Need to transport your pet to another state or country but unfortunately can not accompany your companion? Not every airline allows pets to travel alone on their flights. Airlines that offer Pet Cargo services are the ones who can take on the responsibility to ship your pet without you needing to accompany him/her.

This works as you make a booking to ship your pet via them and drop the pet off at the airport. From then, the airline takes on the responsibility and safely transports the pet to the destination port. After that, they hand over the pet to a consignee set by you. Some airlines do not accept individual bookings, so you even need to hire a pet transport agency. Now, let’s look at the very important points on shipping your pet alone and also find you some popular airlines who are ready to ship your pet alone.

Pet Transportation Options

So you need to transport your pet and you have no choice but to transport it alone. What are the transportation options by which you may transport the pet from one place to another?

Transport by Air

You can use air transportation to ship your pet alone from one place to another. It is by far the quickest and easiest medium of pet transportation and it safer than the other mediums. In the past, pets were not treated the right way by air carriers. But thanks to recent laws and regulations, pet transportation by air has become a safe medium for shipping pets domestically or internationally.

If you are shipping your pet alone by air, you will need to choose the Cargo option for shipment. The pet will be traveling beside other animals in his/her separate container.

Transport By Land

Several companies are serving road transportation services for pets domestically. The companies have vehicles specially designed to transport pets comfortably. Some even offer completely dedicated vehicles for only one pet. The service ranges from economy to luxury depending on the amount you would like to spend.

Road transportation is preferable for domestic shipments mainly. But this medium consumes a lot of time to transport from state to state. On the other hand, the pet can be shipped by air in a very short amount of time.

Transport by Sea

Pets can even be shipped alone via sea transportation services. Companies have separate cargo ships that transport animals and other tangible things from place to place. Just like air transportation, the pet will be traveling beside other animals.

Sea transportation is maybe the cheapest medium of pet transportation. But pet owners should be aware of the weather and the situation at the sea before shipping their pets via ships.

Shipping an Animal by Plane

Air transportation is certainly the fastest medium of transportation. While going on vacations or traveling pet owners generally prefer to have their pets beside them. But air travel is certainly not very comfortable for pets. As air travel is their least frequent mode of transportation, they just do not get accustomed to it. They have to follow a long procedure and spend a good amount of time inside a container. Especially on time of take-off and landing, they freak out. So it is better to stay beside them while they are traveling by air.

But in some cases, you might not have any other options other than shipping the pet alone on a plane. Airplanes do not allow pets to travel alone inside the cabin or as checked baggage, the only way they can be transported alone is as Cargo.

Most of the big airline companies have cargo services of their own and some partner up with other specialized cargo handlers for managing their cargo service. There is a separate section for live animals in the cargo compartment, so the pet will be traveling with other animals in their separate containers.

Most airlines do not take bookings from individuals for shipping their pets. Pet owners need to contact a pet agency to arrange a booking for their pets. The agency handles everything from booking, container purchasing, dropping off, and picking up. So the pet owner does not have to worry about anything.

Which Airlines Are The Best

American Airlines

American Airlines distinguishes itself from the competition by introducing its unique “Cuddle Category.” This benefit, which is available on selected flights, offers the dog a separate container next to the seat. Doesn’t that sound preferable to being crammed underneath a chair?

The regular $125 pet fee will be charged when providing the pet with a cozy space throughout the travel. The journey cannot last over 12 hours, as well as all animals must stay in their carriers.

Dogs and cats are welcome to fly in the cargo hold on American Airlines at the first-come system. They accept up to 2 animals per person, but they must include at least 8 weeks old & their weight limit cannot reach 100 pounds.

Pets are not allowed to fly if indeed the trip lasts more than 12 hours. Snub-nosed pets are not permitted, as is the situation with the majority of airlines. This is because these types frequently experience breathing problems.

Air Canada

Regarding your dogs, Air Canada is incredibly courteous. They will just let the pet fly inside the aircraft with you as long as you attend 30 min before takeoff and that they are at ease in their cage.

Guide dogs are welcome to stay inside the cabin complimentary with their owners and may rest at the client’s feet. Don’t forget to sign up your guide dog in advance with Air Canada at their Health Services Station. Additionally, verify that the service dog has a certification and is always wearing a harness.

They also offer Cargo services for shipping pets alone internationally. The Cargo policy is quite favorable and you should not have any problems regarding shipping the pet.

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines allows small mammals like puppies, kittens, and house fowl to travel inside the cabins. Please be advised that this carrier does not allow animals to travel to Hawaii.

Just one fee is charged at verification allowing small pets, cats, and parrots to travel inside the cabins. hopefully, it works without stating that now the animal’s cage should fit somewhere under the chair next to you and will be well.

On a first-initially basis, Delta welcomes dogs. Only a certain number of animals are permitted per flight: again for the majority of their journeys, 4 pets are allowed inside the passenger cabin.

If you are planning to ship the pet alone by Delta, you can also do that using their pet cargo service. The service charges from 125 USD to 300 USD per pet. Carrier requirements should be strictly maintained while transporting a pet by Delta cargo. Also, they do not ship pets when the temperature is above or below a certain level, so make sure you keep that in mind while booking for your pet.

Continental Airlines

Animals are accepted as freight by Continental Airlines as part of the PetSafe policy. The USDA / IATA should authorize the container for dogs traveling as freight, and they would have to have a valid (issued over the last 10 days) medical clearance. Animals that were tranquilized before flying won’t be allowed on the flight. The dog’s parents can follow its flight route and get in touch with Continental‘s Live Animal Hotline anywhere at the time of day. Additionally, the PetPass system gives frequent flyer points to animals when they fly as freight.

United Airlines

Animals are transported by United Airlines using its Apex freight program which is called PetSafe. The United States states that although the majority of dogs can fly as freight year-round, brachycephalic breeds cannot between March and November. All dogs traveling as freight with United should be secured in a container that has been certified by the USDA or IATA and also has a valid medical certificate. Reservations for cargo must be verified inside 24hrs of the pet’s journey because poor weather might cause the scheduled flight to change.

Domestic Pet Transportation

Pet owners most often face difficulties while transporting pets domestically. You may be changing your state or going to another state for vacation purposes and you want to bring your furry friend with you. The question is how can you ship your pet?

If you’re traveling within a certain state, then road transportation may be enough for you. The pet would not have to travel for long hours and it is very less costly in terms of air transport. There are a lot of renowned pet transport agencies in every state who may transport your pet at your request.

If you’re traveling to another state, then it would be a better decision if you take on the air transportation method. The traveling hours will be cut short and your pet also can enjoy the journey. On the other hand, if you choose road transport for interstate traveling, then the pet will need to stay inside a cage for very long hours, and believe us, it feels horrible to them. So, while traveling to another state, always choose air transport.

Almost all airline companies that offer pet cargo services, will transport your pet at your request. Domestic travel requirements are also very low. So you should face no problems.

International Pet Transportation

If you are planning on shipping your pet internationally, then you must and should always select air transportation. The air transportation method is very less time-consuming and more comfortable in terms of road and sea transportation.

Choose the airline carefully by which your pet will be traveling. You can choose one from the list given above. If you are choosing any other company rather than the ones mentioned above, make sure they are pet friendly and their rating is good. A big number of pets get injured or even die because of unsafe handling by airlines every year.

Go through their pet cargo policy and read every section carefully. Write down the requirements which you must fulfill to ship your pet by them. Prepare the documents accordingly and also make sure the pet is in sound health to travel.

You may hire a pet travel agency if the airline does not allow individual bookings for cargo shipment. The agency should handle all the tasks to ship your pet to the desired country safely.


When you are shipping the pet internationally, the destination is an important factor. Different countries have different restrictions on allowing pets as cargo inside their borders, which gives pet owners a headache.

The majority of the airlines have clearly-stated policies written on their websites about country restrictions. You may start by checking if or not your airline ships pets to that specific destination. If it does, look for the requirements you need to fulfill. Mark the factors that can cause problems for your pet to be quickly shipped to that country.

You can even contact the embassy or consulate of that country to learn about any other details. The embassy can let you know about further information which your airlines might have missed. And if you face any problems, the embassy might well assist you to find solutions.

Countries have different document requirements also. Make sure you prepare every document as per their regulation and submit them to the airline on time. If you fail to do so, the pet might get rejected from entering the country which can cost you a fortune.

Pet Transportation Cost

Put simply, shipping the dog would be as much bigger as he is. Large dogs may fly inside the cargo compartment; tiny varieties in carriers may remain inside the cockpit with their owners underneath seats. Because all dogs should travel in a container on any flight, the price could be calculated depending on the size of the container as well as the pet’s body weight.

For example, a dog below 25 kg on an American Airlines journey between New York and California will incur 265 USD, whereas a dog between 25 and 50 kilograms will incur 334 USD. Dogs ranging from 52 to 71 kilograms can ship via American Airlines for 419 USD. Big Dogs and other large species weighing between 71 and 100 kilograms will set you back 529 USD.

Delta, on the contrary, charges roughly 244 USD to transport pets between New York and California inside a small container. Dogs in big carriers (28 inches tall x 26 inches in width) charge about 343 USD while those in medium carriers (23 inches tall x 21.5 inches in width) charge about 457 USD. Extra charges could and most likely will be assessed.

Distance also matters when shipping pets internationally. If you are shipping the pet to a nearby country, the price is very likely to be low. And if the country is on another continent, the airlines are more likely to charge more. You may learn about the exact cost by communicating with the airline.

Live Animals

Do you have a pet that is neither a dog nor a cat but some other animal? Most airlines only allow shipping cats and dogs but there are some airlines that are ready to ship live animals other than just cats and dogs. The shipping cost may not be the same as for dogs and cats but you should be able to comfortably ship your live animals.

We are listing the names of the animals that certain airlines are ready to ship:

AirlinesAre ready to shipDo not ship
American Airlines per CargoDogs, Cats, Birds, Monkeys and also some other warm and cold-blooded animals.Harmful or obnoxious animals such as snakes and other reptiles.
Delta Airlines CargoCats, Dogs, Household birds, Rabbits, Hamsters, Guinea pigs Marmots (Only on domestic flights)Non-Human primates
Air Canada Pet CargoCats and Dogs, Warm and cold-blooded animals, Fish, Coral, Bees, etc.    Non-human primates, Threatened species, and related products, Illegal Wildlife Trade  
Alaska Airlines Pet CargoCats, Dogs, Ferrets, Guinea pigs, Hamsters, Tropical fish, Rabbits, Pot-bellied pigs, Non-poisonous reptiles , House birdsFlustered or aggressive pets
Air France Pet CargoDogs and Cats, Ornamental Fish, Horses, Day-old chickens, Zoo animals Cattle, Hatching eggs, InsectsBrachycephalic Breeds
Aeromexico Pet CargoAll pets can be shipped except the ones mentioned as bannedSick animals, Expectant females or females with lactating offspring, Animals with pungent or off odor, Cats or dogs under the age of 12 weeks

Military Pet Shipping

Have you been a military veteran who must relocate? We are aware that it can be a frustrating process, particularly if you do have little planning time and should balance your travel plans with those of your companion.

The excellent thing would be that because of the readily available facilities, military animal relocation are far simpler to manage independently than civilian relocation.

Your pet might be allowed to travel by troop aircraft.

Animals are allowed on select AMC planes departing from Washington Airport or Tacoma National for global PCS trips. A limitation of 2 animals per household exists.

Same breed limitations apply to AMC aircraft as they do to standard ones. Even while this alternative is significantly cheaper than traveling domestically, there are only a limited number of desirable spaces available, therefore it’s advised to get in touch with your local aviation office as quickly as practicable to learn about all the prerequisites and specifics.

If you want to travel by regular airlines you may do that also. American Airlines and Delta Airlines have special facilities for military pet transportation. Whereas American Airlines solely allows only military pets inside their cabins. Military families receive a flat 50% discount while shipping their pets via American Airlines. To get the offer, you must show them authentic identification data while booking the arrangement.


Which airline is best for shipping pets?

Some of the best airlines to ship pets alone are American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Air Canada Pet Cargo, United, and Continental Airlines.

Can you send your dog on a plane without you?

Of course, you can. Various airlines now offer pet cargo services that allow pet owners to ship their pets to certain locations without needing to accompany them. The airline staff takes care of the pet while on air and safely delivers the pet to the consignee at the destination point.

Which airlines fly pets in cargo?

Almost all airline companies now offer pet cargo services. The popular ones are American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Air Canada Pet Cargo, United, and Continental Airlines.

How can I ship my dog to another state?

The air transportation option would be the wiser choice if you were going to another state. The amount of time spent traveling will be reduced, and your pet can take pleasure in the trip. Therefore, whenever going to a different state, always prefer air travel. You may use the cargo service provided by various airlines to ship your pet to another state.


Shipping your pet alone to any destination can be frightening for any pet owner. But if managed properly, pet transportation can be pretty easy thanks to the widely available technology and facilities. We hope now you have enough information and feel confident about shipping your pet via cargo services.

See More

  1. 11 Airlines That Allow Dogs in Cargo
  2. Guide to FedEx pet shipping
  3. Facts of international pet shipping costs
  4. Top 9 pet shipping airlines
  5. How do recognize fake pet shipping companies?
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