Planning to ship a pet by air means taking the time to understand the travel procedures as well as the costs.
How to Ship a Pet Safely
Here’s a look at the details involved with safely shipping a pet by air:
Start planning early (at least several weeks in advance) to learn about country import rules, vaccine requirements, airline procedures and anything else that will affect your pet’s travels.
Measure your pet, choose an airline-approved travel crate, and start crate-training right away. If your pet is not used to spending time in a travel crate, the best thing you can do is work to help them feel safe and comfortable in the kennel that will take them to their new home.
Book your pet’s flight on a pet friendly airline. Some airlines are more attentive to pets’ needs and have established pet policies in place, so find out what your options are and make an educated choice.
Remember that professional assistance is available if you find yourself short on time or overly stressed by the process!
How much does it cost to ship a pet by air?
No two pet moves are exactly the same, which means it can be difficult to offer a precise and accurate quote without knowing the details of your particular relocation. That being said, you can expect to encounter a few standard expenses.
Here are a few of the components of a typical pet 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
Know that 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 essentially based on their size. 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 major airport (for both your origin and destination), 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.
If you’re moving internationally, your new home country might require obtaining formal permission from the government in the form of an import permit. These permits range in cost depending on where you're going.
Government Endorsements for Health Certificates
It’s often necessary to obtain official health paperwork from your veterinarian, and in many cases these documents must be certified by the relevant government body, for example the USDA if you’re in the United States.
It can often take a few hours to complete the check-in process, which requires the specialized assistance of your agent to take care of your pet during this time and make sure all paperwork is in order.
When your pet lands, 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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