Frequently asked questions people have about moving a pet.
There is no single checklist for "how to ship a pet", there are many different factors to consider for every move. Each pet is different and each pet relocation is going to be unique! Choosing a professional pet shipper can reduce stress for you and your pet and can help make your pet relocation seamless.
Click on a question to see the answer.
- Do I have to join IPATA to ship my pet?
- No. IPATA is an association of Professional Pet Shippers.
Members have their own companies and are located in more than 75 countries around the world. The IPATA site is a source to find a professional pet shipper.
- IPATA members have many years of experience shipping pets. Some of our members provide only Ground Transportation to relocate your pet, while other members provide both air and ground transportation services.
- Some members provide additional services such as boarding, grooming, veterinary care or other services.
- What do I need to know when planning a pet move?
- Where are you shipping from? Where is your pet going?
- Your pet shipper does not need to be in your city or even in your state or country because IPATA members have an international network to help you.
- Professional pet shippers can handle the arrangements to ensure personal care and handling of your family pet from the time it is picked up at your home until it is delivered to your new home - wherever it might be!
- About your pet...
- What is the age and special health considerations of the pet?
- Is the pet too young or old to travel? The are rules for pet travel.
- Is the pet a Brachycephalic (snub-nosed) breed? This can apply to dogs and cats!
- What time of year are you considering your move? Temperatures affect the transport of animals for their safety!
- Whether you are shipping a dog, cat, snake, ferret, turtle, fish or a small pocket pet, using a professional pet shipper can help to ensure all the details are addressed.
- Why use a Professional Pet Shipper?
- A professional facilitates the process with their knowledge and expertise in all the areas related to a pet move. Professional Pet Shippers apply their knowledge of flight regulations, flight container requirements, pickup and delivery arrangements, quarantine, boarding, import and export arrangements and proper identification. And as these requirements, regulations and restrictions change, a pet shipping professional stays abreast of these changes and makes the necessary adjustments to your pet's travel arrangements.
- Pet Shippers are not the least expensive way to move your pet but, they help to ensure that the job is done right. There are hundreds of details in a pet move. Why leave to chance important details that you did not know about?
- The bottom line is... YOU don't move pets everyday, use "The Pet Shipping Experts" who do ship pets everyday!
- Are there required immunizations & tests?
- Depending on the country the pet is moving to, the pet may be required to have multiple vaccinations and sometimes even specific blood tests, such as a rabies titer, by an accredited lab. Testing often has specific deadlines which must be met. Professional pet shippers know what immunizations are required and the deadlines which are critical to a shipment. Microchips are also often required.
- What documents are required?
- Health records
- Air-Way-Bills, which are required to ship on planes.
- Often a pet move requires one or more permits. These are critical to the success of a pet transport!
- Import permits... export permits. These must be filled out correctly and must be signed by the correct people, and within the specific allotted time frame or they are not valid. A pet can be returned or quarantined if certain criteria are not met. These actions result in additional expenses to a pet owner.
- Does your pet need a CITES Permit? Professional pet shippers will work out those details for shipping pets.
- Shipping a pet... how hard can it be?
- Pet shipping is not as easy as purchasing a crate and dropping off a pet at the airport counter. There are many, many considerations and consequences for not meeting specific pet shipping regulations and requirements.
- Some of the issues that pet shippers resolve everyday are things like...
- Are there embargoes due to extreme temperatures? What are the options if this is the case?
- Are there embargoes due to the type of pet? Snub nosed pets, dogs and cats may have restrictions and need specific additional kennel adjustments to ship.
- Does the airline have special restrictions on this breed?
- Will the pet have several stops? Who will care for the pet during those stops and layovers?
- If your pet travels through one country to get to another, what are the requirements for additional countries?
- When the pet gets to the destination is there some one to receive the pet, clear customs and then care for the pet?
- Are there specific hours or days that a pet should NOT reach a destination? The answer is yes. There are some locations that will not accept a pet on a Friday because no one will be at the location to feed, water to care for your pet!
- IATA regulations. What are IATA regulations? Do they affect shipping my pet?
- IATA, is the International Air and Transportation Association. They establish the regulations for air transportation around the world. They provide specific requirements and instructions for the correct type and size of shipping containers for each breed, size, and sometimes gender of pet. So whether the animal is an ant eater or a zebra, professional pet shippers will be aware of the requirements.
- Other specific details regarding shipping containers include the amount of ventilation, the materials which are allowed to be used or not used, packing materials, labels on containers, food, water, Airway bills, etc.
- Pet shippers and airlines must know and follow these specific regulations for the safety of the pet and those transporting pets.
- Airlines that accept pets to ship. Why can't I just get a crate, and take my pet to the airport?
- Airline travelers have restrictions on the size suitcase they may use and extra costs for larger or heavier sizes. Shipping container must also meet specifications for size, type, material, security and other airline specifics. If the pet will be transported on additional flights, the professional pet shipper will have planned ahead so there are no surprises or delays.
- Crates... what is the big deal?
- The pet shipping professional will have knowledge of appropriate crate sizing and construction requirements, which can vary between airlines and countries, and the type of pet.
- Country Regulations for pets. What does that mean and why is it important?
- Each country has requirements that must be met for import and export. Professional pet shippers have knowledge, network connections and contacts to get the job done and meet the requirements and regulations.
- Some countries have no rabies cases within their borders. They work hard to maintain that status. They implement rules and regulations to ensure the health and well being of all their animals, livestock, and people.
- Quarantine. What is that?
- There are some countries that require a pet to stay in a quarantined environment for a specified number of days upon arrival. Some countries will allow home quarantine while others will not allow that and the pet must remain in a quarantine facility for a set number of days.