Pet Shipping for Customers
uShip loves helping families ship their furry friends! Over the years, our service providers have helped many family members reunite and have saved thousands of shelter animals by providing transportation from kill shelters. This is a cause that is very near and dear to our hearts.
When shipping pets, it's more important than ever to make sure that you trust your service provider and that you've thoroughly prepared your pet for travel.
Please consider the following guidelines to make sure your pet is ready for the trip.
- Age: Travel and being away from family is stressful, even for healthy pets. If your pet is very young or very old this stress can cause some major problems. We do not recommend transporting pets under 10 weeks of age.
- Health: If your pet has any condition that may be exacerbated by this stress, such as asthma or seizure disorders, it might not be the right time to transport them. Many providers will require a health certification to verify that your pet is current on its shots and has been cleared for travel. Any pets with communicable conditions such as kennel cough or fleas should not be transported until they've completed treatment.
- Identification: It's a good idea to have your pet microchipped. If your pet can wear a collar, make sure they have one that includes an ID tag. The tag should include the pet's name, your name and phone number, and the destination address. Don't forget to take pictures of your pet before they travel.
- Breed: Certain breeds of dogs and cats are at particularly high risk for breathing incidents during transportation. Stress and high temperatures are common triggers of respiratory distress. Take special care when transporting snub nosed pets like Pugs, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Pekingese, Lhasa Apsos, Shih tzus, Bulldogs, and some Mastiffs. Himalayan and Persian cats have similar reactions to travel.
Take your pet to their veterinarian for a checkup before transporting and inform them of your pet's travel plans. Listen to your vet’s advice. If they suggest that your animal is too old or weak for travel, consider alternative plans for your furry friend. Travel risks should be taken seriously, and it's important to do what's best for the pet.
- Season & Temperature: We discourage shipping pets in extreme heat. If you absolutely cannot wait for cooler temps, please confirm that your provider's vehicle has working air conditioning and that your pet will get frequent breaks for fresh air.
- Food & Medications: Make sure that your pet has everything they'll need for the ride (and then some). In case there are unavoidable delays, you'll want to make sure your service provider has enough food and any medications necessary to safely deliver your pet to his/her destination.
- Mode of Transportation: Will your pet travel via plane, train or automobile? Check to ensure you have all the required certifications and/or paperwork for the method of transportation your provider will use.
- Travel Kennel: Kennels and crates are essential to safe pet transportation. Make sure your kennel is large enough that your pet can sit, stand, lie down, and turn around comfortably. Also, make sure to get them acclimated to their kennel/crate prior to their trip.
- Destination: If your pet is traveling to another country, make sure your pet meets the necessary health requirements of that country. There might be additional paperwork that is needed to ensure your pet (and provider) don't get delayed in customs. Talk to your veterinarian and the export service center of the state they'll be traveling through to avoid any last minute delays.
Your Service Provider
Make sure you're comfortable with your service provider and how they'll treat your pet. Ask some questions in Q&A before selecting a transporter:
1. Have you shipped pets before? Check their feedback to review shipping experience. Shipping live animals is much different than other types of cargo. It's best to choose someone with past pet shipping experience.
2. How often will you take my pet out for breaks? How do you safely remove a pet from their kennel? It's very important that a pet is taken for bathroom breaks and fresh air. It's also very important that your pet is secure when they're being removed from their kennel or the vehicle. Make sure your provider has a plan.
3. Where will my pet stay overnight? If your pet's travel will include overnights, it's important for you to be comfortable with your pet's sleeping accommodations.
4. How often can you send me updates? It's crucial that your provider communicates. Agree to a schedule for communication before they pickup your pet. Do you want to hear from them once or twice a day? Do you need to see pictures? Set expectations beforehand but also remember that carriers frequently driving and on the road, so they may not always be available to answer a text or call immediately.
5. Are there any additional requirements that you require? Does your provider need any additional types of certificates, documentation, pictures, kennels, leashes, etc. before they pick up your pet? If you're sending your pet with a kennel or crate, please ensure that your provider knows the size and has enough space for both your pet and it's kennel.
Note for animal shippers: For animal shipments, the service provider may require payment at pickup (not prior) to comply with USDA regulations. These Payment Codes can be released at time of pickup. Often times this is to allow for treatment of the animal should any injury or illness occur during shipment.
If you have any additional questions or concerns about pet transport, please contact support! We're here to help.