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Dog Shipping Services – an overview of modern dog shipping solutions!

Breeding Business is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Published on
Monday 15 March 2021
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
Dog Shipping Services
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Two out of five dogs from a litter end up going to owners located in areas, even countries, that are located a considerable distance from a breeder. This means that one way or another, breeders and their customers will need to arrange for the puppy to reach its new home. This is where dog shipping services come in.

These shipping services can safely, ethically, and quickly transport your dogs to their new distant homes. Today, we are going to evaluate the different types of shipping services for dogs you can choose from. From cost to comfort, we will look at all the details so you can decide which solution is best for you. Your dogs are the very essence of your business and you worry about your reputation, as well as the animals’ well-being, so, let us help with this big decision.

What Do Dog Shipping Services Do

Pet shipping services handle the pickup and delivery, within a country or across borders, of a pet. Generally, such services are used by dog breeders to arrange the delivery of a puppy to its new forever home.

As a whole, you have a couple of distinct options:

  1. Marketplaces – online platforms that connect breeders and drivers (ideal for local and domestic transportation). As a breeder, you are in the driver’s seat as far as selecting the driver and negotiating the cost and any and all special requirements for the transport.
  2. Specialized transporters – more expensive companies specialized in cross-border pet shipping via air, train, and road (think of it as DHL or FedEx for dogs)
almost half the puppies from a litter end up going to owners located far away from the breeder
Puppy transportation services truly empower future owners and breeders.

Dog shipping services work like regular shipping services, only with much more care involved. They move your dogs around the country or across countries, depending on the service you pick. It can be quite similar to online deliveries where vans will transport goods.

However, these services differ by ensuring the dog is comfortable, is being given water, is in an appropriate crate, and is safe during travel. More than just moving cargo, these services make sure your dog is as comfortable as it can be during a stressful time period.

How To Pick The Right Dog Shipping Services

We checked with Richard Obousy, the founder and CEO of Texas-based CitizenShipper, which is one of the largest pet transportation marketplaces in the United States. CitizenShipper is made up of tens of thousands of pet transporters, so he has seen a lot of things that work, and things that don’t. Here are some key considerations that Mr. Obousy says are important to explore before making your choice.

Door To Door Delivery

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This is a must! Be sure to check the fine print to ensure a service offers this feature. Otherwise, your dog could be left with a neighbor who hasn’t any room to care for a dog temporarily, or even at a local collection point, resulting in the animal being alone in a crate for hours.

In-Transit Hygiene, Care & Comfort

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Review all the services a delivery service provides to guarantee your dog has a hygienic transport environment and remains comfortable throughout the journey. Such services include:

  • Offering toilet breaks
  • Walking breaks
  • Regularly cleaning their crates
  • Offering food or water
  • Offering comfortable bedding
  • Temperature control within the vehicle
  • Not exceeding the proper capacity of the vehicle with too many dogs

Mr. Obousy suggests looking for a pet transporter who is USDA-registered and trained in animal CPR.

Guidance With Paperwork

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Every area, country, and even between countries have their own rules and sets of paperwork that need to be filled in. Even bringing a dog from the United States to Canada can prove challenging. Services should be well-versed on the paperwork that is needed and have experience in what is needed to facilitate transport. Be wary of a company that is not knowledgeable in these procedures as it suggests a low level of experience.

Convenient Means of Transportation

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Many companies combine deliveries for cost-effectiveness resulting in more time in transport than you might anticipate. While this is completely reasonable, be sure to understand this aspect of pet transportation before booking. Confirm with the transporter how many days the journey will take in total and make sure it is sensible for your dog. Be sure to communicate with the new owner the time-frame for delivery so that everyone is fully informed. Direct one-to-one deliveries are available but tend to be more costly.


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As a breeder, you have made a considerable investment in the puppy that is being delivered. The transporter is a reflection of your business, and you don’t want a dog that arrives late to the buyer, or gets sick along the way due to inadequate care. Mr. Obousy recommends using reviews that are available on the service to ensure that you are dealing with a dependable, safe transporter – one that shows up at your location on time, and has a plan for bringing that puppy to its home.

Hidden Fees

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Not a single customer in the world likes receiving unexpected fees due to some fine print at the bottom of the seventh page of some terms and conditions. Pay attention in reviews to whether any hidden fee arose at any point (e.g. extra fee for food and treats).


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Depending on the duration of the trip, you may want or need to arrange and pay for some sort of insurance in case of an accident or incident. While this is something we most definitely don’t enjoy talking about, it is a point you cannot ignore when transporting a pet. What if there is a car crash or an unexpected need to visit a vet? How am I compensated, if at all? Always check your rights.

How Much Does Shipping a Dog Cost?

The average range of costs in the US for shipping a dog depends largely on distance – but figure anywhere from .50 cents to $1.50 per mile. As for the UK, the average shipping cost range for a dog is between £100-£800 so it is relatively cheap.

Prices range so drastically due to a number of factors including:

  • Dog’s size: the larger the log the more expensive it is to ship them as they require more room, are heavier, and may need more provisions
  • Are you shipping to the same country: international travel is much more expensive
  • Distance: the smaller the distance the less expensive fares are. Flights are often more expensive than vans.

Shipping a Puppy Within The US

The actual process of shipping a dog can vary slightly between each company. At CitizenShipper‘s dog shipping service, this is their specific process:

  1. Firstly you will need to fill out a form about what you are shipping, and where the pickup and drop-off points would be. There are also areas for transportation requirements and this is a quick and easy step.
  2. Next, you will begin receiving quotes, and you’ll have the option to choose the driver you most prefer. Those that are recommended to you all fit your criteria, so then it’s all up to you!
  3. Once you select your driver, you’ll pay a small fee to CitizenShipper, and then work with the transporter directly – you can even maintain contact throughout the journey. A simple message here and there checking on your dog or mentioning their requirements allows you to get the perfect service and reassurance you need.
  4. Then, upon your dog being delivered, you can rate the service. It is much appreciated by every driver and company and helps to build their positive relationship even further.

Other shipping services for dogs and puppies will slightly differ in their steps. Indeed, some do not allow you to pick the driver whilst others may offer various options and add-ons.

cost of dog shipping services in the united states
Average range for the cost of dog shipping services in the United States.

How do puppy shipping services work?

Every pup shipping company is different and works in its own way. However, the general method is:

  1. Identify who is going to pay for the transportation (you, or your customer)
  2. Provide specific information about the dog that needs to be delivered (age, weight, any special needs, etc.)
  3. Obtain a transportation quote, select the transporter that best meets your needs, budget, and reviews, make travel arrangements, prepare any needed paperwork, and prep the puppy for travel.
  4. The transporter will pick up your dog, transport them, and drop them off with you or a boarding kennel per your requirements

The process is more complicated with international shipping as there can be isolation periods to ensure your dog is not transporting diseases into the country upon their arrival. However, it is dependent upon location.

Dog Shipping Services – FAQ

Here are the top most searched questions about puppy and dog shipping services with their answers.

Are pet shipping services safe?

Many pet shipping services offer complete safety and care to your dog. They allow for as pleasant of an experience as long travel can be and make sure they feel as comfortable as possible. Be sure to read reviews of companies and check their protocols to ensure the shipping service is one of high-quality and gives the care your dog deserves.

Is the shipping service liable in case of an accident resulting in the death or injury of my pet?

Usually, they do. However, always check any paperwork you are signing beforehand and check each company’s policies to ensure that this is correct. You may be required to pay for additional and optional insurance in order to get some coverage. As always with these covers, you must read the small print.

How long does it take to ship a puppy within the United States?

Delivery duration mostly depends on how long the distance is. Some journeys may take a few hours whereas others may take days and even longer.

It is best to ask your specific shipping company about your specific route to find out how long it may take. Expect some delays especially with cross-border trips due to paperwork checks and boarding of flights.

What paperwork is required to ship a dog within the US?

The essential paperwork to bring with you is a health certificate and a signed rabies vaccination certificate. Ensure these are all originals and that both certificates match up within the required travel time frames. This means the health certificate must be a maximum of ten days old whilst the vaccine certificate must be no older than a year but older than a month.

How expensive are dog shipping services?

The answer depends on the size of your dog, where you are shipping them from, and where to. The typical cost in the US can be in the range of a few hundred dollars depending on the distance to be traveled, whereas the British range is £100-£800. Be sure to get a free quote from multiple companies to find the best deal.

Dog shipping services are wonderful when you need to move a pet within or out of the country. Be sure to find a well-recommended travel company that is willing to provide all the care your dog needs. Compare free quotes from a few companies you like in order to identify the best deal. Be aware of scams and know that these services should worry about your dog as much as you are. Do not fret, there are plenty of dog shipping companies who do, so never settle.

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