reviews of every single driver. With this information, you can make a secure decision and find a shipper that fits your individual needs.

Asking the right questions

CitizenShipper also includes a direct chat function, which brings us to a crucial moment of deciding on a pet transporter: How does the communication with your potential driver play out? An important factor to take into account is how easily the provider is approachable and if they are friendly and open to react to your fears and doubts pleasantly and with patience. 

Here are a view questions, that you might consider asking in direct contact with the driver and sum the previous points of the article:

  • How much experience do you have in shipping pets?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • What are your procedures and which policies do you follow?
  • What are your fees? Are there any additional fees?
  • How many breaks do you take with my animal? How often do you let them out?
  • What do you do with a pet that stays with you overnight?
  • What should I pack for my pet? Which equipment and supplies do I need and which do you offer?
  • Will I be able to track the shipping? How often will you inform me about where you are and if everything is ok with my pet?
  • Will you be able to react to the special need that my pet has and follow my specific instructions?

Through the answers to these questions, you will fastly get a sense of their experience and professionalism. Moreover, you can communicate with the driver the specifics of your individual pet transport and find out if their way of communicating suits your expectations.


In the end, you have to trust your gut in your decision-making. If you watch out for the previous points, you should be able to find a trustworthy provider, who will take excellent care of your furry friend. We wish you good luck with your research, your decision, and the pet shipping process.