Traveling with pets can be frustrating for many pet owners, especially if you’re dealing with a puppy. As your pet’s guardian, you want to ensure that the trip is as smooth and pleasant as possible.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on transporting your puppy.

Reasons to Ship a Puppy

There are many reasons why people ship a puppy, including:

  • Moving to another state or country – Relocating is a big, stressful change for everyone involved, including the puppy. If you’re still settling in or searching for a living space, ship your puppy at a later date.
  • Long-term assignment for work – Your job can give opportunities like temporarily living in a new state or country for long periods. Consider shipping your puppy after you’ve adjusted to your new schedule and routine to minimize stress for your pet.
  • Extended vacation – Shipping your puppy ensures a safe and comfortable trip in a climate-controlled environment. Arrange for your pet’s travel and meet them at your destination when you’re ready.
  • Puppy adoption or purchase – Shipping a pet is easier for everyone if you’re adopting, inheriting, or buying a puppy. Hiring dog transport services make everything more simple, especially if you and your new furry companion are several states apart.

Types of Transportation 

By Car

Traveling by car with your four-legged friend is the most common option. It keeps your puppy in familiar surroundings and allows you to monitor them closely.

This mode of transportation gives you personal control over the trip as well as responsibilities, so make sure to keep in mind the following.

  • Use a travel crate – Get a crash-rated crate to ensure safety. Gradually acclimate your dog to the crate by taking them on short trips at least a week before your move. You want to increase the time he spends in the car gradually, so they don’t panic during your big road trip.
  • Be mindful of your dog’s needs – When you’re on the road, remember that you can go for a long time without a bathroom break, but your puppy cannot. Stop every two to three hours to take a break for bathroom needs and exercise.
  • Ensure your dog has regular access to water – Prepare your puppy’s road trip essentials beforehand, including a water bottle that your pet can easily drink from without making a mess in the car.
  • Plan your route – If your road trip lasts longer than a day, make sure to book nights at dog-friendly properties.

Shipping your puppy is impractical or even impossible in some cases, so consider turning to dog moving services to make the experience as pleasant as possible for everyone involved.

Working with Ground Shipping Companies

Many ground shipping companies offer door-to-door services, offering options such as:

  • Private Transport – Your puppy goes in solo travel and is the only animal in the truck or van
  • Group Transport – Your puppy will travel with other animals on the road

Traveling by ground is better for shorter distances and more budget-friendly than plane rides. If you’re pondering hiring ground transport company for your pet, ask the following:

  • How many stops are there in the route – Keep in mind that the provider will make stops unless you specifically paid for a solo trip. More stops mean longer travel time, potentially adding stress for your puppy.
  • How many animals will be traveling with your puppy – Depending on your dog’s personality, the company can be overwhelming for them. You can make the trip more pleasant for your pet by going for solo travel if possible.
  • How will they be keeping a climate-controlled environment – All shipping companies are required to climate-control their van, however not all options are the same. Ask about their ventilation system and how they maintain temperature.
  • What the schedule is for bathroom needs, exercise, and feeding – Your dog needs to be fed properly and given a break for bathroom and exercise needs every two to three hours, especially if the trip is longer than five hours. Ask if they walk the dog or just let them loose in an area. The latter may be dangerous and stressful for your pet.
  • What are the sleeping arrangements if the trip takes more than a day – Find out if the driver will sleep in the van with the dogs if the trip is overnight, in case your dog needs special attention.

Keep in mind that being in an unfamiliar environment alone is stressful and can be traumatic for your puppy, even when the ground transport company has taken all precautions. Consider shipping your pet by air for longer distances as it is the safest and least stressful option.

By Air

When you’re traveling by air, there are three ways you can fly with your dog, such as:

  1. Your dog stays with you in your cabin – Your pet must be able to fit in a crate under the seat. The number of pets in the cabin is limited to two to three, depending on the airline.
  2. Your dog is on the same flight but is in the cargo area – Large dogs fly in the cargo area if they’re too big to stay in the cabin. You can rest easy knowing that airplane cargos have the same pressurized environment as cabins, with their temperature between 50 to 70 degrees.
  3. Your dog flies independently in the cargo area – Flying your dog unaccompanied is possible, but the plane ticket price is higher. The price depends on the size and weight of your dog’s crate.

Make sure to check with your airline beforehand if they’ll accept your puppy. Some do not accept certain breeds, usually breeds with short, squashy muzzles like pugs and bulldogs.

Flying your dog has a lot of requirements, including medical clearance and a crate that adheres to IATA regulations.

Steps on Shipping Your Puppy

Meet with a Veterinarian

Prior to traveling, get your puppy medically cleared. Take note of the following:

  • Your dog must have at least two rabies shots, with the most recent administered at least 90 days before arriving at your location. Puppies can get rabies shots as young as 14 weeks.
  • Make sure to get an OIE-FAVN blood test from your vet for proof that your pet has enough rabies antibodies.
  • Get your pet microchipped for their safety and your peace of mind.

Get the Paperwork in Order

Make sure to check the pet transport requirements of your destination thoroughly; it varies per state. For instance, Hawaii requires you to send a signed health certificate, a notarized “Dog and Cat Import Form,” and other documents to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture website at least ten days before your pet’s arrival.

Make the Necessary Reservation and Preparation

Whether you decide to transport your puppy by air or third-party services, call beforehand to make reservations and ask for specific rules. Prepare accordingly. If you’re going by air, ask the flight attendant to inform you as soon as your pet has been boarded. 

Work with Pet Moving Professionals

Make the travel experience as stress-free as possible for you and your four-legged companion. Pet Van Lines has more than 15 years of experience with pet transport, so we know what to do to make your puppy safe and comfortable in transit.

Contact us today for a free pet transportation quote.

Call Now Button

You have a nice website. Would you like us to make it even better FOR FREE? Five hours of free web development services. Find me on

AUTHOR: Robert Adams
SUBJECT: Pet Van Lines Website Contact
[1_Topic:] => Comments
[2_Name] => Robert Adams
[3_Email] =>
[4_Phone] => 339912738
[5_Questions/Comments] => You have a nice website. Would you like us to make it even better FOR FREE? Five hours of free web development services. Find me on
[entry_title] => Contact Pet Movers
[entry_permalink] =>
[feedback_id] => bcb2e22894a92d658e265dec1a1c95f7