How Much Does it Cost to Transport a Dog to Arizona?

Matt Matasci Matt Matasci · Updated January 16, 2024

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Your pet is an important member of your family. He’s warmed the household with his playfulness, loyalty and affection. If you’re moving or have to travel to another state for an extended period, you can bring your dog with you!

The logistical matters of transporting a dog long-distance can feel overwhelming. However, dog transportation to Arizona shouldn’t be a hassle or a stress-inducing experience. 

Here’s some information about transporting your dog to Arizona by airplane, train or car.

Fun Facts About Arizona

Before we look at your transport options, here are some nice tidbits about Arizona. Known as the Grand Canyon State, Arizona is sweltering hot. With the backdrop of the American Southwest, it’s home to the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Suns. 

There are numerous outdoor activities you can enjoy from mountain biking to jogging. For dog owners, Arizona is a perfect place to run around with your dog. It’s also a big anti-cruelty state, which is definitely a plus! 

The top five dog breeds in Arizona are:

  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. German Shepherd
  3. Goldendoodle
  4. Australian Shepherd
  5. Golden Retriever

Ways to Transport a Dog to Arizona

There are a few different approaches to pet transportation. The associated costs are different for each. Let’s take a look at the two most common ways to transport a dog.

Transport a Dog to Arizona via Air Travel

Air travel is usually the fastest way to transport a dog. However, it’s also often the most logistically challenging. 

Most airlines have a strict weight limit and allow only one dog per person in the cabin. If the dog weighs too much or is too large to fit under the seat, you’ll have to transport your dog in the cargo hold.

Many factors drive up costs and cause headaches. Before going through the planning and costs, consider these tips to decide if air travel is the best option for you.

Tips to Transport a Dog via Air Travel

  • Only a few airlines allow pets in the cargo hold: American, Delta and United. 
  • Traveling in the off-season can help reduce costs, as there will be fewer people at airports, making it less stressful for your dog.
  • Consider the time of year before booking — airlines will cancel pet tickets if the temperature isn’t between 45°F to 85°F.
  • Take direct flights with no layovers. Layovers will only stress your dog more, especially if they are in the cargo hold.
  • Freeze water in a large crate bowl, so your dog has enough water for the entire flight.
  • Carry all veterinary certificates and requirements that Arizona and the airline require. Keep them in a secure location that is easy to access.
  • Include all contact information on the crate and your dog’s collar.
  • Get to the airport at least half an hour earlier to check in early.
  • Don’t let airline attendants take your dog until 30 minutes before departure.
  • Don’t board until you see that airline baggage handlers have loaded your dog onto the plane.
  • Keep a picture of your dog just in case the worst happens and you get separated at arrival.
  • Don’t give your dog any sedatives. It makes it difficult for your dog to adjust to the cargo hold temperatures and turbulence during the flight. In fact, it’s more likely to cause an issue than keep your dog calm.
  • Use a high-quality crate. Your dog should have enough room to stand up and move around.

Keep in mind, if your crate is inadequate, you’re late or the airline suspects you’ve sedated your dog, they are likely to cancel your pet ticket.

Costs Associated with Air Travel

Smaller dogs are easier to transport by air. If they’re under a certain weight limit and their carrier fits under the seat, they can travel with you in the cabin. These tickets are far more affordable than tickets for the cargo hold. 

Call in advance because airlines only allow one or two pets per flight. If you wait until the last minute, you run the risk of an overbooked plane that can’t take more pets.

The total cost to transport a dog to Arizona in the plane’s cabin is estimated to be around $125 one way.

Larger pets must go in the cargo hold. They’ll need a special crate that meets all airline requirements. On top of that, airlines charge significantly higher prices for cargo hold tickets — usually between $500 and $1,000.

Requirements for Dogs in the Cabin or Cargo Hold

A small dog that can fit in a carrier may go in the main cabin, but usually, airlines allow one per passenger. When your dog is not under a specific weight, the airline will require you to put it in the cargo hold. That can be a traumatic experience for your dog, plus you must follow many requirements.

Pet Cargo Crate Requirements
  • The crate has to be big and roomy enough for your dog to stand up and turn around and they cannot touch the top of the crate.
  • It needs secure locks all around with pins that extend past the extrusions above and below the door.
  • The crate has to be ventilated on all its sides.
  • It must have your dog’s name, as well as your contact information visible for others to see.
  • A water and food bowl must be attached to the door and it needs to be accessed from the outside of the crate.
  • And finally, the crate needs to be secure with hardware instead of plastic fasteners that can easily come off.

Transporting Your Dog on a Train

Train travel is not the standard nowadays. However, this is changing. The Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, has been touting public transit and a new Congress bill funds more public transportation projects. 

Amtrak allows you to transport your dog, but there are several requirements and costs:

  • Only one pet per passenger.
  • The trip can’t be more than seven hours long.
  • Your dog should be eight weeks or older.
  • The dog must be placed under the seat in a carrier.
  • The combined weight of your dog and carrier cannot be more than 20 pounds.

The good news is it only costs $25, but the bad news is only small dogs are allowed on Amtrak trains. So if you have a large dog, you’ll have to go with the other alternatives — either air travel or by car.

Transporting Your Dog with a Car

Ground transportation is the easiest method because there aren’t outside requirements. However, there are many variables and logistical hurdles to overcome, which can be overwhelming. 

Distance is a huge factor in the cost of ground transportation. If you live in New York and go to Arizona, it will be much more expensive to traverse cross country than living in California, which is only one state away.

Let’s consider the variables — driving cross-country and driving from one state away. The table below shows the breakdown of costs associated with transporting your dog by car.

These factors are different depending on the state where you are coming from. But all in all,  $400 to $1,450 will be the costs associated with taking the DIY approach and driving a dog to Arizona yourself.

Using CitizenShipper

Most people don’t have the time or experience to drive cross country with a dog. One option is hiring a traditional pet transportation company. Another is using a two-way marketplace like CitizenShipper to find an independent pet transporter. 

Drivers on the CitizenShipper platform are animal lovers who will treat your dog like he’s a part of their family. Every driver passes stringent background checks, so you know your pup is in good hands. 

Using CitizenShipper is easy — simply post a free listing on our marketplace and wait as quotes from our vetted drivers roll in. Most listings receive bids within minutes, and because drivers are competing for your business, you’ll be able to select a quote that fits your budget. 

We don’t recommend booking a driver based solely on price; often, the best transporters charge a little more. Read reviews, communicate with the driver through the instant-messaging system and look at past experience before hiring your transporter.

The bottom line is your beloved pet will be in good hands with CitizenShipper’s qualified drivers. We work hard to ensure your peace of mind throughout the entire transaction.

Entry Requirements to Transport a Dog to Arizona

Before leaving California or your state, you should check with the Public Health’s webpage for any exit requirements. You can check the list of requirements by accessing the US Department of Agriculture’s page here

The entry requirements for your dog to enter Arizona are fairly straightforward and similar to other states. If you want to check their official page, you can click here.

In order to enter Arizona, dogs need:

Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI)

  • Issued by an accredited veterinarian
  • Validity of 30 days
  • Original signature on the CVI and all copies
  • The Entry Permit Number is not required

The Certificate of Veterinary Inspection must also include that your dog has a current rabies vaccine. According to the Arizona Department of Agriculture, the Rabies Vaccine Titers will not be accepted as proof of rabies vaccination.

Also, a note of importance: The most commonly used form, APHIS 7001 Interstate & International Certificate of Health Examination, will not be accepted for entry into Arizona.


Whatever method you use — plane, train, or automobile — will profoundly affect your dog. If your dog is small, booking a direct flight to Arizona may be easier, but there are always hiccups and requirements to fulfill. The same goes for choosing an Amtrak train ride. 

The easiest but most time-consuming method is going by car. If you live cross country, it may take days and a lot of money on food, gas and accommodation. If you live a state away, it’s an easy drive that may take less than a day. But the hassle of driving can be overwhelming for you and your dog. 

Instead of driving your dog or hiring an expensive and impersonal pet shipping company, consider an independent pet transporter. There are thousands of transporters on the CitizenShipper marketplace, and when they compete for your business, you save while having the luxury to select your driver.

Create a listing on CitizenShipper for free and receive quotes from qualified drivers in just minutes!