International Pet Transport Cost Breakdown

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Why pet transportation companies and agents charge what they charge?

It’s been decided, you’re relocating overseas and need to take your pet along. You’ve requested a quote from an agent, and it came to your total surprise that the price tag has 4 digits. It’s only natural that you start wondering if the cost is justified. Let us tell you more about what’s involved and why international pet transport is so expensive.

Most of the money that you will be paying to your agent goes towards the airfare. The reason behind higher rates for pets is behind the number of factors:

Regulations and paperwork.

Transporting a pet internationally requires complying with various regulations and paperwork, such as obtaining health certificates, vaccinations, and permits. The cost of obtaining these documents can add up quickly.

Transportation fees.

The cost of transporting a pet internationally can vary depending on the destination, mode of transportation, and airline or pet transport company. For example, airfare for a pet can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the size of the pet, the airline, and the destination.

The safety of your pet is the airline’s priority.

The airline staff cannot put any other cargo in close proximity for your pet. There should be enough space for the airflow for your pet to breathe comfortably.

Pet equipment and supplies.

Pet transport companies may require specific equipment or supplies, such as specialized pet carriers or crates, to ensure the pet’s safety during travel. These items can be costly to purchase or rent.

Maybe your pet require special handling.

The airline needs to build and operate a facility where pets can rest comfortably while waiting for their flight or enroute to their final destination. Most of such facilities are open 24/7 to make sure that all pets receive the care they need. In addition, someone needs to safely load and unload your pet on the aircraft, then transfer them to a pet-friendly facility. It takes time, equipment and special training. 

Safe pet transport in cargo

Or the airline cannot transport other cargo in the same space as pets.

Due to the safety concerns and difference in handling temperature, the airline is not able to transport other cargo such as dry ice or pharmaceuticals in the same space as pets.

That means if your pet is traveling on the aircraft, the airline needs to honor your booking and refuse loading other cargo that helps to justify the cost of travel. That being said, even if your pet is on a smaller side – they actually occupy a large space. And as a matter of fact, volume weight is what is being taken into consideration when pricing air travel for pets.

Membership fees.

In addition, there’s a high chance that your pet relocation specialist needs to be an IATA, IPATA and ATA memberMembers of each association need to make yearly financial contributions, maintain high industry standards and participate in on-going training.

Quarantine fees.

Some countries require pets to undergo quarantine upon arrival, which can result in additional fees.


Many pet transport companies offer insurance to cover unexpected costs or emergencies during travel. This insurance can add to the overall cost of transporting a pet internationally.

Lastly, traveling your pet internationally is not as simple as it may seem.

There are a lot of components that are being involved such as obtaining correct certificates, managing logistics, government health documents endorsement, keeping up with everchanging entry requirements and many more. It might be hard to believe, but it takes your agent hours to make sure that everything goes according to the plan. 

The cost of a mistake is higher than the price of hiring an agent.

A simple mistake like 1 wrong digit on the Microchip certificate or inappropriate product for ecto- or endoparasites treatment, can make your pet be ordered to quarantine, go through additional testing or even be sent back to the country of origin. Not only is it going to be expensive, but also extremely stressful on your pet.

Pet safety during transportation

In conclusion, although the price tag is pretty high on pet travel, most customers say that the peace of mind, communication and professionalism was worth every penny they paid.  

For Inquiries.

Relopet International aids customers and their treasured pets in planning safe and easy travel from beginning to end. Contact us regarding the transport of your furry family member using our online request form, email [email protected], or phone (604) 774-2707.


  1. Freddy Lamberte

    For that reason pets are more valuable than humans. Even on a business class is way toooooooooo expensive.

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