Finding the perfect puppy is one thing, but having a puppy shipped home is another. Maybe you’re looking at a special breed from another country. Perhaps you found the perfect companion while traveling abroad but couldn’t bring them home.
Depending on how far away the breeder is, you may have to hire a ground or air transportation service. These services ensure safe travel between the breeder and your home.
Transporting a puppy is expensive and demands a lot of planning by the breeder and you, the future owner. Not only will you have to communicate details with the breeder, but you will have to deal with state-wide or international regulations concerning your pet’s health or vaccinations.
Ways to Transport a Puppy from a Breeder
New pet owners transport their dogs over long distances by ground or air. Ground services involve professional drivers with previous pet experience. Air travel is more complicated and requires coordination between breeders, owners, drivers, and airline services.
Shipping a Puppy with Ground Transportation
Ground transportation is a safe and reliable method of transportation between dog breeders and the owner. Many reputable breeders have procedures or connections to facilitate transportation. On the other hand, the breeder may leave it up to the owner.
If you’re looking for a ground pet transportation company there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Safety. The business should have proven driving certifications and training.
- Reliability. There are plenty of pet scammers out there, so make sure your transportation company is reputable and trustworthy.
- Comfort. Ask for photos and detailed descriptions of the facilities used for shipping dogs. Ask questions to make sure your puppy gets individual attention and proper care.
Ground transportation is usually the most convenient and cost-effective method of shipping puppies. Qualified drivers travel across short and long distances, often offering door-to-door service from breeder to owner.
Ground services are also safer than air transportation because they are less likely to expose puppies to extreme temperatures in the cargo hold. Pet drivers have fully functional automobiles with temperature control, so you can feel safe your puppy will stay in a healthy environment.
Shipping pets by ground is the best way to keep in contact with the pet’s transporter. Ground shipping companies can receive updates from their employees at all times. In contrast, there are many instances in air travel when you cannot contact the pet services as they fly from airport to airport.
Shipping a puppy by ground transport might be impractical if the pet is traveling long distances or overseas. In these cases, it’s unfair to put a puppy through a grueling journey. While traveling in a car can be less stressful than a plane’s cargo area, over the long term it can be very tiring for a puppy.
Another potential issue with ground services is the chance you accidentally pick an unreliable company. This is less common with air travel companies, which are much more regulated and fewer in number compared to ground services.
If you were to chance upon a poorly-run ground transportation service, there’s a chance your puppy could undergo an uncomfortable trip to your home, or worse.
Shipping a Puppy by Airplane
For people shipping their pup from far away or overseas, air travel is often the best option. There are two ways to handle this. You can go to the breeder and fly the puppy home yourself, or you can hire an “airplane nanny” service that will accompany the dog on all stages of the journey.
If your pet is traveling by air you’ll have to decide if they are traveling in the plane’s cargo area or if they can be stored as carry-on luggage. Small pets are usually accepted as a carry-on if their carrier bag or crate fits into the luggage compartment above or below your seat. If this isn’t an option, you’ll have to purchase a sturdy crate to store your puppy in the plane’s cargo area.
Air transport is the most convenient option for shipping puppies across long distances. In these cases, it’s cheaper and leaves less chance for accidents. Many commercial airlines are specialized in pet shipping. These airlines are trustworthy and experienced in handling paperwork and common issues. These services are an amazing option for someone who cannot travel with the pet themselves but want constant supervision.
One plus side of puppy shipping via carry-on luggage is that you can check on them over the flight and make sure they’re happy and healthy.
If your puppy is stored in the cargo hold, there’s a small chance it will be subjected to extreme temperature swings. Cargo areas generally don’t have good air conditioning, which can be bad news for young dogs or breeds with respiratory issues.
While air travel is usually less expensive than ground travel, you’ll have to purchase a carrier or crate to keep your puppy safe during the flight. These can be expensive, and require careful consideration. Make sure your puppy has enough room to stand, turn around, and lie down in the crate. It’s also nice for the crate or carrier to have a padded floor so your puppy stays comfortable.
Another consideration for flying is that there aren’t opportunities for your puppy to leave the crate. You simply have to wait for the end of the flight. This is where ground travel takes the upper hand since drivers can stop to take a break and let puppies get some fresh air.
How to Prepare Your Puppy for the Trip?
The first step in preparing for your new family member’s journey is to organize all the necessary documents to make their trip legal and safe. This includes taking the puppy for a comprehensive vet check to ensure their overall health and vaccinations are up to date.
In the days before the pet is traveling, you should give them lots of exercise and positive attention. This will help stave off loneliness or boredom in the long journey ahead.
Another less commonly known trick to prevent travel sickness is to avoid feeding your pet two to three hours before traveling. Travelling is stressful for a pet and can lead to upset digestion. For this reason, it’s best to start without a full stomach. Check out this webpage for more tips on preparing your puppy for a long journey.
A microchip, tag, and well-labeled crate will prevent your pet from getting lost in transit from the breeder to your front door. You should also double-check that the crate is in good condition with proper feeding bottles so your pet can stay hydrated during the trip. Finally, prepare a bag full of your puppy’s food to eat while traveling. Give it to the transport service when they receive your puppy, along with any acceptable blankets and toys.
Questions to Ask the Pet Transportation Company:
Some of the most commonly asked questions for pet transportation companies include:
- What precautions do you take against overheating or overcooling?
- How can I communicate with the driver during the trip?
- How often do your drivers stop for rest and relief for the animals?
- How much experience do your employees have with pet transportation?
- How will you ensure my pet’s safety?
- What type of training do your employees receive?
- How do you ensure the safety of the driver’s vehicle?
What Travel Expenses Should I Consider?
In many cases, crates are not necessary for ground travel. This isn’t the same for air travel. Airlines have strict regulations concerning the dimensions and features of crates stored in the cargo area. Similarly, pet carriers need to be a certain size to fit comfortably as carry-on luggage. Every country and airline has specific instructions, so always confirm with their representatives before settling on a crate or carrier purchase.
Carriers are less-expensive than crates and are priced somewhere between 50$ and 200$. As crates are more durable and larger, they are priced higher, usually somewhere between 100$ and 300$ depending on their features. Many airlines require special water and food feeders fixed inside the crate, which could cost you up to 50$.
The cost of your puppy’s transit can range from 500$ to 5000$ depending on the circumstances. If the puppy only needs a short car ride within a few hundred kilometers, you could spend around 300$. Another cheap option is bringing your puppy as carry-on baggage, which would cost you up to 200$.
Pet travel becomes more expensive when a person wants to ship a puppy overseas. Airlines and pet accompaniment services set a high price tag since it involves coordinated planning and more complicated travel routes. Between airfare, vet checks, health certificates, and quarantine periods, it’s not abnormal to see the fares rise to 1000$ or more.
It’s normal for countries to apply fees for importing or traveling with a puppy. These fees are minimal, ranging between 5$ and 30$ in North America. Countries in Europe have higher prices for customs clearance, ranging between 60$ and 800$, depending on the pet and other taxes. Custom’s fees will depend on the dog’s size, breed, and country of origin.
Before and After Vet Visits
All puppies need to be issued a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection within 10 days of traveling by air. This is a good time to check up on vaccinations and ensure your puppy has a microchip. While most states waive rabies vaccination requirements for puppies under 14 weeks old, you should always check to make sure.
There are two reasons for microchipping your puppy before traveling. First, it makes it easier to keep track of vaccinations by updating the microchip on the pet registry. Second, microchips make it much easier to relocate your pet should they get lost while traveling.
Once the puppy arrives at your home, you should schedule another visit to a vet. A comprehensive examination will ensure your puppy hasn’t sustained any injury on the way to their new home.
Cross-border pet transportation requires special planning and coordination with national governments. It’s normal for countries to require entry permits for puppies. These regulations also require rabies vaccinations, travel information/documentation, and even quarantine periods. Additionally, your breeder’s kennel must comply with the government’s health criteria.
Many government permits are time-sensitive, meaning you can only ship your puppy within a specific window of time from the day the permit is issued.
With so many complications involved in cross-country travel, you should start your documents months in advance. Especially now, post-pandemic, when airlines are struggling, you should expect at least a few delays in confirming documents and government permits. The best thing to do is to create a folder with all the locations, documents, and travel plans associated with your pet’s trip. Having this organized and on hand will make it easier to make changes as complications arise.
International Health Documents
Each country has separate requirements concerning health documentation. For instance, the EU has different requirements for shipping services from within or outside the UK. The standard requirements include a certification of rabies vaccination, a pet passport, and a microchip. Other countries may require a written declaration signed by the new owner when somebody else is moving the puppy. Without this declaration, your puppy’s trip could be delayed or even unsuccessful.
1. How do you transport a puppy from a breeder?
You can hire a ground service or air transportation for relocating your new puppy. Ground services deliver your pet by automobile, and are a good option for shorter distances within the country. Air travel is best for puppies traveling from overseas or across long distances.
If you’re organized and start weeks ahead it should be fairly straightforward to organize pet transportation. To make things more convenient, many breeders provide pet transport services or at least have reliable contacts in the industry. Always check with your breeder before starting transportation plans to avoid common mistakes and to connect with trustworthy companies. If you trust their puppies, there’s a good chance you’ll also trust breeders’ shipping.
2. How do you transport a puppy?
If you’re traveling with your puppy by air, you’ll need to purchase a carrier or crate. Carriers are appropriate for dogs small enough to fit under the seat or in the luggage compartments above your seat. Crates sent to the plane’s cargo area need to be large and strong enough to comply with the airline’s regulations.
Puppies traveling by ground transport often don’t need a crate or carrier. Most puppies sit in the back seat on a comfortable blanket for most of the drive. If that seems too risky, you can also store the puppy in a carrier or crate while driving.