How Pet Shipping and Pet Relocation Services Work

Safe Pet Transport Begins Here!

bernese-mountain-dog-pet-shippingYour pet's safety is our priority! To ensure safe pet transport, we generally need one to six weeks notice (depending upon the nature and destination country of your move) to arrange international pet travel. Pets are usually picked up the day before the trip and brought to the vet for their required examination and paperwork. We'll handle full door-to-door pet ground transportation. Pet transport prices can vary, so be sure to request a quote.

Preparing Pet Documentation:

Your pet will need an original health certificate issued by a licensed and accredited veterinarian – one which is under ten days old at time of travel. We also need to see a signed rabies vaccination certificate. For International pet travel, the rabies vaccination often must be at least 30 days old and under one year old. Depending upon the destination country, your pet′s trip can require Import Permits, various annual vaccinations, reservations at quarantine kennels, and other special documentation that can take up to 6 weeks or more to obtain. We can help with all of this. We are happy to explain an individual country′s requirements and help you sort through the maze of international pet transport!

Flight Crates for Pet Transport:

orange-cat-with-green-eyes-in-crate-for-pet-shippingHaving a proper size kennel is a pet shipping requirement. Your pet MUST be able to stand up without their head touching the top of the carrier, sit down, and turn around comfortably in the carrier. This means that, when the pet is outside the carrier, he or she should not be taller or longer than the carrier. The carrier should not be too large either. Starwood Animal Transport carries all sizes of airline approved travel kennels at competitive prices. These kennels are specially designed for air travel. They are ventilated on the rear wall and also have protectors around the door pins to prevent the doors from accidentally opening. If you choose to purchase your carrier elsewhere, please size your pet carefully and choose a sturdy and secure crate. Carriers for International flights must have ventilation on all four sides. We reserve the right to refuse to ship pets in inadequate carriers.

Weather Embargoes on Pet Relocation:

We only work with airlines that we know are pet friendly. Many take pets to and from the planes in temperature controlled vehicles, thereby making your pet′s exposure to the elements minimal. However, weather restrictions are seasonal and may apply to any city. Weather restrictions are updated on a daily basis. This means your pet many not be able to fly on the day you have chosen and may have to travel when it is not necessarily convenient for you.

Shipper Restrictions:

cat-and-owner-reunited-after-pet-relocationSome airlines will only accept live animal shipments from professional shippers. Some airlines and/or countries will not accept pets as excess baggage traveling with their owner. Most airlines, however, are willing to ship through their cargo shipping office via a professional pet shipper even though they are restricting pets as excess baggage.

Boarding Services for Pets:

If you require boarding services, we can board your pet until you are ready to have us ship them to you. We are happy to collect your pet from home, a relative, a favorite veterinarian or boarding kennel should you need some time to relocate.

Canceled Flights:

If your pet’s flight is canceled, we will pick up the pet and ship him/her to you on the next possible flight. We will contact you and/or the consignee to make new travel arrangements. This is a very rare occurrence. Please be aware that such changes may affect the cost to fly a dog, cat, or other pet due to changes in airline rates.


The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) strongly discourages the usage of tranquilizers or sedatives at altitude. They can be harmful to your pet during air travel, so we do not ship sedated pets. Our mission is to make sure that pet relocation is as safe as possible for your furry family member.

Flying with your Pet

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Scam Alert!

Puppies and Kittens
Puppies and kittens are being offered to people by companies that claim to be our company (or one of many legitimate pet shipping companies). Very often these puppies or kittens do not exist. When purchasing a puppy or kitten, please make sure that you are dealing with a legitimate company. 

Here at Starwood, we do not sell any type of animal.

Learn more about the Puppy & Kitten Scams.

Western Union and MoneyGram
There are many unscrupulous who use email addresses that resemble our company (or one of many legitimate pet shipping companies) to try and get your to pay for pet shipping services they have no intention of providing.

Here at Starwood, we never ask for payments via Western Union or MoneyGram.