How to Ship a Dog

Are you getting a new puppy soon but have to go through the shipping process and aren’t sure where to start? If you said yes, then you are in luck because I am here to help you. This article is going to teach you how to ship a dog by car or airplane. I will also give you an estimate of the cost breakdown for these options as well.

How To Ship A Dog

How to Ship a Dog

Now more than ever, it is extremely easy to get dogs or puppies shipped from place to place. There are many services that you can use to get your dog shipped to you. We will talk about your options in this next section.

Drive Your Dog

One of the easiest ways is to drive the dog to the destination yourself or have a friend transport your dog for you. Your dog will feel calmer in your car with you inside of it. Your dog could still be nervous but not as nervous if they were in a strange car with a strange person.

This is a great option if you are taking a shorter trip. If you are going across the country, it might be better to use a different mode of transportation. If you are the one transporting your dog, you will be able to take your dog out on as many breaks as you would like along the trip.

This option, of course, won’t necessarily cost you very much as you’re doing the transportation yourself and not paying for it. If you don’t feel like taking a road trip with your dog and want to travel in a faster way, you can check out some of these other options.

Shipping Company

Another great way to get your dog shipped by a company. The company will do the car transportation process for you if you do not have the time to do it yourself. This service can be extremely helpful to get your new puppy you purchased from a different state to you.

There are so many different companies that can provide dog shipping services to you. This type of shipping is actually much cheaper than shipping a dog on an airplane. There are a lot of different things to think about when it comes to using a shipping company, such as:

  • How many stops might the vehicle make?
  • Will other animals or dogs be traveling together?
  • Does the vehicle have heat and cooling for the dogs?
  • How many times do they let the dogs out to use the bathroom?
  • Feeding times?
  • Sleeping arrangements for the dog?

These are perfect questions to look for or ask the shipping company before you decide on this option. You want your dog to be well taken care so go with a company that can give your dog plenty of exercise and accommodate the dog comfortably on the journey.

The typical cost to ship a dog through ground transport can range between $250 to over $1,000. This can go up even further if you want private transport and certain stipulations for feedings and exercise.

Remember that you will likely need a good quality dog crate or kennel that can be placed inside of the vehicle for your dog to be housed in on the journey.

Ground Shipping For Dogs

Travel by Plane

To get your dog to a place or you quickly, it can be shipped by plane. There are three different ways that a dog can travel by plane, and they are; in the cabin, cargo area of the plane you’re in, or on another place in the cargo area.

In the Cabin

If you have a small dog breed and a crate that weighs less than twenty pounds, the dog will be allowed to go onto the plane. Then the crate can slide under the seat in front of you on the plane. Each airline has its own rules and guidelines for that. There will likely be a fee that you will have to pay too to have your dog on the plane with you.

Cargo Area

Dogs that are bigger than twenty pounds will have to be stored and kept in the cargo hold. Many pet owners are cautious when it comes to storing pets in a cargo hold. For one, if your dog has trouble breathing, such as a pug or bulldog, then I suggest not letting that dog ride in a cargo area. This is because of the high elevation.

So, dogs have been known to die in a cargo area which is also concerning for pet owners. Make sure you get a sturdy crate that will not buckle inside the cargo hold. You will also want to write in big letters somewhere on the crate “live animal”; that way, the person loading it on the plane will know to put it somewhere safe and nothing on top of it.

It is always important to make sure your dog has a collar with a tag on it that has your information in it. Your dog should have this on them all the time already, but especially when it is going on an airplane.

Don’t feed your dog for a few hours before the flight, as your dog could get sick and throw up the crate, which would be terrible. Make sure your dog has a water source that won’t spill all over inside the crate. A hamster water bottle can attach to the inside of the crate, and your dog can get some water out of that.

Just remember to take a lot of precautions when shipping your dog in cargo. This may be the only option for you, and if it is, then take precautions and make sure you label your dog with a tag and crate. You don’t want to lose your dog like lost luggage.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Dog?

The cost of shipping a dog from place to place can vary depending on a lot of factors. The weight of your dog, the distance your dog needs to travel, cost of airfare or gas if driving by car, and the cost of a carry you will have to purchase will all affect the price.

Ground Shipping Price

Typically, you will spend between $250 to $1,000 for a transportation company to ship your dog. This, of course, can go up past $1,000 if you want a private service to transport the dog and if you have a lot of exercise or sleeping requests.

*Obviously, a cross-country trip will cost more than if you are just transporting a dog a few states away.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Dog

Plane Transportation Price

If your dog will be flying by airplane, whether in the cabin or cargo area, it will truly depend on just how big the dog is. A smaller dog will cost significantly less than if you are shipping a large breed dog. The price range for a flight will also depend on the airline. You can expect to pay between $275 to over $1,000 for each domestic flight.

Extra Prices

You may have to purchase an approved airline crate, especially if your dog is traveling in the cargo hold. Each airline has its own requirements when it comes to crates that are allowed in the cargo holds. If your crate does not meet those standards, you may need to purchase a new one which can cost up to $500

Some dogs need to be up to date on vaccinations before being allowed to travel on an airplane or by a transporter. If your dog is not up to date on rabies or shots, you will need to get a veterinarian appointment which can range in price from $75 to $600.


Shipping your dog, whether you are moving or expecting a new pet, can be very stressful and a lot of work. Now you know how to ship a dog more effectively with these tips. If you are not transporting the dog yourself, it can get very costly. If you plan on getting a puppy, soon start budgeting for the expense to get the puppy to you.

I hope you found this article on shipping dogs and the cost of shipping dogs helpful. Let us know if you have gad to get a dog shipped to you and how much you paid.

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