Are you considering long distance pet transport? Have you decided whether you’re travelling by air or by ground? Make sure to keep some key points in mind.
Air vs Ground
Your first decision will be whether you want to do long distance pet transport by air or pet ground transport.
The main considerations for both can be boiled down to three main areas: safety and comfort, distance and time, and pricing and restrictions.
Safety and Comfort
Let’s be frank, travelling by you can be a pain in and of itself. Add a pet into the mix and things can get even hairier. For both your and your pet’s sake, you want to keep safety and comfort on the forefront of your mind.
Before you embark on your journey, ensure your pet has any medications up-to-date, has seen a veterinarian recently for a comprehensive checkup, and is in good enough physical condition to travel long distances.
Safety and comfort are most easily controlled by ground transportation. If you have any bathroom, dietary, or medical concerns it is advisable to travel by air so that you can control more variables like stoppages, exercise and feeding. When engaging in pet ground transport you will also be able to stop overnight at pet-friendly lodges; if need be.
If your pet is a bit more suited to travelling, or has done so before, flying with your pet is a great way to cover long distances in shorter amounts of time. We will cover time and distance in greater detail later on, but air transport provides the best bang for your buck in this regard.
Pricing and Restrictions
Travelling with pets can also be an expensive endeavor. Knowing the comparative advantages of pet ground transport and pet air transport will help you tailor the experience to best fit your needs.
Pricing is variable, and not always cheaper by ground, but overwhelmingly the more affordable option will be to travel with your pet by car, bus or train.
The easiest method by ground to stow your pets is by car or truck. Buses and trains carry restrictions, and by-and-large do not allow pets other than registered service animals to travel with them. Pet transport services can be contracted to dedicated and specialized companies if you are concerned about your own ability to manage this process.
For help choosing the right pet transport services take a look on International Pet and Animal Transportation Association. This is an organization dedicated to vetting and listing pet transport services to ensure they are following regulations and safe business practices.
When travelling by air with your pet, expect a generally higher cost but lower stress. Air travel can be more efficient when you take everything into consideration. There are restrictions that are dictated by each airline and the Federal Aviation Administration which you’ll want to be aware of. See American Airlines Pet Policy for a good example of what you’ll encounter.
Distance and Time
The final key considerations you should know are distance travelled, and time available and spent.
Knowing how far you need to go will be a good way to gauge which is the most cost-efficient option for you between air and ground travel.
Generally speaking, for shorter distances pet ground transport is the best option. Most pet transport services charge by the mile and most vehicle rental companies charge by the day. If you can complete your trip within one day by ground, stick with this method.