If you’re like most pet-parents, you want to get your four-legged family member to Boca Raton with no issues – but if you’re moving cross-country, the logistics can be tough to work out. So should you hire a dog shipping service when you move to Boca Raton? Here’s what you need to know.
Should You Hire a Dog Shipping Service When You Move to Boca Raton (or Elsewhere)?
First things first: You should never hire anyone to care for your dog if you haven’t thoroughly vetted (pun intended) their services. Not all pet shippers are created equal – and some are downright unscrupulous. If you know someone who has moved a dog cross-country and successfully used a pet shipping service, ask them for a recommendation; otherwise, it’s going to be up to you to do your homework.
You should also know that most airlines make accommodations for pets, though they often have seasonal restrictions that keep dogs and cats safe when pets are flying in cargo (pets that fit in specific carriers may often be brought in-cabin). For example, airlines have heat embargoes that prevent them from shipping pets during the hotter months of the year. The heat embargoes are there to protect your pets from heat injuries – not in the cargo hold of the plane, which is climate-controlled, but during periods of time where a plane is grounded or the pet’s crate may be on the tarmac waiting to be loaded on the plane. You can check out the pet policies on popular airlines here:
- Alaska Airlines pet policy
- American Airlines pet policy
- Delta pet policy
- Frontier Airlines pet policy
- Hawaiian Airlines pet policy
- JetBlue Airways pet policy
- Southwest pet policy
- Spirit Airlines pet policy
- United Airlines pet policy
In addition to airlines making accommodations for pets, trains often allow pets up to a certain weight.
Related: Are you buying a truly pet-friendly house?
What Does a Pet Shipping Service Do?
If you choose to outsource pet shipping, you need to know what a pet shipping service actually does. Generally, their main priority is transporting your dog (or cat, or other pet) from one place to another. Some pet shipping companies arrange to share rides with other pets; in that case, the cost is offset for each pet parent.
You can expect your pet to travel in a kennel or carrier, have access to clean water, take potty and exercise breaks, and receive meals along the way.
Some pet shipping services also offer specialty services, such as obtaining the appropriate USDA certifications for your pet to move from one state to another (for states that require them).
Why Would Someone Use a Pet Shipping Service?
If it’s just not feasible for you to move your pet yourself, or if doing so would create an undue hardship on you or your pet, you may want to use a pet shipping service. However, you always do so at your own – and possibly at your pet’s – risk.
Related: Five things your pup hates about your new digs
What to Check for in a Pet Shipping Company
It’s incredibly important that you do plenty of research before trusting a pet shipping company with your fur baby. You should make sure that the company you choose:
- Has a USDA certification for pet shipping
- Has excellent reviews and isn’t afraid to give you references
- Is willing to answer the phone when you call, respond to your emails and answer your text messages
- Doesn’t advertise on sites like Craigslist or Facebook
- Works only with drivers who are highly qualified and have undergone background checks and drug testing
What About Pet Nannies?
There’s another alternative to hiring a pet shipping company: You can hire a pet nanny to help transport your four-legged family member with you when you move. Your pet nanny will escort your dog by air (that means flying with them and hand-delivering them to you at the airport) to your new location. If this is an option you’re considering, let your real estate agent know – your REALTOR most likely knows someone or can put you in touch with the right people to facilitate the flight.
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