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Pet Shipping Costs


Pet Shipping Costs

Pet shipping costs can vary depending on many variables. What determines the pet shipping costs? When people are relocating to a different city, state or country, they often have a lot of things to coordinate for their move. One of these things may include asking “what is the best way to relocate my pet and how much does it cost to ship my pet?”. We are here to help and consider ourselves experts regarding pet shipping and relocation! Our goal is to provide peace of mind, while organizing the routing and meeting all of the requirements to safely relocate your pet to their new home. Pet owners contact us daily with many questions regarding the pet shipping process and one of their primary questions is “how much will it cost to ship my pet?”.

The cost of shipping a pet typically ranges from $300-$2000 but can exceed $2000 depending on the services required and the distance traveling. The airline freight fees is the majority of the expense but there are additional expenses such as the required vet services, travel crate, customs clearance, import permit, any ground transport to or from the airport, and finally administrative fees if you use a professional pet shipping company such as Continental Pet Relocation. Hiring a pet shipping company is advised, especially for international pet shipping, and is recommended that you research and interview the company that you are considering hiring to handle the relocation of your beloved family pet.

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Breakdown of the pet shipping cost

Airline Freight Fees – Pets that are shipped as “cargo” are booked as freight. Many countries require pets to enter the country as “cargo”. These freight costs range from an estimated $300 to $1200 and vary depending on the airlines. These fees are typically calculated in one of two different ways. These are calculated by either the dimensional volume or the total weight. Taxes, fuel surcharges, screening, handling, and terminal fees can also be additional depending on the routing. Your pet relocation agent should consider not only cost of the freight but also which airline provides the best routing for your pet.

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Vet Services

All pets that travel by air are required to have a health certificate dated within 10 days of travel. This requires a trip to the vet to have your pet checked out to make sure they are fit and healthy to travel and show no signs of a contagious disease. For international travel, there are additional requirements such as blood tests, parasite treatments, and additional vaccinations depending on the country requirements. These vet services costs can vary from vet practice. A health exam and certificate typically ranges from $50-$250. Blood tests are more expensive and range depending on tests required and lab fees etc.

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Travel Crates

Your pet will be required to have a travel crate. There are several different manufacturers of airline approved travel crates such as Petmate Sky Kennel or Vari Kennel and some store brands like Petco. Keep in mind that some crates will be advertised as “airline approved”, yet these may not meet requirements. One example is the crate that has clamps rather than metal screws to secure the top and bottom piece. This crate may have a sticker or tag that claims it is airline approved, however the airlines require the crates to be secured with metal screws. In addition, the regulations for crates will also depend on the breed of the pet as well as the destination (domestic vs international). Pet travel crates range in cost from $35-$750. If you chose to purchase your own crate, it is highly recommended that you confirm the crate meets your pet’s requirements and the airline regulations prior to arriving at the airport

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Ground Transport to and from airports

As a full service Pet Relocation Company, Continental Pet Relocation can provide the full door to door relocation for your pet. This includes picking up your pet from their home and taking them to the airport and also receiving your pet at the destination airport and delivering them to their new home. The ground transport service to and from the airport is priced on a per mileage basis. This services typically ranges from $75-$800.

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Customs Clearance

International pet shipping requires that your pet clear through customs at the arrival airport. If your pet is relocating to Europe, your pet will have a vet exam at the first European port of entry and then the final clearance procedures will be handled at the final destination airport. Some countries mandate that you have a broker for customs clearance. If a broker is not required, you are allowed to clear your own pet. Your pet will arrive with their original documents and you may be required to present ID such as a drivers license or passport and reason for the relocation. You may also be asked to produce a copy of your personal airline ticket as proof of your arrival date in to the country. This can be a complicated process in some countries and it is strongly advised that you hire a pet shipping company or customs broker if you don’t speak the native language of the country. Clearance fees typically range from $50-$600 and often times will include the import clearance, customs declaration, vet inspection, terminal fees, and duty/taxes.


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How to choose a Pet Relocation or Pet Shipping Company

Selecting a Pet Shipping Company that will serve you best is a very important decision. We recommend visiting the pet shipping company’s website as well as reading reviews (Google or Yelp) to get a good idea of the company image and reputation. Call and ask to speak to someone so that you can get a feel for the company, their expertise and ask any questions that you may have. Most companies will need some basic information regarding your pet and the services needed in order to provide an estimate for relocation services. Some larger pet shipping companies may have you working with more than one representative throughout your pet’s relocation process. You may prefer a smaller pet relocation company where you are working with 1-2 representatives throughout the process, providing a more personal feel.

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