What’s The Cheapest Way to Ship a Dog?

Adaeze Nwakaeze Adaeze Nwakaeze · Updated July 1, 2024

Ensure Your Furry Friend's Comfort!

  • Fast and easy
  • Only pay when you book
Shipping, Dog

. Traveling with your beloved pup can be expensive. You are dealing with the cost of moving yourself and boom! There’s Fido’s to think of as well. Whether you are driving or flying, transporting your pup can add up. And for most pet parents, finding the most cheapest way to ship a dog is top of mind.

Well – the good news is that you don’t have to completely break the bank to get your pup from point A to point B!

With the right knowledge and a great pet transportation service, you can keep costs down while still making sure your doggo is comfortable and safe on their journey. Read on to find out the cheapest way to transport a dog.

Dog Transport Methods: Which is the Cheapest?

The first step in finding the cheapest way to transport a dog is understanding your options. Depending on how far your furry friend will be traveling, you may have several choices.

#1. Air Travel

Air travel is the most expensive option for transporting your pup, but it may be necessary if your pet is traveling internationally or to a long distance. Most airlines that allow pets on board have strict regulations about size, breed and other requirements. You will also have to pay for your pup’s ticket, which can cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the airline and distance.

But the costs do not end at tickets, as you must also factor in the cost of a pet carrier and other necessary items. Not to mention the overwhelming amount of paperwork (health and vaccination certificates, import permits) that is often required by airlines — all of which can add to the overall cost.

Costs aside, flying may not be the most ideal method of transportation for dogs. The entire situation can be quite taxing on them, as they are required to remain in their carrier amidst an unfamiliar and loud environment. Plus, you — the pet parents, may need to brace yourself for the possibility of delays, cancellations and other issues that may arise while flying.

Again, air travel may not be the best option for your pup, depending on their age and size. Many airlines will not accept puppies under eight weeks or dogs over a certain size. Same for brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds such as Pugs, Bulldogs and Shih Tzus. These breeds are more susceptible to breathing problems at high altitudes, so airlines do not accept them — regardless of the cost.

If your pup is eligible to fly, it’s important to read up on airline regulations and policies before booking. Doing research ahead of time can help you avoid expensive fees, as airlines often charge extra for overweight carriers and other items.

#2. Ground Transport

Ground transportation is a much more affordable alternative to flying with your pup and can be done in various ways. You can drive your pup yourself, transport them on a train, or hire a pet transportation service to do it for you – which is usually the most convenient option.

Driving Your Pet Yourself

DIY pet transport method sounds good until you factor in the cost of gas, hotels and other items that you may need along the way — this can incur costs that are way more than expected. Not only that, but it can also be physically tiring for you and emotionally taxing for your pup in case the journey is too long. Plus, you may need to make several stops for bathroom breaks and meals, which can pose a security challenge if you are traveling alone.

Train Travel

Taking your pup on the train is also a relatively affordable option, but it’s important to ensure that the train you are traveling on allows pets like cats and dogs. While the train ticket may be cheaper than flying, the cost of pet crate and other items may add up quickly. Plus, you may need to ensure that your pup is comfortable during the ride, as train cars can be loud and crowded – making it difficult for them to relax. Again, you may also need to factor in the cost of additional items such as food, toys and treats.

So while train travel may be cheaper than air travel, it may still be quite costly depending on the duration of your journey.

Hiring a Pet Transportation Service

Considering the hassles and costs of DIY and Air travel, hiring a pet transportation service may be your best option. These services provide safe and comfortable transport for pets, so you can rest assured that your pup is in good hands.

Depending on your budget, services may offer various packages, including door-to-door delivery, VIP pet transport service and more — which are significantly cheaper than flying. Although you may find traditional pet transport services in your local area, the most cost-effective option may be finding a pet transport service through an online pet transport marketplace.

An online marketplace allows you to compare and choose from various pet transport services, so you can find one that fits your budget. And this is exactly what CitizenShipper does. You can get quotes from professional pet transport services, compare them and make an informed decision based on cost and quality. This way, there is no monopoly on the market and you can get the best possible transport service without breaking the bank. So, if you’re looking for the cheapest way to transport a dog, consider hiring a pet transport service through CitizenShipper – it’s fast, convenient, and most importantly – cost-effective.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Pet Transportation

Let’s face it — transporting a dog can really add up. But several factors may affect the cost of pet transportation. No one likes to be surprised by hidden charges and additional costs, so it’s important to understand what factors influence the price of transporting a pup. The reality is that, regardless of how economical a service may appear, the total cost can depend on several factors, such as:

#1. Dog’s Size and Weight

A lot of people do not realize that the size and weight of their pup can influence the cost. But the reality is that certain sizes and weights require specialized carriers and additional equipment, which can significantly increase the cost. And that’s only half the battle. Your pup’s size may also determine how much space they take up in the car or aircraft, which can also lead to extra costs.

#2. Distance

The farther you are traveling with your pup, the more costly it will be to transport them. Of course, this is a no-brainer, especially when you are traveling via air or over long distances. Since most transport services charge by the mile, the cost of transportation will increase as the distance increases. But if you opt for a marketplace like CitizenShipper, you can find transporters from near and far who can provide you with a competitive rate – saving you lots of money in the process.

#3. The Time of Year

Time is a major factor when it comes to the cost of pet transportation. During peak travel seasons (such as summer, Christmas and New Year’s), you may find that prices are higher than normal due to increased demand. In addition, certain airlines and transport services may charge additional fees for holiday travel, so keep that in mind when planning your trip.

#4. Transport Method

Ultimately, the type of transport you choose will determine the cost. For example, if you are looking for a budget-friendly way to transport your pup, opting for a road trip or train ride may be the most economical option. On the other hand, if you want to travel long distances in a short time, air travel may be the best choice — just be ready to pay a bit more to cover the extra costs.

#5. Type of Ground Transport Service

Believe it or not, the type of service you choose can also influence the cost. For instance, if you are looking for a more luxurious experience, you may opt to hire a pet transport service that offers door-to-door delivery, or a VIP service may cost more than a basic, one-way service.

Of course, these services come with extra charges — but they can certainly be worth it if you want to ensure your pup has the best possible experience. But if you prefer to go with the regular pet rideshare, you don’t have to worry about any of this – just pay the standard transport fee and you’re good to go.

At the end of the day, you want to ensure that any pet transport service you choose is reliable, trustworthy and provides the best possible care for your pup — regardless of the cost.

#6. Additional Services

Think of the additional services like a cherry on top of the transportation sundae. Depending on the company, you can get a variety of extra services for an added fee. These can include pet insurance, extra food or water for the journey, kenneling, overnight layovers and a pickup and drop-off service. These are all great options if you want to ensure your pup is as comfortable as possible during their journey — but again, these services come with extra costs. So you might have to pay a bit more if you want them.

How to Find Affordable Pet Transport Service on CitizenShipper

All across the country, pet owners just like you are looking for the most economical way to transport their beloved fur babies while still ensuring a safe and comfortable journey. Fortunately, CitizenShipper is here to help. Our marketplace connects pet owners with experienced, reliable transporters who offer competitive rates and a wide range of services.

We make it easy to compare rates and services. That way, you can find the perfect transporter for your needs and budget. That’s not all; you also enjoy other value add-ons like a $1000 Pet Protection Plan, 24/7 First Vet Services, a messaging system, vetted drivers and a competitive bidding system that allows multiple drivers to bid on your transport request.

Here is how it works:

  • Visit our site and create an account.
  • Enter your pet’s travel details, such as your pet’s origin and destination points.
  • Receive multiple bids in seconds.
  • Search through the profiles of different transport companies. Compare their services to find the one that best suits your needs.
  • Pick the transporter with the most reasonable rate and book your pet’s journey.


Finding an affordable way to transport your pup doesn’t have to be a hassle. With CitizenShipper, you can easily connect with experienced and reliable transporters that suit your needs — and your budget. Factor in the cost of additional services and products when budgeting for your pet’s transport.

Give your pet an unforgettable journey at an affordable price — try CitizenShipper now! Post your pet’s travel details today and get multiple bids in seconds.