Pet Transportation Services

If you’re moving locally, hauling your reptilian, amphibian, feline, and canine family members to your new home is usually as easy as loading them into the car and making a short drive.

For long-distance interstate and international moves, however, getting them where they need to safely usually require the assistance of seasoned professionals.

But like all good things, pet transportation services aren’t cheap.

And though you may consider coordinating your pet move yourself, it’s a really bad idea for a number of reasons – especially if you’re moving to another country.

In fact, transporting pets is full of confusing regulations, and if everything isn’t done just right, your reunion with your pets could be postponed – sometimes indefinitely.


Insider’s Tip: Most reputable pet movers are accredited by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and members of the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA).

Check out IPATA’s website to –

Pet Shipping – How it Works

Though most of us can’t afford them, personal assistants are all the rage with well-heeled movers and shakers.

Pet transportation companies won’t grab your morning latte or pick up your dry cleaning, but they do provide a wide range of invaluable services you probably can’t (and shouldn’t) undertake on your own.
And considering all they do, their prices aren’t that outrageous.

Here we’re talking about –

  • Preparing customs paperwork
  • Booking flights with partner airlines
  • Schedule national and international ground transportation where applicable
  • Arranging proper shipping containers like kennels and cages
  • In-transit veterinary and grooming services (in some cases)
  • Making sure your animals have the proper vaccinations before traveling
  • Concierge services
  • Door-to-door delivery

Did You Know?

When moving to another country (and some states like Alaska and Hawaii) your pets will need to endure a mandatory quarantine that may last a month or more.

The Pros and Cons of Pet Shipping

The Pros

If you’ve vetted carefully and chosen a reputable company, the pros of using their services will far outweigh the cons.

  • Let’s take a look at each.
  • Pros of Using Pet Transportation Services
  • Staffed by experienced professionals
  • One point of contact throughout your move
  • Familiar with both state and international regulations
  • You’ll know what to expect at each stage of the process
  • Keep you up-to-date on unexpected developments
  • Partner with top-notch service providers around the world
  • Reasonable prices considering their services

The Cons

  • Nefarious companies and scams abound
  • Choosing an inexperienced or shady company can turn getting your animals into a nightmare
  • In many cases, you’ll have to hire a pet shipper because many airlines only transport animals being shipped by licensed companies
  • There’s still a lot you’ll have to do to get your animal prepared for transport

Like it is with other segments of the moving industry, becoming an informed consumer, researching the companies you’re considering working with, and leaving yourself enough time to get everything done are key.

Helpful Pet Shipping Tips

Admit it, you’re worried about moving your pets.

It’s understandable, because though humans comprehend the moving process, if pets could talk when being handed over to a stranger at the airport, they’d probably ask –

“Why are you abandoning me?”

Yeah, it’s sad, but there are things you can do to minimize the impact.

21 Tips For Moving With Pets

Top Pet Shipping Companies

Air Animal

Founded by a veterinarian, for more than four decades Air Animal has been a premier provider of pet transportation services.

Airpets America

According to their website, the top priority at Airpets America is the health, safety, and wellbeing of your pet.

Happy Tails

For more than 25 years Happy Tails Travel, Inc. has been a leader in domestic and international pet shipping, and many of their services are tailored to military personnel.

Pet transportation FAQs

1. What are pet concierge services?

With concierge service, a shipping company representative will meet you at origin and destination airports to ensure that your pets get where they need to be safely and with minimal hassle.

2. Will someone from the pet shipping company accompany my pet on the flight?

No, since they’ll be relegated to a special cargo area designated for animals, they’ll be on their own during the flight.

3. How will the shipping company transport my pets?

Your pets will be transported on a commercial airliner or via truck for the ground transportation portion of the move from your old home to the airport, and from the airport to your new home.

Both modes of transportation are climate controlled and have plenty of fresh air to keep your pets safe and comfortable.

4. Can I move my pet myself?

You can if you’re moving locally or to another state, but if your new home is in another country you’d be much better off hiring a pet shipping company.

Remember, most airlines only carry animals being shipped by licensed pet transporters.

5. Will my pet need to be quarantined?

In many cases, they will have to be quarantined, and the regulations vary greatly from one country to the next – yet another reason to hire professionals.

6. How will the Covid-19 pandemic affect my pet move?

Check out Air Animal’s COVID-19 Pet Moving FAQs to see how the coronavirus is affecting pet transportation services.

7. Can I move my pets to Alaska and Hawaii?

Yes, but check out the following websites first.

State of Hawaii Animal Industry Division

Bringing Pets To and From Alaska

Not what you were looking for?

Check out other categories that can help you find the information you need!

See All
Hide All