What is Pet Shipping?

Marisa O'Connor

Pet shipping is a method of relocating pets to be reunited with their families when traveling or moving. Most airlines allow healthy pets to be shipped in special carriers in their cargo bay. It is the responsibility of the pet owner to provide documentation from a veterinarian that the animal is healthy enough for travel. Shipping services are available for pets that make sure the animal is taken care of and kept safe and can also relieve a lot of stress involved in transporting pets.

If a pet is healthy, most airlines will allow them to be shipped in a special carrier in the cargo area.
If a pet is healthy, most airlines will allow them to be shipped in a special carrier in the cargo area.

When the family has to move, most people hope to take their pets with them, as they are often part of the family unit. Having to say goodbye to a family pet can be devastating for some people. Many services have developed in order to make it as easy as possible for families and their pets to stay together. As emotional as this decision may be, it is very important to keep in mind what is best for the animal.

Shipping of pets can be quite dangerous for the animals. Any time a pet is going to be traveling any significant distance, especially by air, it is critical that a veterinarian be consulted. The veterinarian will do a physical exam to make sure the animal is prepared to physically handle the stresses involved in long-distance travel. Animals that are too young, old, or weak are at risk of injury or even death when relocating, so it is best to find them another local home.

International pet shipping can get a bit complicated. Each country has its own set of laws and regulations about pet travel. Some countries have restrictions about the types of animals that can enter the country. Be sure to get all the information available about the different rules in the country the pet is being shipped to. Depending on the country, a pet may require a quarantine, vaccines, or even a pet visa.

Within the U.S., pet shipping is somewhat easier because all the rules are the same at the old location and the new. Different states may have different rules, but they are not likely to intrude on pet travel. If traveling by air, the airline will likely have a set of regulations involved in shipping the pet, so be sure to follow the airline's policy in order to avoid headaches and delays.

There are quite a few services available that will take a lot of the stress out of pet travel for a fee. Most airlines offer pet travel in the cargo area of the plane, but this method requires the pet owner to make all of the preparations. Through a service, the pet can be picked up, taken care of, and delivered to the new location. The pet owner is, however, still responsible for making sure the pet is healthy enough to travel.

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