Puppy Transport Services & Safety Information

shipping puppies

With careful planning and the right choices, transporting a puppy by plane or vehicle can both be safe options. When shipping puppies or traveling with other young pets, extra steps must be taken to ensure their safety. To help your puppy have a safe and easy trip, here are a few things to consider:

  • Separating a puppy from its mother too early can have lasting negative effects, so above all, keep your puppy’s safety in mind and follow the advice of your vet before rushing into any travel plans. PetRelocation does not move puppies younger than 16 weeks (four months) old.
  • If traveling internationally, research the country's import rules to ensure your puppy meets all breed and vaccine requirements.
  • Check airline rules to compare flight options and ensure your puppy can enjoy a trip you’re both comfortable with.
  • Before planning to transport your puppy, talk to your vet about any concerns you may have, and don’t travel unless your puppy is in good health.

How much does it cost to ship a puppy by air?

Every puppy move is a little different. Origin and destination cities, the size of your puppy, and several other factors will affect how much their move costs. You can expect a handful of standard items to be a part of the overall cost, regardless of origin, location, puppy breed, or destination. Here are the costs you can expect no matter what:

  • Travel crate
  • Airfare
  • Transportation to and from the airport
  • Pre-move vet visits
  • International health documents and import permits
  • Government endorsements
  • Customs fees
  • Quarantine fees

Learn more about how much it costs to ship a dog.

When is shipping puppies not recommended?

PetRelocation does not ship puppies younger than 16 weeks, primarily for safety reasons. We believe that dogs are stronger and better equipped to handle the experience of air travel when they are at least four months old, and this also allows them to be properly vaccinated before travel.

Some countries allow young pets to enter before being vaccinated, while others do not, so traveling with a young dog may be impossible, depending on their destination. It’s important to review all airline and country import rules carefully and talk with your vet before you book your puppy’s travel arrangements to ensure they have a safe trip. 

Choosing the right travel crate

Selecting the right size and type of crate is crucial to ensure your puppy's safety during transportation. The crate should be large enough for your puppy to stand, turn around, and lie comfortably. It should also be sturdy and well-ventilated to prevent your puppy from feeling too hot or suffocated during the trip.

Preparing your puppy for the trip

Preparing your puppy for the trip is important by making them comfortable with the crate, taking them on car rides, and getting them accustomed to new people and environments. The most important aspect of preparing your puppy is their crate training and familiarity with their travel crate.

Checking airline policies

Each airline has rules and regulations regarding traveling with pets, so it is important to check their policies before booking your puppy's flight. Some airlines may have breed or weight restrictions, while others require certain documentation or health certificates.

Hiring a professional pet shipping service

While you can transport your puppy independently, hiring a professional pet shipping service can provide added peace of mind and ensure your puppy's safety throughout the journey. These services can handle all aspects of transportation, from booking flights to obtaining necessary documentation and ensuring your puppy's comfort during travel.

Other modes of transportation: While air travel is the most common way to transport puppies, it is not the only option. Depending on the distance and location, you may consider other modes of transportation, such as ground transport. These options can provide your puppy a more personalized and less stressful experience.


Puppy scams are, unfortunately, very common. If you are wondering how to ship a puppy because you are in contact with a breeder or individual who wants to sell you a puppy, beware of the following red flags:

  • Does the seller want you to wire money via Moneygram or Western Union?
  • Does the seller’s email address seem spammy or unofficial?
  • Is the puppy “free” except for transportation costs?

If a transaction seems too good to be true, it might be. Read more about puppy scams and how to avoid them, and be careful when dealing with unknown sellers.

When adding a new dog to your family, we recommend only dealing locally and adopting from your local shelter if possible!

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