Dog + Puppy Shipping Service

United States and International Dog Transport

If you'd like professional help to better ensure your pets arrive safely to their new home, consider a dog transport service to help make the process easier. Shipping a dog within the United States or overseas is viable when you have updated information and follow the necessary protocol for the airlines and national and international regulations. Our professional team of pet relocation specialists can help you to more thoroughly understand the pet shipping process, including national and international regulations. However, we always recommend that you double check all airline and country import rules and talk to your vet before you book your pet's travel for a safe trip.

Know Before You Go

When moving abroad it is highly recommended to research your housing options beforehand especially in less pet friendly countries. Make sure you can find housing that permits your breed and size of dog. Look into the environment, climate, and area to decide whether or not it is wise to relocate your pet in the first place. You will want to consider accessibility to dog parks, outdoors, medications, dietary requirements, and access to proper provisioning for your pet.


For safety and health reasons we only ship puppies that are 16 weeks and older and have been vaccinated prior to travel. To help your puppy have a safe and easy trip, here are a few things to consider:

  • Be sure to discuss with your vet about any concerns you may have and never travel unless your puppy is in good health.
  • Research the country import rules to make sure your puppy is in line with all vaccine requirements if traveling internationally. Depending on your destination some countries allow young pets to enter before being vaccinated against rabies while others do not.
  • Check the airline rules to see if your puppy meets their requirements for flying.

Important Warning: PUPPY SCAMS

Puppy scams are rampant. Beware if you are in contact with a breeder or individual who wants to sell you a puppy and the seller wants you to wire money via Moneygram or Western Union or simply pay for the transportation costs. Often times these scammers will illegally use the logo of other pet shipping companies to appear legitimate. Puppy scams cost trusting individuals hundreds and thousands of dollars. Do not become a victim. Always do your due diligence and research before dealing with an online breeder.


Moving with St. Bernards, Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, German Shepherds and other large and tall dogs may require more planning, costs, and regulations. Your large dog may not be able to fly out of local or smaller airports either. This may require you to find ground transportation alternatives to get your dog to larger airports and aircraft.

Custom Crates + Cargo Space

Big dogs are likely to need a custom travel kennel or an extension kit to provide more height to a standard large crate. The crate extensions will need to be ordered in advance. The custom or extra large crate size will significantly increase your shipping cost. The airline's cargo fee is based on weight and size of the crate along with your pet's weight. This can be extremely expensive when shipping internationally. Also, not all aircraft are large enough to hold extra large pet crates, so when you book your dog's flight you will need to make sure the plane is able to accommodate your dog.

Provide Ample Hydration

Large dogs consume more water, so it is advisable to include an additional water dish attached on the inside door of the travel crate to provide water throughout the trip.

Short-Nosed / Snub-Nosed (Brachycephalic) Dog Breeds

Extra care is required when the snub-nosed breeds travel because they often have hereditary respiratory problems. You should especially consider this if you are relocating to a humid or hot climate. These breeds are more susceptible to increased risk of heat stroke and breathing problems when exposed to stress or extreme heat. They can still often travel safely, but are more likely to experience breathing issues and overheating during travel. You will need to take special precautions when planning their travel and research airline restrictions and temperature embargoes that may impact you. It is best not to try and ship these breeds during the warmer months (generally mid-May to mid-September) as more restrictions are in place.

Some tips for safe travel for your Brachycephalic Breed to reduce stress when shipping
  • Use a kennel that is one size larger than normally required to allow for extra airflow.
  • Use a kennel with ventilation on four sides. (If the kennel does not have ventilation on four sides, modify the kennel by drilling seven holes in the rear top and seven holes in the rear bottom of the kennel using a 3/4-inch keyhole bit.)
  • Acclimate the pet to the kennel by letting the animal spend time in the kennel prior to travel.
  • Include water but not food in the kennel during the flight.

Geriatric Considerations

Animals, in general, are considered geriatric when they are in the last 25% of their predicted lifespan. For cats this means they are geriatric beginning at 9 years of age. A small dog is also considered geriatric at 9 years but a giant breed dog is considered geriatric at 6 years of age. When your pet is geriatric in "dog years", it is equivalent to being a human that is over 60 years of age. It is a good idea to have a full check-up before moving internationally with your pet. You may want to consider a complete blood work panel to make sure your pet's kidneys and liver are functioning properly and can withstand a period of less than optimal hydration during long travel. Travel is physically demanding on an older pet. Sitting in a confined position for a prolonged period may prove uncomfortable for an arthritic pet. If you are relocating short-term you may want to consider leaving your geriatric pet temporarily with a family member or friend's care.

Breed Restrictions

Some countries restrict the import of breeds like Staffordshire Terriers and Pit Bulls. Some countries will not allow importation even if the dog is a mix such as a Labrador and Pit Bull. Many countries reserve the right to deny the dog entrance into their country if upon inspection they feel the dog exhibits or its appearance resembles certain banned breeds. Certain breeds are also required to travel in a reinforced crate meeting the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Container Requirement #82. The IATA rules state that the container or crate must be constructed of wood, metal, synthetic material, weld mesh or wire mesh. No portion of the crate may be plastic. The crate door must be made of heavy wire mesh, metal or reinforced wood and should have a secure means of fastening that cannot be accidentally opened.

Breed, age or weight of the animal should be confirmed by the animal's health certificate (dated within 10 days of transport). If the breed listed on the health certificate is inaccurate, an airline reserves the right to refuse the animal. Additionally, each airline or pet shipper reserves the right to refuse any animal that displays aggression or viciousness at the time of tender.


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About Life Unleashed Pet Movers

With over 40 years of combined animal handling, transportation, and shipping experience Life Unleashed Pet Movers is an international pet moving and pet relocation company that specializes in providing pet travel and moving solutions for corporations, individuals, and vacationers. Our company is a member of IPATA (International Pet and Animal Transportation Association), ATA (Animal Transportation Association), approved by the TSA as an Indirect Air Carrier, registered with the USDA as professional animal handlers, and certified as a LAR specialist by the IATA (International Air Transport Association. Life Unleashed is a division of Epic Dogz, Inc. View More