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 across 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, there are two types of costs that come into play:

  • Required costs: All of the fees and expenses you will need to pay to safely relocate your pet. Required costs are non-negotiable and include things like import fees, vet visits, a safe travel crate, airline or ground transport fees, 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 choose to hire a pet relocation company like ours to help you coordinate your pet’s move. If you choose to hire a pet relocation company, this cost will vary based on the company you choose and the level of support they provide. As is the case 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:

Required Costs + Pet Relocation Service Costs = Total Cost 

If you choose to DIY the pet relocation process, the Pet Relocation Service Costs will be $0. If you choose to hire support, PetRelocation charges a transparent fixed Service Fee. 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 own 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:

  • Preparatory vet visits (which you will typically pay out of pocket, aside from vaccines covered by pet insurance)
  • Check-in, pick up, and delivery services during your pet’s travels
  • Flight or ground transport costs—which can be much pricier for pets than humans
  • A travel crate that meets airline requirements

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:

  • Preparatory vet visits (which you will typically pay out of pocket, aside from vaccines covered by pet insurance)
  • Check in, pick up and delivery services during your pet’s travels
  • Flight and ground transport costs—which can be much pricier for pets than humans
  • A travel crate that meets airline and ground transport requirements
  • FedEx and USDA fees
  • Import permit fees
  • Customs clearance and import processing fees
  • Quarantine fees

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 is typically 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 Cost 

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 required costs. We maintain lots of 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 fee per pet based on the type of move:

 

Type of Move Service Fee for First Pet Service Fee Per Additional Pet
Domestic $900 $250
International $2,500 $500

 

Our 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, rather, they will increase their fees every time there’s an unexpected travel change, additional paperwork requirements, and they may also mark up the cost of transportation significantly. Make sure you fully understand a company’s terms and conditions before hiring them. You should also ask them for a full explanation of what they will—and won’t—help you with. While PetRelocation provides Complete Support (we’ll guide you and your pet through every single step of the process from door to door), most other companies will solely book your pet’s transportation and assist with some of the 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:

$1,500 (estimated required costs) + $1,200 (PetRelocation Domestic Service Fee) = $2,700 estimated total cost 

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:


$5,000 (estimated required costs) + $2,500 (PetRelocation International Service Fee) = $7,500 estimated total cost

 

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.

If you’re interested in learning more about our service offerings, pricing, and what’s included, please visit our pricing page. Whether we’re able to assist you, another company is a better fit, or you decide to DIY your pet’s move, we recommend exploring our blog and website for answers to any questions that pop up along the way. 

We wish your pet(s) safe and happy travels! 

Author:

PetRelocation Team

Topic:

Air Travel

Pet:

Cats, Dogs

Country:

Back to top