Are you planning a move and interested in learning how pet shipping works? When you’re boxing up your life and getting ready to land in a new place, you don’t want to overlook your furry friends. Especially if you’re moving a significant distance, it’s important to understand what goes into the process of transporting your pets there — and how much it costs if you use the assistance of a pet transport service.
Curious to learn more? Read on to find the complete breakdown of pet transportation costs!
Your Moving Distance Impacts Cost
Many factors impact the cost of shipping a pet to a new place. It may cost just over $100 to ship a small pet via group transportation to a close location. But it can cost several thousands of dollars to ship a pet to another country.
When you’re making plans to move a pet, you’ll need to do some math. There are some unavoidable factors — like distance — and other areas where you may be able to trim costs.
Are you moving to a neighboring town? Or are you moving across the country — or abroad? When it comes to determining your pet transport cost, the distance of your move makes a difference.
When you’re only moving to a new house down the road or in a neighboring state, you won’t have as many miles to cover. And for a pet transport service, that reduces their expenses. You may be able to keep your costs to a few hundred dollars for a shorter move that requires less wear on tear on a vehicle, less human dependency, and less time commitment from a transport service.
But if you are planning to move abroad or to a remote place, you’ll need to account for each cost required by an airline as well as the cost of a transport organization, if you use one. The airline costs will depend on the duration of the flight plus the classification of your pet.
Layovers, cargo classification, and other details can add hundreds if not thousands of dollars to your cost. International pet transport costs will be higher, too, since any company you use will need to coordinate personnel between countries and even continents.
The Size of Your Pet Will Affect the Cost to Ship It
Are you shipping a small cat or a Doberman? The answer to this question will affect your bottom line. The type and size of your animal make a difference when you’re determining the cost to transport it.
Smaller pets are easier — and cheaper — to transport. It’s easy to make room for a smaller pet in a ground transportation situation where a van or truck is involved.
But if you’re in the process of moving somewhere further away, you may need to fly with your pet or outsource that responsibility. As a cost-saving measure, if your pet meets certain requirements, they may be able to travel with you or a concierge on an airplane.
The general rule of thumb is that if your pet is small enough to fit in a carrier that can fit beneath your seat on a plane, you can travel with them that way. Dogs and cats that weigh less than 20 pounds fall in this category, but it’s always good to check with your airline to confirm. You’ll just need to make sure that you use an approved carrier so you don’t board a plane and run into a problem.
You’ll end up spending around $100 to carry on your pet, but this is far cheaper than putting your pet in the cargo hold. And you’ll know that your pet will appreciate seeing and hearing you as they’re 30,000 feet above the ground.
Not surprisingly, larger pets are costlier to ship, and may require more work ahead of time. The bottom line is that bigger pets require more money and effort — but it is possible to transport them.
And if you have multiple pets, that will increase the cost, too. You may be able to score some deals on having multiple pets to travel together. But if they are shipped in separate crates, their total weight may be higher and end up costing hundreds of dollars more.
Getting Some Help With the Move Can Be a Useful Expense
You want your pet to be as comfortable as possible during travel, but if you’re busy with the other details of a move, you might not have as much time to coordinate everything for your pet. If you’re juggling multiple pets or a stressful move, it’s smart to turn to industry leading pet care experts to help you handle the job. You can rest assured that your pet will make it to your new home safely and efficiently.
You’ll be able to hand off the entire responsibility to a service, or you’ll be able to pick and choose what parts of the moving process you need help with if that’s your preference. Moving can be tiring and unsettling for both humans and pets. When you opt for a pet transport service, your pet will have a human presence who is attentive to their needs and ready to handle the details.
The cost of pet transportation services may seem offputting, and it will add hundreds of dollars to the cost of shipping. But it allows you to delegate one big responsibility in the moving process to someone else — and that’s a huge weight off your shoulders.
Check to see what kind of experience a given carrier has with pet shipments before signing on the dotted line. Ask what supplies are needed on your end — since that will be an extra cost for you — and what policies the carrier has in place. It’s also wise to ask about overnight stay fees and whether they will provide walks, playtime, or other personal interaction during the process.
Pet Transportation Costs Will Include a Health Rundown
Transporting a pet does come with some risks, so anyone involved in the transport process will want to know your pet’s health status before making the move. Check with your transport company or airline so you know exactly what is required for your pet. In most instances, you can expect that certain vaccines and a general check-up will need to happen before you can move forward with transportation.
A pet health certificate is a must-have when it comes to traveling with your pet. This certificate proves that your pet is generally healthy and unlikely to transfer any diseases or ailments to other pets who might be traveling, too. The process for getting one of these certificates will vary by location, but you can expect to pay anywhere from under $50 to over $300.
Your veterinarian will be the one who conducts the examination and fills out the paperwork. Check to see that your veterinarian is USDA-accredited, too, since that will be a requirement when you get your certificate approved. When your veterinarian conducts a check of your pet’s health, they’ll provide a listing of all vaccines, information related to the breed, and do a check for issues like heartworm disease.
Some transport services or airlines may request copies of vaccine records in addition to the health certificate. Go to your pet’s appointment with your veterinarian armed with a list of questions and requirements. You may end up paying an extra $50 or more if your pet is not current on lab tests that your transport service requires.
If you’re traveling abroad, plan to start this process early. It could take a few weeks to book the appointment, get your pet current on everything that is required, and then process the paperwork. Obtaining a pet health certificate needs to be part of your early stages of planning when you’re preparing to move!
Traveling By Ground or Air? It Matters
Your method of transportation matters, too. You stand a better chance of paying less for a pet ground transport cost versus air travel for your pet. In the same way, if you’re moving abroad and need to ship your pet by boat to an island or charter a private jet, that will increase your total expense.
For ground travel, you can hire services that will do door-to-door delivery service for you. It’s good to as what kind of vehicle will be used for the transport process. And what kind of gas mileage does it get?
If you’re only moving a few hundred miles, ground transport could only cost a few hundred dollars. A pet transport service cost can depend on fuel costs, distance, and administrative fees. While these expenses can add up quickly, they may be worth it in the long run if you’re able to hand off your pet to experienced professionals.
With air travel, you’ll pay for your pet as a carry-on or cargo, depending on size. Though more expensive than ground travel, sometimes air travel is the only option. You’ll need to coordinate having people on both ends to ensure your pet is dropped off and picked up as instructed by the airline.
Traveling across multiple states or moving to a different country will ratchet up the price to a few thousand dollars. If traveling to a different country, you may need to pay for customs clearance and possibly vaccine fees. Take the time to check the requirements since they vary by country.
You’ll Need the Right Equipment for Travel
When it comes to transporting a pet, you need the right equipment for the job, too. And if your pet is taking to the friendly skies, they’ll need a crate that meets the requirements of an airline. If you’re unsure about whether your current crate meets the specs, it’s always smart to read up or ask the airlines directly.
What will you need? If your pet is flying in the cargo hold of a plane, you’ll need to make sure that they are in a durable crate with plenty of air vents. Food or water bowls should be affixed to the front opening of the crate, too, for easy access.
A sturdy crate can cost several hundred dollars for a larger animal, so it’s critical to budget for this crate. And don’t take any chances with buying the wrong one. Some crates may claim that they are approved by the airlines for travel on their tags, but it’s always better to confirm this before swiping your credit card.
For smaller animals that are able to travel in the main cabin of a plane or in a van, you may be able to find a solid transport bag for under $50. In addition to the bag or crate, you’ll want to stock it with your pet’s favorite things so it’s comfortable during the trip. If your cat or dog likes sleeping with snuggly blankets, get them some for their crates — or maybe a few new toys.
And as another small expense, you’ll want to ensure that your pet has updated tags with your contact information.
No matter how your animal is traveling, be sure to put their name and your contact information clearly on the crate. If anything happens that requires your assistance, you want to make it as easy as possible for someone to reach you.
Make the Move With Your Pet in Tow
Moving can be a stressful process, but you don’t want it to be for your pet. You’ll want to investigate your options before you commit to a pet transportation service or choose to pursue shipping on your own. Ultimately, understanding pet transportation costs will allow you to plan accordingly so your favorite pet can make the journey safely and securely.
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