How Can I Ship My Dog From State to State?

Dogs cannot be shipped through standard shipping services.
Sieste meritee... image by J-F Perigois from

Moving to another state can be stressful, particularly if you have pets. Shipping a dog from state to state requires advance planning with a shipper who will provide proper care for your dog. Fortunately, when shipping dogs within the United States, owners don't typically have to quarantine their dogs or provide voluminous paperwork to shipping companies.

Vaccinations and Health

Unless you are shipping to Hawaii, which requires a quarantine to test animals for rabies, you will not have to quarantine your dog to ship her to another state. However, she will have to be up-to-date on her vaccinations. Find out if there are any specific vaccinations required by the shipping service you are using. Then visit your veterinarian and get a certificate of your dog's vaccinations. Ask your vet to do a full check-up to ensure that your dog is healthy enough to handle the stress of travel. If your dog has any health problems, treat them before attempting to ship your dog.

Flying with Dogs

If you are flying to a new state, most airlines will allow you to ship your dog. Small dogs are frequently permitted to travel in a carrier on the plane with their owners as long as the carrier can fit in the carry-on baggage area in the seat in front of you. If you have a larger dog, your dog will need to be stowed in the luggage area. Invest in a secure crate for your dog with a lock that prevents escape. Some airlines will not take breeds such as bulldogs, which tend to have breathing problems because of concerns about air pressure in the cargo container. Contact the airline well in advance of your flight to determine the specific requirements for traveling with your dog.

Pet Shipping Services

It is impermissible to ship your dog via standard shipping services because of long delays and safety concerns. However, many pet shipping services will drive or fly your dog to your destination and ensure that your dog gets plenty of walks and meals. Your dog may have to submit to a temperament test to ensure she can tolerate being shipped. See Resources to find a pet shipping service in your area. Pet shipping services range from individuals willing to drive dogs to locations to large companies that transfer multiple dogs. In most cases, you will have to provide a crate, food and any medications your dog needs. A shipping service is a good option for dogs who cannot fly.

Other Options

Instead of flying, rent a moving truck and drive to your destination along with your dog, stopping at pet-friendly hotels along the way. If you're uncomfortable shipping your dog through a large company, or your dog has been rejected for health or temperament reasons, consider paying a friend or family member to drive your dog to your destination. Some dog boarding services may have employees who are interested in contract work. Ask about college students or other people seeking outside work who might be interested in driving your dog. These people already have experience with dogs and may relish the opportunity to make some extra money.



About the Author

Brenna Davis is a professional writer who covers parenting, pets, health and legal topics. Her articles have appeared in a variety of newspapers and magazines as well as on websites. She is a court-appointed special advocate and is certified in crisis counseling and child and infant nutrition. She holds degrees in developmental psychology and philosophy from Georgia State University.

Photo Credits

  • Sieste meritee... image by J-F Perigois from