How to Transport Dogs? Everything You Need to Know

Are you relocating to a new place? Do you have a dog whom you consider as a family? Aren’t you sure how to transport your dog? Then we have everything covered about your dog’s transportation in this article.

Many dog owners treat their pets almost equally to their kids. A recent Harris Poll reveals that 90% of pet owners consider their pets as family members.

Transportation can be stressful, including your dog, especially if you’re traveling a great distance to new surroundings. So when shifting to a new location, be sure to give as much time and attention to provide a good moving experience for your dog. There are few ways to transport your dog. You can read about each mode of transportation below and decide how to offer your dog safe and smooth travel.

Tools Required to Transport a Dog

  1. Dog Restraint
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  1. Crates
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  1. Dog Treats
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  1. Dog Hammock
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  1. Leash
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  1. Dog Collars
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  1. Dog Harness
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  1. Dog Seat Cover
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  1. Dog Car Barrier
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  1. Dog Stairs/Ramps
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  1. Dog Seat Boosters
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  1. Food/Water Bowls
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How to Transport Dogs by Car?

Taking your dog along with you in the car will provide the most effortless transition because you can have personal control over your pet as well as keep your companion in your surroundings.

Use a crash-rated travel crate to ensure safety for your dog. However, if your dog isn’t used to being in a crate, you’ll gradually want to accommodate him in it. Start by taking short trips in advance of your trip. Then gradually increase the time to make your dog feel more comfortable for the long drive.

Don’t forget that your dog cannot drive for a long time without stopping as you do. So be sure to take breaks at least every 2-3 hours to provide plenty of opportunity for activity.

Also, ensure that your dog has regular access to water, so plan accordingly, and allow your dog to have easy access to it.

If your journey needs an overnight stay, check for hotels or motels that are dog-friendly.

It is a good idea to keep your dog’s medical records handy in case of emergencies.

However, shipping your dog in your car isn’t simple; therefore, it is better to opt for other options.

How to Transport Dogs by Ground Shipping Companies?

Several ground shipping companies offer door-to-door service. In addition, some companies offer “Group Transport” where your pet will travel along with other animals. At the same time, “Private Transport” ensures your dog is the only animal in the truck.

These services are usually less expensive than traveling by plane and are ideal for shorter distances.

If you are planning for a ground pet transportation service, check if your service provider has the answers for the following:

  • How Many Halts Will the Vehicle Make for Other Deliveries?

Undoubtedly, a direct door-to-door service has a separate payment to offer your dog smoother travel. However, several stops can increase the travel time and cause a high level of stress for your pet.

  • How Many Other Pets Will be Traveling at the Same Time?

A variety of pets can be highly stressful for your dog. Therefore, you should avoid options where there are many pet types in a single-vehicle.

  • Will Your Dog be Traveling in Climate-Controlled Conditions?

Most shipping companies provide a climate-control shipping compartment, but not all options are the same. For example, ask how the temperature is maintained and what type of ventilation is present.

  • What Kind of Exercise is Provided?

Your dog will need some exercise if the trip is longer than 5 hours. Also, ask the details of how the activity is provided. For example, find out if your dog is allowed to walk and run or just let loose in a fenced area with other animals, which may create a potentially dangerous environment.

  • Ask About the Type of Crate Used

If the service provider offers the crates, be sure to examine whether the crate is large enough and adequately ventilated. If your dog has no experience of being crated, you need to think twice about this option or spend time getting him used to being in a crate before the trip.

  • What Will They Feed??

Get to know when, how, and what your dog will be fed. If possible, try to provide your dog a regular diet that he consumes daily.

  • Ask About the Sleeping Arrangements if the Trip is Overnight

Find out if the driver will rest in the truck with the dogs whenever special attention is required.

In most cases, especially for longer distances, transporting your dog by air is the safest and least stressful way.

How to Transport Dogs by Air?

Airways is preferably the best way to transport a dog. There are three ways to fly your dog to a new place.

  1. Your Dog Travels Along With You in the Cabin of the Plane

This option is restricted to small-sized dogs transported in a crate or carrier that can fit under your seat right in front of you. In addition, most airlines limit the number of pets in the passenger cabin to 2-3.

Here is the list of airlines that allow dogs in the cabin:

  1. Aegean Airlines
  2. Air Canada
  3. Air Europa
  4. Air France
  5. Alaska Air
  6. American Airlines
  7. Delta
  8. JetBlue
  9. Lufthansa
  10. Southwest
  11. United Airlines
  12. Vueling
  13. Frontier 

The fee depends on the airline you choose but usually runs between $50-$125.

  1. Your Dog Travels on Your Plane But in the Cargo Area

If your dog is large-sized, you can purchase a ticket, and he will fly as cargo. In the cargo system, all animals are transported in the same pressurized holds as in the checked baggage system, which is pressurized. The temperature is set between 50 and 70 degrees.

  1. Your Dog Travels Unaccompanied by You in the Cargo Area

In this case, you’re transporting your dog on the plane without you. Typically, the ticket price is high if you are not flying along with your dog on the same plane, and also the cost depends on the size and weight of the dog’s crate.

Here is the list of the top 20 airlines that transport dogs:

  1. American Airlines
  2. JetBlue
  3. Air Canada
  4. Delta
  5. Air India
  6. Air France
  7. Swiss International Airlines
  8. Turkish Airlines
  9. Frontier Airlines
  10. Lufthansa Airlines
  11. Aeroflot
  12. TAP Air Portugal
  13. SAS
  14. OpenSkies
  15. KLM
  16. Aer Lingus
  17. Japan Airlines
  18. Alitalia
  19. CopaAirlines
  20. Iberia

Firstly, let us discuss the safety issue. You’d have read a few stories about dogs who are ill, wounded, dead, or occasionally reported to be lost after an airline trip. Unfortunately, while each story is terrible, they represent only a few of the animal flying experiences.

Since May 2005, airline companies have been asked to report a pet-related problem to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Considering that, the airline industry estimates that the number of pets traveling as baggage is more than 600,000 every year. Therefore, the likelihood of significant problems for your dog is relatively small. The risk of your pet dying, being injured, or being reported lost when traveling as baggage, is nearly 0.009%. 

If you’re working directly with the airlines, keep in mind that they will not ship some breeds. For example, Brachycephalic breeds such as bulldogs and pugs with short and soft muzzles find difficulty breathing even in ideal conditions.  

You will also need to arrange a crate that adheres to International Pet and Animal Association (IPATA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations. These associations ensure the crate to be strong, adequately ventilated, and large enough that your dog can freely stand, change its position, and lie down.

Lastly, make some emergency plans if the flight is delayed or re-routed due to bad weather.

Pro Tips to Transport Dogs Safely

Flying a dog in cargo is risky. Therefore we are providing some tips to follow to offer your dog a safe journey.

  • Use direct flights
  • Inform the captain and/or at least one flight attendant that your dog is traveling in cargo so that they may take special precautions.
  • Choose flights based on the season. Early morning or late evening flights are more beneficial in the summer; afternoon flights are safer in the winter.
  • Choose a collar that cannot get snagged on anything. Attach a permanent ID with your name, home address, telephone number. In addition, add a travel ID with the address and phone number to reach you or the contact person immediately.
  • Attach a label to the carrier with your name, permanent address, destination, and phone number where one can contact you or a concerned person.
  • Trim your dog’s nails to prevent them from getting hooked on anything.
  • Your pet may need at least a month to accustom the carrier to minimize their stress during travel.
  • Please don’t give your pet tranquilizers unless your vet prescribes them for the flight.
  • Do not feed your pet for 4 to 6 hours before the journey. Give them small amounts of water. You can also put ice cubes in the water dish inside your pet’s crate. 

How to Transport Dogs by Professional Dog Shipping Company?

Many families prefer using a professional dog transport agency due to the complexities of shipping a dog through the car, ground transport, and air. Professional dog transport agency is the easiest and safest way to go, and they certainly provide the greatest peace of mind.

A professional agency will know the airline policies, boarding accommodation, travel crate requirements, animal identification, and veterinary procedures. This assures the safest and most peaceful travel experience possible.

Most of these agencies are run by dog lovers who know the difficulties in other transport ways. They understand that your dog is your family member and should be appropriately treated.

The best professional dog transport agencies are:

  1. Air Animal


  • Veterinarian founded
  • Mobile app 
  • Frequent updates about how your pet is doing


  • No grooming
  • No boarding
  1. Airpets International


  • Military relocation discounts
  • Grooming
  • Boarding


  • Hard to reach by phone
  1. Happy Tails Travel


  • Frequent updates about how your pet is doing
  • Military relocation discounts
  • Discounts for multiple pets


  • No grooming
  • No boarding

How to Transport Dogs – Videos

How to Transport Your Dog Safely (IN A CAR)

ANIMALS on PLANES? Is your PET SAFE flying in CARGO??? Explained by CAPTAIN JOE

Pet Ground Transportation

Shipping your pet is easier than you think | Sweetie Pie Pets by Kelly Swift

Everything You Need To Know Before Flying With Your Dog

Pet Travel: Move Day Preparation Tips

Final Thoughts

To transport your dog, you can pick any of the modes listed above depending on your need, affordability, and comfort. However, in most instances, transporting your dog through a professional dog transport agency is an excellent way to offer your dog the best travel experience.

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