Are you moving a long distance and need a service to transport your pet? Have you heard of pet relocation services but aren’t quite sure how they work? With over 85 million pet owners, many pets are relocated every year due to family moves. Moving can be very stressful for your pet because it uproots their environment. 

Pet relocation companies love animals and work hard to provide a safe and comfortable experience for your pet during a move. We’ll explain how pet shipping works to help you understand the process and what you need to do if you decide to use the service.

Steps to Take Before Shipping Your Pet

Before your darling pet embarks on their journey to your new home, you’ll need to get a few things ready before your pet can travel. 

1. Prepare Pet Documentation

Your pet will need to have some essential documents that authorize that your pet is safe to travel. These documents include:

  • A certificate of veterinary inspection (CVIs) by a licensed and certified veterinarian, issued within ten days of the travel date.
  • A signed certificate of rabies vaccination, issued within 30 days of the travel date or a year for foreign travel.

If you are traveling to another country, there are additional documents you will need:

  • Signed certificate for various annual vaccinations
  • Quarantine kennel reservations
  • Import permits

And depending on which country you are shipping your pet, you may need country-specific documents that your pet relocation company will help you get.

Keep in mind some of these documents may take up to six weeks to process, so do not procrastinate getting foreign permits and documents.

If you contact your pet shipping company early, they can help you get all the necessary documentation. Depending on where you are traveling, a pet shipping company will need one to six weeks to arrange for your pet’s safe transportation.

2. Prepare Crate for Pet Travel

Some pet shipping companies prefer to use their crates to ensure the safety of your pet during transportation. Check with the company before you prepare your crate. If you would prefer to use your crate or they require you to provide a crate for your pet, here are some guidelines your crate must follow:

  • Must be big enough that the animal can sit, stand, and lie down comfortably.
  • Must have a solid floor in case your pet urinates during transit.
  • The top of the crate must have adequate ventilation.
  • Kennel opening must be at least 14% of the total wall space.
  • Slats are small enough that the animal cannot escape.
  • The door must close securely.
  • Must meet airline specifications.
  • Has an arrow to indicate which side up.
  • Signage declaring there is an animal inside and an address of the pet owner.
  • Handles and grips on the outside of the carrier for loading.

3. Tranquilizers

Giving your pet tranquilizers and sedation before traveling is heavily discouraged by The International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA). It can have severe side effects, including the death of your pet. 

Pet Shipping by air is the preferred method

How do I Ship a Pet to Another State?

The best way to ship a pet to another state is by flying your pet. Flying can be expensive but it is also the most direct and safest way for your pet to travel. By flying between states, your pet can land at their new destination the same day as their departure, putting the least amount of stress on your animal. 

To fly your pet, you have several options:

You can carry your pet on the plane with you.

Utilize a pet shipping company that will ensure the safety of your pet’s trip.

Fly your pet in the cargo area of the plane.

Ship your pet using a grounds pet carrier.

Can I Ship my Pet Without Me?

Yes, your pet can travel without you to your destination by traveling through the cargo services of an airline. These airlines allow pets to travel unaccompanied in their cargo area of the plane:






You’ll want to learn their specific policies, requirements, and rates for pet travel before booking your pet to ensure that your pet complies with the requirements.

Does FedEx Ship Pets?

According to FedEx policy, FedEx does not ship live pets. FedEx helps with some shipment of livestock, zoo animals, and horses, but these shipments are approved on an individual basis and are not a common occurrence.  

If you need to ship a pet, you’re better off contacting a pet shipping company that can coordinate and facilitate the best option for transporting your pet. All Paws Express is a trusted pet shipping company in the United States, specializing in international and domestic travel.

Process of Shipping your Pet by Air 

When shipping your pet by air, you should feed your pet at least four hours before the flight and note the time of their last meal. Your pet shipping company will have pre-flight procedures that may include home pick-up. 

How long does it take for your pet to ship?

This varies widely on how far away your destination will be. And pet shipping companies will have pre and post-flight procedures. Generally, travel is less than 24 hours.

What is the cost of shipping your pet?

The shipment cost depends on the size of your pet and its destination. You will need to pay for the ticket and fees by the shipping company. Talk to your pet relocation company for a quote.

Related Link: Domestic Pet Travel

What happens when you ship your pet?

The pet shipping company will:

  • Pick up your animal.
  • Take your animal to the airport and arrange all the travel details.
  • Make sure your pet is safe and secure on the plane.
  • Retrieve your pet when they land at their destination.
  • Kennel them until they can be retrieved or drop them off at their new home.

What authority and licenses are required for transporting your pets.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Most states, territories, and countries will require a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVIs) by an accredited veterinarian. 

And depending on your destination, there may be additional prerequisites, such as identification, vaccinations, tests, and certifications.

A white dog looking out the window

Which airline is best for pets?

According to a Reader’s Digest survey, Delta is the most pet-friendly airline. Delta allows your pet to fly with you for about $125 in an approved carrier. And they also allow your pet to fly unaccompanied as cargo depending on your destination. Other pet-friendly airlines include:

  • Southwest
  • American
  • United
  • Alaska
  • JetBlue
  • Allegiant
  • Frontier
  • Spirit
  • Hawaiian
  • Quantas

How stressful is flying for dogs?

A clinical study found that flying can be very stressful for dogs, with the loading and unloading process being the most stressful procedure. While flying can be stressful for your dog, it is also one of the safest ways for your animal to travel. To minimize the stress on your dog, you’ll need to research and prepare your dog for the trip. 

Using a pet shipping company can reduce the stress flying puts on your animal because the company understands the nuances of pet shipping and will optimize your pet’s environment and experience through detailed care.

Where do pets get stored on a plane?

If your pet is travelling with you in the cabin, then your pet will travel in a pressurized and temperature-controlled cargo area of the plane. Many of the airlines cater to pets and have specialists who assist and reduce the stress of your animal as it travels by cargo. 

Process of Shipping your Pet by Ground Transportation

While flying your pet is the preferred method because it is the least stressful way to transport a pet, you may decide to use the ground transportation method offered by your pet relocation company.

How long does it take for your pet to ship by Ground Transportation?

This will depend on the destination and whether your pet is riding by Group Transport or Private Transport

Using Group Transport, your pet travels with other animals and may make several stops before arriving, depending on the vehicle’s route. Private Transport ensures that your animal will be the only animal in the truck. However, you might need to pay more for Private Transport. 

Generally, this can take between 2-5 days, depending on the route.

Do you live in the Los Angeles area and need a pet tax service? Find out more about All Paws Express Pet Taxi.

Related Link: Learn More About All Paws Express

What is the cost of shipping your pet?

Ground shipping rates vary by destination. Some charge a flat rate or by mile. Talk to your pet shipping company to get a quote.

What happens when you ship your pet?

Once a route is determined, and the contract is signed, the pet shipping company will:

  • Provide detailed travel crate information.
  • Pick up your pet.
  • Transport your pet with necessary bathroom, eating, and exercise breaks.
  • Keep you up-to-date while your animal is en route.
  • Deliver your pet to their destination within 2-5 days.

What authority and licenses are required for transporting your pets.

Just like the airlines, your pet will need a CVI by an accredited veterinarian. Your pet shipping company will notify you of any additional licenses.

Pet Shipping is a Safe and Stress-free Transportation Solution

Using a professional pet shipping service is a safe, reliable, and stress-free way to transport your pet to their new home. While there may be some added fees to doing it yourself, you’ll be grateful for the knowledgeable and hassle-free service the company can provide. 

At All Paws Express, we love animals and strive to make your furry family members as comfortable as possible. Our care is in the details, giving your pet the love and attention they need during relocation. All Paws Express specializes in domestic and international travel for pets. A turnkey solution from pick to delivery, ensuring your pet has a safe and worry-free journey.

Do you need transportation services for your pet? Learn more about All Paws Express pet relocation services.
Related Link: Get an Estimate on Pet Relocation