Pet Air Transport—Shipping Pets by Air!

grey-and-white-cat-in-pet-air-transport-crateEvery move is different, and every pet is special. At Starwood Animal Transport, we are pet relocation service experts. Moving is stressful for everyone, including your four-legged family members. We understand your concerns because we’re pet parents, too. You can count on us to provide caring, compassionate attention to your beloved pets, just as you do.

We offer long distance pet transport and comprehensive door-to-door service across America and around the world. With decades of experience under our belts, we make moving across country with pets easy. No matter what your pet’s travel plans are, we can help them get there as quickly and comfortably as possible.

We are intimately familiar with all the latest country and airline import/export regulations. We have long-standing relationships with airlines worldwide, so we navigate the carrier-and-route selection process more efficiently than you can on your own (and with a lot less frustration). We can answer questions like, "can large dogs fly in cabin spaces?" (hint: it may depend on the dog and the airline) as well as anything else you'd like to know. Working with us isn't your cheapest option, but, it’s hard to put a price tag on peace of mind when it comes to the safety of your furry companions!

pug-in-hotel-during-pet-air-transportWe generally need 1-6 weeks’ notice to arrange your pet's trip, depending upon the details and the destination. Not surprisingly, international travel arrangements are considerably more complex than moving pets across the USA. Typically, we pick up your pet the day before their departure and take them to the vet for their required examination and paperwork. In the Houston and Boston areas, we also offer local travel-related pet taxi services – including to and from the airport, your home, veterinarian, kennel, or groomer.

Starwood Air Transport Domestic and International Pet Relocation Services Include:

  • Pick up from residence
  • Boarding at a local top rated kennel (if necessary)
  • All airport services
  • Supplying a new IPATA approved shipping container
  • Completion of health certificates
  • USDA endorsement
  • Completion of export or import documentation
  • All air cargo expenses
  • Customs clearance at destination
  • Delivery to new residence

Documentation for International or Domestic Pet Travel

dog-being-shipped-by-airYour pet will need an original health certificate issued by a licensed and accredited veterinarian, issued within 10 days of travel. He/she will also need a signed rabies vaccination certificate. For international travel, the rabies vaccination often must be at least 30 days old but less than one year old. Depending upon the destination country, your pet′s trip may also require import permits, various annual vaccinations, reservation at a quarantine kennel, or other special documentation. It can take up to 6 weeks or more to organize everything for an international health certificate for your pet.

We’re here to help. We're happy to explain your destination country′s specific requirements and help you sort through the maze of international pet travel and conflicting information.

Flight Crates for Shipping Pets by Air

dog-in-crate-when-shipping-pets-by-airAll airlines require your pet to travel in an approved, properly sized kennel. They MUST be able to stand up without touching the top of the carrier, sit down, and turn around comfortably in the carrier. When the pet is outside the carrier, they should not be taller or longer than the carrier. Overly large kennels are not allowed, 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 have protectors around the door pins to prevent the door from accidentally opening. If you choose to purchase your carrier elsewhere, please measure your pet carefully to ensure you get a sturdy and secure crate that is the correct size. 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 Air Travel

We work only with airlines that we know from experience are pet-friendly. Many of them move pets to and from the planes in temperature controlled vehicles to minimize your pet′s exposure to the elements. However, there are seasonal weather restrictions that may apply to any city. These restrictions are updated on a daily basis. When it is very hot or cold, it is possible your pet may not be able to fly on the day you have chosen. Instead, they may have to travel when it is not necessarily convenient for you.

Shipper Restrictions on Pet Travel

Some airlines will accept live animal shipments only from professional shippers. Some airlines and/or countries will not allow pets to travel with you as excess baggage. However, most of the airlines that restrict pets as excess baggage will allow you to ship your animals through their cargo office using a professional pet transport company.

Boarding for Your Pets

If necessary, we can board your pet until you are ready for them to travel. We’re happy to collect your pet from home, a relative, your veterinarian, or your favorite boarding kennel if you need extra time to relocate.

Cancelled Flights

Flight cancellations are rare. If your pet’s flight is canceled, we will pick them up and arrange for them to travel to you on the next possible flight. We will contact you and/or the consignee before making new travel arrangements.

Why We Don't Use Tranquilizers for Pet Flights

The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) strongly discourages the usage of tranquilizers or sedatives at altitude. These drugs can be more harmful than helpful to your pet during air travel, so we will not ship sedated pets. Our first concern is always the health and safety of your pets so you can rest easy!

Save Your Receipt!

A lovely perk for this important process is that pet moving expenses are tax-deductible if the relocation is job-related. Please consult your accountant and refer to IRS publication #521.

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.