What You Should Know About Shipping Big Dogs

Great DaneFacts About Flying With Big Dogs

Here at PetRelocation, we help all kinds of pets travel to all kinds of places, but it's a special challenge when we arrange for big dogs to get where they need to go.

Meet Sky, who recently moved from Orlando, FL to the Netherlands. This beautiful Great Dane arrived safely, but not without a little extra work.

Large dogs require large travel crates, of course, as well as a few special considerations before and during the shipping process. So, if you have a particularly long-legged friend, it's especially important to prep carefully and start making plans as soon as you know you're moving.

In honor of Sky's successful move, here are a few topics and tips for moving big dogs:

Custom Dog Travel Crates

Again, large dogs need more space, so you'll either have to purchase a custom travel crate or a crate extension kit. Here's another tip: make sure your dog is standing completely upright when you measure him. Some large dogs tend to slouch a little bit, but customs officials may be strict about making sure the crate isn't too small. Check out our travel crate measurements guide.


Big dogs drink more water, so you may need to attach an extra water tray to the travel crate -- especially if it'll be a long journey or if the weather is warm.

Cargo Space

Not all aircrafts can accommodate oversized (or even standard large) crates, so check with your airline to be sure you won't encounter any problems. Sometimes only larger airports will have large enough planes available, so if you were planning to depart from a smaller airport you may need to do a little driving to start off your trip. 

Breed Restrictions

Before you make travel or moving plans, double check the import requirements for your destination to make sure there aren't any breed restrictions. A few countries don't allow Pit Bulls, Staffordshire Terriers or mixtures of these, so do your research ahead of time.

Housing Options

On that note, consider the environment to which you'll be moving before making final plans. Not all countries are as pet-friendly as you'd want them to be, and bringing a huge pet to a place where dogs are not wholeheartedly embraced might subject you and your pup to more isolation than you'd like, as you may not have your first choice when it comes to housing or amenities. 

Travel Costs

Finally, the more a pet weighs, the more you pay, so factor the size of your dog into your overall moving budget and don't be surprised when everything ends up costing more than it would to move a teacup Pomeranian.

Just as with other pet shipping situations, the more time you allow for sorting out the details, the smoother your move will be. Contact us if you need some help organizing a safe move for your large dog! 

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in January 2011 and has been updated with new information. 


PetRelocation Team




Back to top