Understanding the Cost of Pet Relocation: A Comprehensive Guide to Budgeting for Your Pet’s Move
How Much Does Pet Relocation Cost? A Simple Equation & Examples
Whether you're planning to move a pet (or multiple pets) across the country or the world, you've likely struggled to find a straight-up answer to the question, "How much does pet relocation cost?" Just like human travel, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but you can estimate the total cost of relocating your pet(s) based on a few key factors:
- How many pets you’re relocating
- The type of pet (cat, dog, bird, etc.) and breed
- The location they’re moving from
- The destination they’re moving to
- Whether they will be moving by ground transportation, air, or both
All of these factors will influence your total pet relocation cost.
No matter how many pets you’re moving or how far, two types of costs come into play:
- Required costs: All of the fees and expenses you will need to pay to relocate your pet safely. Required prices are non-negotiable and include import fees, vet visits, a safe travel crate, airline or ground transport, and quarantine fees. Required costs are typically at least 3x higher for an international relocation compared with a domestic pet move. These are costs you will incur whether you handle the entire move on your own or hire a company like PetRelocation.
- Pet relocation service costs: You may hire a company like ours to help you coordinate your pet’s move. If you hire a pet relocation company, this cost will vary based on your chosen company and the level of support they provide. As in any service-based industry, you typically get what you pay for.
Calculating Your Total Pet Relocation Cost
In its simplest form, the cost of your pet relocation can be calculated like so:
If you choose to DIY the pet relocation process, the Pet Relocation Service Costs will be $0. PetRelocation charges a transparent fixed Service Fee if you decide to hire support. Other companies may not be as up-front about what they charge and could tack on sneaky additional fees throughout the process, so make sure you read the fine print.
Let’s take a closer look at each component of this equation to help you calculate the cost of your pet relocation.
Step 1: Estimating Required Costs
To give you a sense of the range, we’ll compare a simple domestic pet relocation with long-distance international pet relocation.
The required costs to relocate one small dog across the country by airplane within the United States are around $1,500 on average. These required costs cover the following:
To move the same small dog across the country by ground transport could cost around the same or more, depending on whether you choose private or shared transport ground transport. We always present and discuss these options with our clients. The required costs of private ground transport for one dog making a cross-country move typically land around $3,500.
In contrast, the required costs to relocate one small dog from the U.S. to Singapore are around $5,000 on average. These required costs are more complex and cover the following:
As you can see, moving a pet internationally can be a much more complex and costly endeavor than a domestic move. There are a few other factors to keep in mind that will impact your required costs, too:
- A large dog typically costs more than a small dog to relocate
- A cat typically costs the same amount as a small dog to relocate
- The price per additional pet generally is much lower than the cost of the first pet
You can visit these pages on our site for a much more detailed breakdown of the required pet relocation costs for cats and dogs:
How much does it cost to ship a dog? >
How much does it cost to ship a cat? >
Step 2: Adding the Pet Relocation Service FEE
If you choose to DIY the pet relocation process, this section won’t apply to you, and you can calculate the total cost of your pet relocation based solely on the expenses required. We maintain many free resources on our blog and destination pages to help you plan your pet’s move.
If you choose to hire our team for Complete Pet Relocation Support, we charge a transparent fixed Service Fee per pet based on the type of move:
|Type of Move||Service Fee for First Pet||Service Fee Per Additional Pet|
This Service Fee pays for an expert pet relocation coordinator to arrange your pet’s move and guide you through the entire process. Your coordinator will do things like:
- Coordinate with your vet to ensure your pet’s health and safety before they travel
- Book your pet’s travel by ground, air, or both
- Guide you through all necessary applications and paperwork
- Advise on the right travel crate to purchase
- Coordinate logistics and update you throughout your pet’s move
- Communicate with all travel partners (i.e., drivers, boarding facilities, quarantine facilities) before and during your pet’s move
- Help you pivot as needed if any travel changes occur (these things happen all the time!)
- Provide guidance to help your pet get acclimated to their new home
Other pet relocation companies may charge a lower fee, but it may not be fixed; many companies won’t provide an accurate quote upfront; instead, they will increase their prices every time there’s an unexpected travel change or additional paperwork requirement, and they may also mark up the cost of transportation significantly.
Before hiring, ensure you fully understand a company’s terms and conditions. You should also ask them for a full explanation of what they will—and won’t—help you with. While PetRelocation provides Complete Relocation Support (we’ll guide you and your pet through every step from door to door), most other companies will solely book your pet’s transportation and assist with some paperwork. You may not have designated support staff to update you before, during, or after your pet’s travels.
Step 3: Calculating Your Total Pet Relocation Cost
Returning to the same example we used earlier, if you’re moving one small dog within the United States by airplane and choose to hire PetRelocation for Complete Support, your total pet relocation cost will look something like this:
If you’re moving a small dog from the United States to Singapore and choose to hire PetRelocation for Complete Support, your total pet relocation cost will look something like this:
Remember, These Are Just Estimates!
To be safe, you should plan to spend more on your pet’s relocation than the exact required costs you calculate online. Import and quarantine fees change, airline tickets and ground transportation prices fluctuate, and there’s always a chance that your pet’s travel plans could change—just as yours have many times before!
If you hire PetRelocation, we will provide you with a required cost range based on the best and worst-case scenarios we’ve seen in our 15+ years of experience so you can be prepared financially.
Please visit our pricing page if you’re interested in learning more about our service offerings, pricing, and what’s included. Whether we can assist you, another company is a better fit, or you decide to DIY your pet’s move, we recommend exploring our blog and destination pages for answers to any questions that pop up along the way.
We wish your pet(s) safe and happy travels!