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It’s not always convenient to travel with your pet. Using a pet shipping company might be the best alternative to ensuring that your pet has the optimal travel experience. When you’re ready to hire a pet shipping company, use this checklist to ensure you choose the right one.

Animal Agency Approval

Check whether animal-related agencies like The US Department of Agriculture approve the pet shipping company.  

These agencies ensure that pets are kept safe and in good condition during transit. 

Ensure They Are Registered With the IPATA

A reputable pet shipping company should be a member of the International Pet and Animal Transport Association.  

This shows that they comply with international standards of pet shipping and are certified to transport pets. Also, it’s a sign that they have enough training to handle various pets. 

Check for Online Reviews

What are previous customers saying about the company? Too many negative reviews – such as delays or animal abuse – means you shouldn’t entrust them with your pet. 

Ask About Their Communication

Does the company update you about the state of your pet during travel? Do they have tracking devices so you can follow your pet as they move? Will they notify you if something happens to your pet during transit?

They should communicate all this information, so you don’t have to worry about your pet. 

Ask About Their Feeding Schedule

You’ll want to find out how, when, and what your pet will be fed. Also, if your pet is allergic to anything, you might want to notify the company beforehand. 

Ask About the Company’s Shipping Policies

Find out how the pets will be shipped (cargo, air, etc.) and what type of insurance is included. Will your pet travel alone or in a group with other animals? 

Ask to See Where They Will Keep Your Pet During Transit

If the company uses crates to keep the animals during transportation, you’ll want to find out the type of crate your pet will be transported in. 

Is it spacious enough, or will your pet be cramped? This will help you prepare your pet for travel. 

Ask About Their Services

Do they offer grooming, exercise, and health checkups during transportation?

What if I Don’t Hire a Pet Shipping Company? 

You can still drive with your pet in your car. However, this will necessitate frequent stops for bathroom breaks. 

If you decide to use public transport, such as a train, your pet must be old enough (at least 8 weeks old) and harmless. You will also have to sign a document agreeing that your pet’s vaccination is up to date and that you are responsible for their health.

For planes, you’ll need to check the airline policy on pets. For instance, pets weighing more than 15 pounds are not allowed in cabins. 


The best shipping company will depend on your preferences and personal situation.

Key factors you should consider when choosing the best company are cost, mode of transport, and certification with a reputable pet transport agency.