Got a question?

If you don’t find what you need below, please use our contact form and we will be happy to assist with any questions you may have.

What kinds of pets do you move?

Airborne Animals will arrange transportation of dogs, cats, birds, and other small pets (rabbits, ferrets, etc.) as well as turtles, tortoises and reptiles. While many pet shippers do not handle bird transport, it is one of our specialties.

We do not relocate fish. We have also assisted with small farm animals—miniature horses, goats, and pigs—and even some exotic animals like hyenas, primates and a coatimundi.

Keep in mind that most birds and exotic pets require special permits to move internationally.

Is shipping a pet in cargo safe?

Airborne Animals LLC would not be in business if we were afraid to ship pets via commercial airline cargo services. One of my own dogs was purchased and flown to me!

We utilize the services of commercial airlines who ship lots of pets and know how to do it well. Many airlines have their own pet care facilities at their respective hubs, which can provide pet care upon arrival and during layovers.  In many aircraft the same air is circulated through the cabin and then downstairs in the cargo area and back up again. Federal regulations stipulate the minimum requirements each airline must meet in order to accept pets, including climate controlled areas for pets. And yes, the entire plane is pressurized – it would implode at high altitudes if it were not.

But why do I always hear horror stories in the news?

Keep in mind the media always focus on the bad things in life. In reality, airline reports show fewer than 30 animal injuries or deaths in an average year. Compare that to the statistic of over a million and half pets flying per year; it means only a fraction of one percent ever have a problem. In reality, most problems are caused by good intentioned pet owners who do not know about shipping pets. Using an inexpensive crate for example, creates a bigger chance of escape than using a heavier more expensive model; flimsier plastic kennels are more likely to have doors that pop open.

The majority of pets who become ill or die usually have an underlying health issue that was either undiagnosed or ignored.

Should my pet be sedated?

Definitely not! Sedation has been shown to be the number one cause of death or illness in shipped pets. Tranquilizers slow the respiratory and heart rates. Even the American Veterinary Medical Association has put out advisories to their membership not to recommend tranquilizers for flying pets, though occasionally a veterinarian still recommends it to a client. Each pet reacts individually to a tranquilizer, some may become heavily sedated, some not affected and in rare cases it may even make a pet more excited. A pet that is wobbly and without the ability to steady itself may get bounced around more if turbulence is encountered. And finally, many airlines now recognize the dangers of tranquilization, and will refuse to ship a sedated pet.

Can I rent a shipping crate?

No. Crates are sold as part of the move. You may also purchase a crate yourself at a local pet store. We can make a recommendation on the type to buy. Having a kennel in advance will actually give you time to acclimate the pet to it. Trying to return a crate to use generally costs more than the value of the kennel.

What if I want to drop my pet off at the airport and have a friend pick up at the other end?

Some airlines will not accept pets from the general public and we must use an agent to consign the pet at the cargo area. We are typically not just making travel arrangements but are providing a full service pet moving experience. On occasion, an agent may meet you at the airport rather than pick up the pet in order to reduce costs. Airlines do not care who claims the pet, so pick-up and delivery on the receiving end is optional. For international moves, we highly suggest using a professional pet transporter on the receiving end to clear the pet through customs.

Why do some airlines not accept pets during the summer?

The Animal Welfare Act has restrictions on pet travel during extremely cold and hot temperatures. Some airlines have special pet procedures in place allowing them to work within the guidelines, but others do not and simply refuse pets when temperatures are less than 45 degrees or over 85 degrees. Most airlines have even tighter restrictions on snub nose pets.

What size kennel do I need?

The Animal Welfare Act dictates that a travel kennel/crate be large enough for a pet to stand up without hitting its head (including ears), turn around and lie down in a normal position. In general, there must be 2-3 inches of clearance over top of the head or ears. Snub nose animals require a crate one size larger than normal. Airline personnel will check to make sure the crate meets these requirements, and has the right to refuse a pet for shipment if they are not happy with the kennel. Special pets may require modifications to a standard crate to make it acceptable. For instance birds must be provided perches. For more details, see how to measure your pet and the appropriate shipping kennel or crate.

Why can’t I ship my pet myself??

Some airlines, particularly international carriers, have made the decision to only accept pets from professionals. This is because individuals frequently present incorrect documents, are missing documents, or have an inappropriate crate or the wrong size....so carriers like United, Delta, KLM, British Airways and Lufthansa have decided not to deal directly with the public. Additionally some countries will require even our domestic airlines to use an agent—into Italy or London for example. It all depends on the country and the airline.