Transporting Large Dogs

Arranging Pet Transport for Large Dogs

Shipping a Great Dane

Moving with Great Danes, Newfoundlands, Great Pyrenees, and other large and long-legged dogs may require extra time and energy, but that doesn’t mean the process can’t be carried out safely.

Read on to find out what to expect if you travel across the country or the world with your big dog.

Special Considerations for Transporting Large Dogs

Note: Every pet move is a little different, so let these tips serve as general guidelines, and contact a PetRelocation Specialist to learn more about your relocation options. We'd be happy to help!

Custom Crates

Larger dogs will likely need a custom travel kennel or an extension kit to add a few more inches to a standard large crate, so allow extra time for research, ordering, delivery, and crate training in the new extra large crate.


Large dogs tend to drink more water, so consider attaching an extra water dish to the inside door of your pet’s travel crate and offer plenty of water before and after the flight.

Cargo Space

Not all aircraft are large enough to hold extra large pet crates, so when you book your dog’s flight, you’ll need to ensure the plane can accommodate your dog. This also means your Great Dane or St. Bernard may be unable to fly out of a small airport since smaller ports usually only service smaller planes. Often large dog owners will need to arrange ground transportation at the beginning of a move so that they may find a large enough airplane and airport.

Breed Restrictions

Some countries restrict the import of breeds like Staffordshire Terriers and Pit Bulls, so if you have a large dog that is a breed on one of these lists, it’s better to know sooner than later. Research your country’s import requirements as soon as you start thinking about moving to make sure you’re in the clear.

Housing Options

If you’re moving abroad to a less pet-friendly country, it’s highly recommended to research your housing options to ensure you can secure something that allows your large breed dog. It’s also wise to consider the environment and ensure you’re comfortable bringing a big dog to your destination. Will you have a yard? Are dog-friendly parks available? Can you find all the food and supplies you need?


Because of the custom or extra large crate, manifest cargo fee (which is based on weight and size), possible ground transportation additions, and more, prepare for the fact that moving a large dog will probably be significantly more expensive than moving a small dog or a cat.

Health considerations

Large-breed dogs are prone to certain health conditions, such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, and respiratory issues, making air travel more challenging.

Consult with a veterinarian before planning your dog's travel to ensure that your dog is healthy enough to fly, and discuss any special accommodations necessary for your large breed dog during the journey.

Training and socialization

Due to their size and strength, giant dogs require more training and socialization to prepare for air travel.

Provide your large breed dog with ample crate training and obedience training to ensure they are comfortable and safe during the journey.


International travel with large breed dogs requires specific documentation, including health certificates, vaccination records, and import/export permits, depending on your destination country.

Many countries require additional documentation for certain breeds of dogs, such as Pit Bulls or Rottweilers, so it's important to research the specific import requirements for your dog breed before planning your travel.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance for your large dog to protect them against potential risks during air travel, such as flight delays or cancellations.

Some travel insurance policies may also cover the cost of emergency medical care for your dog while traveling, which can be especially important for large breed dogs who may be more prone to certain health conditions.

Arrival arrangements

Plan for your large dog's arrival at the destination well in advance, including researching local pet-friendly accommodations, transportation options, and veterinary care. Many local pet transportation companies may be unable to fit your dog's giant travel or custom-made travel crate.

Consider arranging a pet transport service to meet your large breed dog at the airport and transport them to their final destination, as navigating airports with a large breed dog can be challenging.

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