Planning to ship a dog by air means taking the time to understand the procedures as well as the costs.
How to Ship a Dog Safely
Here’s an overview of the basic process involved with safely shipping a dog by air:
Start planning early to learn about country import rules, vaccine requirements and anything else that will affect your pet’s plans.
Measure your dog, choose an airline-approved travel crate, and start crate-training right away. If your dog is not used to spending time in a travel crate, the smartest and kindest thing you can do is help them feel comfortable in the kennel that will take them to their new home.
Book your dog’s flight on a pet friendly airline. Not all airlines have the same dedication to pet safety, so spend the time to research and make an educated choice.
Ask for help when you need it, recognize you don’t know what you don’t know, and remember that professional assistance is available to oversee your dog’s move.
How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Dog by Air?
No two pet moves are exactly the same, which means it’s next to impossible to immediately offer a precise and accurate quote.
That being said, you can expect a few standard items to be a part of the overall cost.
Here are a few of the components of a typical dog move:
- The travel crate
- The airfare
- Transportation to and from the airport
- Pre-move vet visits
- International health documents and import permits
- Government endorsements
- Customs fees
- Quarantine fees
To make things even more confusing, the costs of each of the above items will vary from one move to the next depending on a variety of factors. For example:
Your Pet’s Size
The price of your pet’s airline ticket is based on the size of their crate, so the larger and taller your pet is, the more space they require in cargo and the more their airfare will cost.
Origin and Destination
Generally the closer you are to a large airport on either side, the less expensive the trip will be. If you’re starting and ending in smaller towns that require a bit of driving on either end or if the trip requires multiple flights, the overall costs will be higher.
Moving internationally? Your new home country might require obtaining formal permission from the government in the form of an import permit, which adds an additional expense.
Government Endorsements for Health Certificates
It’s often necessary to obtain official health paperwork from your vet’s office, and in many cases these documents must be certified by the relevant government body, for example the USDA.
It can often take a few hours to complete the check-in process, which requires the specialized assistance of your agent to make sure all paperwork is in order (and of course to take good care of your pet during this time).
Upon landing it may not be over yet -- in many cases entry procedures must be negotiated by a customs agent and there may be tariffs, customs fees or taxes to pay at this time.
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