What Are Pet Transportation Services? – Dogster

Pet transportation services help with scheduling concierge services for animals, including veterinary visits, pet relocation and cross-country travel via car or airplane. Whether you are seeking a local destination or figuring out how to transport a dog across the country, this guide to navigating pet transportation services will help you choose the right agenda for your best bud.

How to find the best pet transportation services

There are numerous services nationwide assisting with both ground and air transport services for dogs (and their families). Reliable pet transport services communicate consistently with clients and offer estimated quotes before the trip and personalized trip contracts. For these businesses, it is their passion to help animals be transported safely. When searching for a pet transportation company, ensure the company:

  • is a USDA Licensed Pet Transporter
  • has insurance
  • has air-conditioning
  • comfortable seating
  • gives the dog walks
  • includes pee stops
  • provides water and treats
  • has clear communication about how much their pet transportation services cost
  • walks you through the logistics of handling pet crates
  • is up to date on what documents and travel requirements are necessary for your trip
  • handles most of the trip logistics for you

How to transport a dog locally or across country

Companies offer different levels of transportation, including door-to-door service where the company picks the dog up at your doorstep and delivers your dog directly to his destination. Other companies offer a personal human companion for your dog for the duration of the trip.

Happy Tails Travel, Inc., based in Arizona, offers services for both traveling locally and pet relocation. The company specializes in transporting dogs on a plane and will communicate with the airline on your behalf to figure out logistics for your trip. It also offers international travel and pet relocation help for military members. There are special services for pet parents who can stay with their pets during transitions, explains Dr. Elaine Mathis, project manager for Happy Tails.

JoAnna Levenglick, founder of Pet Cab NYC, a New York based pet transportation service, places “caring service” high on her list. “It is so important to be on time, know dogs by name, plan directions ahead, offer clean cars, positive service and never say no to any pet,” says JoAnna.

Pet Cab NYC offers daily services to veterinarian appointments and pet hospitals, pick-ups and drop offs to the airport and trips outside the state. Inside its service cars, pets are given dog beds, seatbelts, crates upon request as well as water and treats. The drivers are trained to handle pets dealing with a medical emergency or general anxiety traveling in a car.

Pet transportation services cost

Pet transportation services either offer specialized trip pricing, depending on what services are used, or have a set fee.

At Nationwide Pet Transport, LLC, pet parents can choose between a private ride or a shared ride in a Mercedes full-sized van. This company has a flat rate, which includes fuel, tolls and administration costs. The fee takes into consideration dog breed, weight, and crate size and is paid in full prior to pick up, says owner Traci Shafer.

Important questions to ask to find the best pet transportation service:

  • What are your pet health requirements (vaccination records/health certificates)?
  • Do you have dog breed or weight restrictions?
  • Are the drivers trained to interact with dogs?
  • How much will pet transportation cost based on my specific trip?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • Are you USDA certified?
  • Ask about PATA Registration (Pet and Animal Transport Association)
  • What are your policies about GPS tracking and sending videos of my pet
  • Do you send flight tracking information and notify me of my dog’s location during ground/air transport?
  • Can I have references?

Pet transportation company red flags and scams

Be aware of these potential red flags and scams:

Red flags:

  •  Fake photos/reviews online
  • Non-traceable payment options (money order/gift cards)
  • Services that outsource jobs to individuals or other companies (uncertain driver info)


  • Companies trying to sell animals online
  • Working with multiple companies for dog transport
  • Extremely cheap pricing
  • 24-hour driving services (safety)

How to transport a dog on a plane internationally

For international travel, seek out a reputable company that specializes in international pet transport. This is crucial for helping your dog from departure to destination, through flight tracking, crate travel, customs clearance, health requirements/quarantine, hotel information and more. A company like Airpets International offers specific departing and arriving services, which include a grooming for the dogs before they take off and a pet nanny to accompany the dogs on their trip.

When choosing a company for international pet transport, ask how the company handle a layover, unexpected delay or canceled connecting flights.

Here are a few of the best pet transportation services:

Pet transport services (local and national) offer a variety of unique amenities for your dog and remain committed to placing your pet’s comfort above all else. For all trips, you will always want to communicate with your transport agent, ensure all travel details/paperwork and double check your plan.

Being able to rely on loyal pet transport services is beneficial for people of all ages and makes even the smallest trip fun for our beloved friends!

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