What’s the Best Way to Transport a Puppy?

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated: May 31, 2023 / Published: January 12, 2021
dog, chewing, blue toy.

Shipping a puppy is a real transportation challenge and comes with many questions. Answering the best to transport a puppy starts with knowing your puppy’s age, continues with its size, and ends with its medical condition. Let’s look into the different possibilities of puppy shipping and overview the pros and cons of different transportation modes.

No matter which way of transport you use, it is essential that you consult your vet about any concerns before the trip begins. The most important rule is that your furry little friend is safe, and its immune system is ready to take on the stress of transport. Many professional shippers only take puppies older than 16 weeks. You should be prepared to stay flexible in your decision making if your puppy is very young or if its age isn’t ‘precisely determined. If the vet says it’s too early, then you should reschedule your plans. 

Furthermore, it might be necessary that your puppy gets vaccinated before the trip and health certified. Make sure that you contact your vet ahead of time for these steps, so they can schedule all necessary check-ups and can finish the paperwork before the big travel day.

Shipping a Puppy on the Plane

Transporting your puppy by plane can be a good option; however, their young bodies are especially vulnerable to air temperature changes and air pressure on a flight. They must be old and resilient enough to travel. 

The minimum age of your puppy for getting on the plane is eight weeks. It makes sense for smaller breeds to wait until the puppy is at least 10-12 weeks old and 2 lbs. International flights usually just take puppies from 12-15 weeks and older. If your puppy belongs to a breed that is at a higher risk group of flying, like snub-nosed dogs, this age still might be too risky to get on a plane.

At the same time, there are breeds, which can join you on board, which makes the experience calmer for them, because you can support them throughout the flight. Small puppies can join you or a flying nanny in the cabin. Others have to go into cargo if they are too big or heavy. 

Every airline has different requirements about age, size, and health. When planning your puppy transport, check the airline’s website, or call them directly to find out which protocol they follow. 

Since all of this can feel overwhelming, it can make sense to hire a professional pet shipper. Through their experience, they should know everything about how to fly your puppy safely and which airline follows which restrictions. You can post your puppy’s details and the route of its journey today on the CitizenShipper marketplace, and experienced professionals will get in contact with you.

Shipping a Puppy by Car

No matter if you’re working with a professional shipper or if you want to transport your dog yourself, road transport offers an excellent alternative to flying. Still, it comes with its challenges for the puppy. Long car rides can be very exhausting for young dogs; however, at least this option also allows for the possibility for long breaks and cuddles.

An important factor is the circumstances of transport. Are you traveling alone or with someone else – are there other animals with you? The same questions should be put towards a potential shipper or puppy nanny too. If your puppy is sharing intimate space with other animals, contagious diseases or parasites can confront its emerging immune system. 

Ask any potential third parties that all the animals onboard have been vaccinated and are healthy. If you are concerned, consider getting your puppy transported by itself. While this is possibly a bit more pricey, a solo road trip with a professional pet shipper can be a safe and comfortable way for your puppy. Working with a marketplace-based provider like CitizenShipper can be an excellent tool for finding trustworthy shippers for a low price. All drivers are background-checked, and you can choose a driver based on reviews of previous customers. 

Probably the coziest way for you and your puppy is to transport it yourself in your car. You should always ensure that your puppy is not moving freely in the car but is safely secured in the back seat not to disrupt the driver. The safest way to transport a puppy is always a carrier attached securely to the car. They protect your puppy in case of a crash and keep them from moving around. 

Puppies can easily suffer from motion sickness, so it’s essential to pack some basics, like puppy pads, paper towels, and plastic bags, to clean up a possible mess they could make without any stress. Try to keep the car at a comfortable temperature – It’s hard for your puppy to cope with a too hot or too cold climate. If your puppy feels travel sick, it might drool and hang its head and get restless. Take a break if necessary. Usually, when a puppy is asleep, it can hold its bladder for one hour for every month of its age. Plus one hour, but when it’s awake, it may not be able to hold on. 


The best way to transport your puppy is not an easy question to answer. It depends strongly on the circumstances of transportation, and in every case, on how well you organize the journey. If you ever feel insecure about your decision-making, don’t forget to check in with your vet and contact experienced professionals for their opinion.

We wish your puppy a good and safe journey!

One thought on “What’s the Best Way to Transport a Puppy?

  1. What if the airline denied me transportation? They don’t want to carry the puppy on the plane, and it’s too small for the luggage compartment! Help

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