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Best Overall: Airpets America
Airpets America is one of the most well-known pet transportation companies out there.
Based in Texas, Airpets America is backed by the USDA and has been in the business for over 20 years. They ship an incredibly wide assortment of animals, so whether you own a dog, cat, turtle, or rabbit, Airpets will help you get your pet where you need it to go. Your furry friend will always be on a pet-friendly flight with temperature-controlled cargo, and the service also offers add-on options like grooming, exercise, and custom crates—so you can give your pet the best experience possible.
Prices depend on how far your pet is traveling, but Airpets America will ship your pet both domestically and internationally. Domestic moves start at roughly $1,000, while an international trip will cost you more than $2,000 (there are discounts for military relocations).
The company has veterinarian care on staff if needed, and even offers ground transportation to and from an airport. Airpets America is a great choice for your pet’s comfort and peace of mind. While it can be on the pricier side, it is well worth the money for your pet’s safety throughout their trip.
Best Communication: Air Animal
It can be unnerving when your pet is traveling separately from you. Air Animal is known for its frequent updates and customer service, so you can monitor your furry friend from the moment he leaves your arms to when he arrives back safe and sound.
Founded in 1977 by a veterinarian, Air Animal will transport most domesticated animals and offers both domestic and international moves. Its customer-friendly website offers many videos and tutorials to help prepare you and your pet for the big trip.
Domestically, Air Animal offers various transportation levels ranging from the most basic “book and fly” option to the VIP offering. The basic travel package includes a concierge to book and coordinate a move on an airline, and pricing starts at about $1,095. The most extensive package—the VIP—includes pickup and drop-off from your home to a commercial airline, and extensive health reviews. This package starts at approximately $1,995.
International plans start at roughly $1,795 for the basic option and reach about $2,895 for the VIP package. When your pet is traveling, you will receive constant updates alerting you to their progress, helping put your mind at ease until you are reunited again.
Best for Multiple Pets: Happy Tails Travel, Inc.
Transporting multiple pets can get expensive, but Happy Tails Travel, Inc. offers a discount when you add on more furry friends. Based in Arizona, Happy Tails Travel ships to most countries in the world and has a stellar safety record.
If you are traveling domestically, Happy Tails Travel offers ground transportation without breed restrictions, which is great for anyone who wants to avoid long-distance air travel. It also transports internationally and helps your pet during a military move as well.
Prices start around $800, and a discount is given for transporting multiple pets for a single customer. Happy Tails also offers discounts for military moves and relocations. While it can typically accommodate last-minute moves, there are additional fees for rush transportation services.
That said, all of the company's prices are straightforward and upfront, so you never have to worry about surprise fees. Happy Tails Travel is an affordable option that’s great if you want to save money while transporting your whole furry family.
Best for Ground Transportation: Royal Paws
While air transportation is safe, some pet owners feel better knowing their pets are moving on the ground. Royal Paws focuses on private, ground transportation throughout the country for your cat or dog.
The services are door-to-door and entirely climate-controlled. Your pet will be walked every four hours, and you can even have your pet transported in your own vehicle. There are no breed restrictions, and your pet will always be transported by a two-person team.
A cross-country trip will start at around $4,000, but the cost will depend on the mileage traveled. While many other pet transportation companies require health certificates, Royal Paws does not. You can opt to crate your pet during his journey, or avoid confinement if your pet has anxiety in a closed space.
Royal Paws is a great choice for anyone hunting for an exclusive transportation service that offers hands-on care and ground transportation only.
Best for Tracking: Blue Collar Pet Transport
We love Blue Collar Pet Transport because it allows you to track your pet from the minute it leaves your house to when it arrives at your front door.
Blue Collar serves the United States and Canada with premier, USDA-certified ground or air transportation. Once you book your transportation, the customer service department will help you set up a tracking system so you can watch your pet throughout their journey. Every pet handler has been thoroughly background-checked and screened, so you can be sure your pet is in good hands.
A shared ride with Blue Collar starts at about $675 and you can receive around 50% off any additional pet. Private transportation starts at roughly $1,500, and each additional pet costs approximately $475. If your pet has special needs such as medication requirements, Blue Collar will accommodate them without any additional fees or taxes. Their website offers an easy-to-use online pricing calculator that can help you estimate the costs of your pet’s travel.
It is important to note that while you can typically schedule last-minute rides, availability may change throughout the year.
Best Marketplace: Citizen Shipper
Citizen Shipper is a website that allows you to gather bids from qualified, professional pet transporters from across the country, so you can find the solution that fits your budget and needs perfectly.
The process begins once you create a listing that includes all of your pet’s details: location, breed, weight, and any restrictions your pet may have, such as crate anxiety. Citizen Shipper then matches you to pre-vetted pet transportation experts and allows you to read through estimated quotes and specifics regarding each option.
All pet transportation professionals on Citizen Shipper have reviews and testimonials so you can be sure you can trust the company in charge of your pet’s move.
This online marketplace is a great solution for anyone who has a complex need, like a tight timeline, or anyone who wants to shop around for the best price for your pet’s move. Plus, Citizen Shipper has more than 10,000 positive reviews from real customers.
How We Chose the Best Pet Transportation Services
We reviewed every pet transportation service on the market and determined the top picks based on safety, reputation, and price. We only included USDA-backed options and favored transportation services that offered a variety of options for your pet. Our favorite picks were those that offered GPS tracking like Blue Collar Pet Transport or upgraded services like Air Animal. Others stood out because they had a long list of testimonials and reviews from real customers.
The best pet transportation services were those that were highly rated with safe accommodations, such as climate-controlled transportation and veterinarians on staff to keep your pet safe.