The latest information on transportation during COVID-19

Wondering what to do about getting your pups to their new homes in the age of coronavirus? Here's the current situation.

by Cat Matloub, Esq. - Head of Partnerships, Community & Legal Affairs at Good Dog

Last Updated: Friday, April 3, 2020

The recent coronavirus-related societal and travel restrictions have made it more challenging for many breeders to get their puppies to their new homes. We’re here to help. This article provides an overview of the current travel options for dogs, as of Friday, April 3, 2020. We note that current guidance nationwide is to shelter in place and refrain from any travel that isn't essential. As things continue to evolve, we'll keep you posted and update this article with any new developments.

Keep in mind that each transportation option will have limitations (such as restrictions on breeds allowed or locations available) and it’s important to consider any potential health and behavior risks to the puppies that will be transported. As always, we’re here to help if you have any questions. Reach out to us anytime at breederteam@gooddog.com.

Current flying and airline options

Transporting puppies by air has become more challenging due to increased restrictions on pet travel, for both cargo and in-cabin trips. These restrictions include things like the number of dogs permitted per flight, the type of planes dogs are permitted to fly cargo on, and the type of breeds allowed to fly cargo. Especially with things changing so frequently, we encourage you to speak to the airline directly about their current policies if you're considering one of these options.

Flying dogs cargo

American Airlines and Alaskan Airlines are currently the only two airlines flying dogs in cargo.

Both airlines are only flying dogs cargo on direct flights (no layovers) and are not offering any transportation assistance to or from the airport. Tickets should be reserved at most 10 days in advance and can be paid for then or at the airport by the person dropping the dogs off.

Please note that each airline may have restrictions on which breeds can fly in cargo and the airline restrictions are constantly evolving, so please make sure to call the airline to confirm.

*We note that flying dogs as cargo is different from flying with dogs as checked luggage or “checked pet service,” which no airlines are currently allowing.

In-cabin

A breeder, puppy buyer, or flight nanny can still transport a puppy in-cabin. Airlines are implementing stronger restrictions on the number of dogs allowed per flight so make sure to call your airline before flying. Understandably, flight nannies or buyers may not feel comfortable with this option. If flying in cabin, we recommend that you take every safety precaution as recommended by the CDC.

Ground transportation

Community connections

We are exploring multiple options here to try to provide support to our Good Breeder community once travel restrictions are lifted, including helping our community support one another by connecting breeders looking for transportation assistance with fellow Good Breeders and members of our Good Dog community interested in offering to transportation assistance to help get puppies to their new homes.

If you are interested in ground transportation assistance or if you are interested in providing ground transportation assistance to your fellow Good Breeders and their puppy buyers, please join our Good Breeder Facebook group and see our pinned post about how to request transportation assistance from the group. If you're interested, but aren't a member of Good Dog, please feel free to email us at breederteam@gooddog.com.

Ground transport companies

Here is a list of a few companies that provide ground transportation. We encourage you to research them if you're interested in exploring this option once transportation restrictions are lifted (we are also always here to help and answer any questions):

We'll be continuing to add to this list as we find new providers. Please reach out to us if you know of any reputable services that we should include.

Finding puppy buyers closer to home (or local fosters) until the travel restrictions are lifted

We have a large community of educated, potential puppy buyers located in all 50 states and are here to help if you’d like to connect with puppy buyers who are closer to your location, which could make a quick car ride or pick-up more accessible once the travel restrictions are lifted.

Boarding and training until the travel restrictions are lifted

This can be a great option that can benefit you and your buyer if it's something you're able to offer. If you are, offer to board, feed, and train the pup for a reasonable fee starting with a set period of time (for example, two weeks) and then you can re-assess at that time. This can help make sure you're fairly compensated and also help ensure an even better family-dog fit by setting the pup up for success with training.

If you have any questions or need any help with transportation, please feel free to reach out to breederteam@gooddog.com anytime and one of our breeder specialists will be on hand to help you.

These are uncharted waters, but thankfully we are all in this together and we will navigate through it together.