What actually goes into transporting a puppy long distance?

Transporting a puppy requires a lot of planning and research. Here are the key details you should look out for while you prepare to bring home your new puppy.

by Good Dog

Getting started

Deciding to get a dog from a city or state located far from your home can be difficult to navigate. You may have come across terms like “flight nanny” and “pet cargo” during your research for puppy transport — but what do these words really mean, and how can you ensure that your puppy is transported safely to your home?

A flight nanny’s job typically entails meeting the breeder at their local airport and then transporting the pet to an airport close to the buyer. In essence, a flight nanny travels with your puppy in the airplane’s main cabin and your dog is completely supervised for the duration of the journey. Another option is pet cargo, which is an area on board the plane where pets have their own climate-controlled environment, separate from the passengers. Typically, pet cargo is better suited for larger sized dogs that aren’t permitted to travel in the main cabin.

Things to look out for

There are a few key details to look for when deciding what the best path is for you to get your puppy transported safely. A reputable carrier should be in frequent communication with you, and have positive, reliable reviews. Not only must the transporter understand how to handle and care for a puppy, but he or she should also be knowledgeable of the specific breed and its unique needs and preferences. Moreover, the transportation method used must be specially designed for pets and have emergency plans outlined. The combination of these qualities is vital to ensuring a smooth, safe, and dependable trip for your puppy.

If you are learning about these transportation processes for the first time, Good Dog has suggestions to help get you started. Start by asking a reputable veterinarian or breeder for recommendations. Oftentimes, breeders have past experiences with trusted individuals or services coming to their homes to pick up newly adopted pups on behalf of a buyer, while some breeders may even be willing to transport the puppy themselves.

If a service feels “sketchy” or “too good to be true,” it most likely is. There have been too many incidents in which flight nannies suddenly stop communicating with the buyer and pocket the money they were paid for their services. They most likely never even intended on transporting the dog and are scamming plenty of other eager puppy buyers online as well. There are other cases where the transporter fell in love with the puppy or wanted to resell it to someone else for profit. Hiring a reputable person to transport your puppy is essential for the protection of your dog.

Questions you should ask

While you’re deciding how you want your puppy to travel, it might be helpful to consider asking the following questions when narrowing down your options:

  • Are there any special health considerations?
  • Can you provide a crate or pet carrier and is it approved for air travel?
  • Is your pup a brachycephalic (flat-faced) breed with restrictions on travel?
  • What time of year is it? Will climate impact your pup’s travel experience?
  • Can your pup be flown in-cabin or must it travel in cargo?
  • Do you know the import regulations for your state?

After putting so much time, money and energy into adopting your dream dog, it is important to not drop the ball on the last step, which is getting your puppy home safely. Although there are many pet carrier scam out there to keep an eye out for, there are also plenty of reliable options that ensure the best quality service for you and most importantly, your puppy.

Once you've decided on the best method of transportation for you and your pup, it's time to get ready for the pick-up, so start counting down the days!