Veterans Courier Group loves helping families ship their furry friends! Over the years, our service providers have helped family members reunite and have saved thousands of shelter animals by providing transportation. This is a cause that is very near and dear to our hearts.
When shipping pets, it’s more important than ever to make sure that you trust your service provider and that you’ve prepared your pet.
Here are things to keep in mind before transporting your pet:
· Age: Travel and being away from family is stressful, even for healthy pets. If your pet is very young or very old this stress can cause some major problems. We do not recommend transporting pets under 10 weeks of age.
· Health: If your pet has any condition that may be exacerbated by this stress, such as asthma or seizure disorders, it might not be the right time to transport them. Many providers will require a health certification to verify that your pet is up to date on its shots and has been cleared for travel. Any pets with communicable conditions such as kennel cough or fleas should not be transported until they have completed treatment.
· Identification: It’s a good idea to give your pet a microchip. If your pet can wear a collar, make sure they have one that includes an ID tag. The tag should include the pet’s name, your name and phone number, and the destination address. Don’t forget to take pictures of your pet before they travel.
· Breed: Certain breeds of dogs and cats are at particularly high risk for breathing incidents during transportation. Snub nosed dogs, like pugs, Boston Terriers, boxers, some mastiffs, Pekingese, Lhasa Apsos, Shitzus and bulldogs can go into distress easier due to stress or high temperatures. Himalayan and Persian cat breeds carry similar concerns.
Take your pet to their veterinarian for a checkup before transporting and inform them of your pet’s travel plans. Listen to your vet’s advice; if they suggest that your animal is too old or weak for travel, try to find your pet a new home with a friend of family member. It’s better to have your pet safe at home than for them to be injured during the travel process.
· Season & Temperature: We discourage shipping pets in extreme heat. If you absolutely cannot wait for cooler temperatures, please confirm that your provider’s vehicle has working air conditioning and that your pet will get frequent breaks for fresh air.
· Food & Medications: Make sure that your pet has everything they will need for the ride (and then some). In case there are unavoidable delays, you will want to make sure your service provider has enough food and any medications necessary to safely deliver your pet to his/her final location.
· Mode of Transportation: Will your pet travel via plane, train or automobile? Check to ensure you have all the required certifications and/or paperwork for the method of transportation your provider will use.
· Travel Kennel: Kennels and crates are an essential piece to ensure your pet is safely transported. Make sure your kennel is large enough that your pet can sit, stand, lie down, and turn around comfortably. Also, make sure to get them acclimated to their kennel/crate prior to their trip.
· Destination: If your pet is traveling to another country make sure your pet meets the necessary health requirements of that country. There might be additional paperwork that is needed to ensure your pet (and provider) don’t get delayed in customs. Talk to your veterinarian and export service center of the state they’ll be traveling through to avoid any last-minute delays.
Your Service Provider
Make sure they are USDA Certified!
Make sure you’re comfortable with your service provider and how they will treat your pet. Ask some questions in Q&A before selecting a transporter:
1. Have you shipped pets before? Check their feedback to review shipping experience. Shipping live animals is different from other types of cargo. It’s best to choose someone with past pet shipping experience.
2. How often will you take my pet out for breaks? How do you safely remove a pet from their kennel? It’s very important that a pet is taken for bathroom breaks and fresh air. It’s also very important that your pet is secure when they are being removed from their kennel or the vehicle. Make sure your provider has a plan.
3. Where will my pet stay overnight? If your pet’s travel will include overnight, it’s important for you to be comfortable with your pet’s sleeping accommodations.
4. How often can you send me updates? It’s crucial that your provider communicates. Agree to a schedule for communication before they pick up your pet. Do you want to hear from them once or twice a day? Do you need to see pictures? Set expectations beforehand but also remember that they are frequently driving and on the road, so they may not always be available to answer a text or call immediately.
5. Are there any additional requirements that you require? Does your provider need any additional types of certificates, documentation, pictures, kennels, leashes, etc. before they pick up your pet? If you are sending your pet with a kennel or crate, ensure your provider knows the size and has enough space for both your pet and its kennel.