Helping Pets Reach Their New Home Safely at a Fair Price
SINCE  1969 

Associate Member: American Foreign Service Association

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"Domestic & Worldwide Pet Shipping
& Pet Travel Agency"

Action Pet Taxi and Pet Moving Services

How to SHIP PETS? We HELP with ALL Details!

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APHIS - USDA Pet Travel

USDA Animal Welfare Act Intermediate Handler Cert # 54H 0004

Member of Animal Transportation Association
Member: ASTA American Society Of Travel Agents

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Local: (681) 252-0266

Toll Free: (855) 704-6682

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Located near Washington, D.C.
Dulles IAD, Reagan DCA, Baltimore BWI

Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina

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Global Pet Transportation at a MUCH lower cost than IPATA pet shippers

24 hour Ground (Door to Door) Dog, Cat and other Pet Animal Delivery

Pet Transport and Dog Shipping Services | Action Pet Express | Cat & Dog, Pet Services


VERY  Useful Information on This Page!!

You just might feel that you do not know where to begin?   Well, hopefully, you begin here!

STOP  PRESS   DELTA airlines recently announced they will NO longer accept excess or checked baggage for pets... ALL pets MUST fly as cargo ONLY.  This means MUCH higher costs for you!!  IPATA proudly has on their website that DELTA will ONLY accept international pet bookings from IPATA members!!   Another cost jump for you.  Another good reason for you to avoid DELTA...  We will SAVE you mega bucks for worldwide pet shipments by using Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, or British Air...  Let us show you how with a FREE consultation...NO obligation....  This supports our contention that IPATA is out to take ALL pet shipments out of your hands with the need to use IPATA agents for ALL pet shipments...  Sometimes KLM or Air France might have slightly lower cargo charges, but with their requirements to use VERY expensive IPATA shippers, your total costs will be VERY much more than if you use Action Pet Express....

Pet Transport and Dog Shipping Services | Action Pet Express| Dog and Cat in Bed

Pet Transport and Dog Shipping Services

How much will this cost?

Cost can only be determined once the kennel(s) for pet and dog shipping size is known.  Most airlines base their charges on size of shipping kennel(s).  This is called volume or dimensional weight. Also is necessary to know the actual weight of pet and kennel.  Without this info, NO  ONE can provide an honest estimate...  Also need to know point of departure and point of destination.  Also, the airline(s) needed to be used.  These are the MOST important factors in determining pet shipping cost.

How to SAVE BIG Money!!!
Many pet owners after receiving HUGE quotes from IPATA shippers have done the following...  Shipped their pet(s) to us at Washington Dulles, usually on United, and we have further shipped on Lufthansa, to ALL parts of the world.. Pets receive a nice travel break with us, as well at Frankfurt! We provide you with a complete itemization from Lufthansa, so you know exactly what you are paying.. Unlike most other pet shippers and pet relocation services who do NOT want you to know what you are paying!  Our TOTAL CHARGES are usually $200 for booking and making the airline transfer at Dulles.  If overnight boarding is necessary, the total can run $350 to $400  (This includes the return trip the following day to Dulles)  Even with shipping charges to us, you usually will SAVE $1000 to $3000 over using other pet shippers.  We can only book with Lufthansa at Dulles.. Feel free to call us ANYTIME for complete particulars..NO obligation.. This is NO gimmick!!

Each foreign country also has their own entry requirements.

The least expensive way would normally be by 'carry on'  That is, a small pet in the cabin. This information is best gotten from the passenger-reservation people of the airline you travel on.

The next least expensive would be: excess baggage. This is the same as checked baggage, at the ticket counter, and also would be addressed by the passenger-reservation people. We pet shippers most often deal with pets as cargo, or unaccompanied baggage. Though these pets travel in the very same cargo compartment as those traveling as excess baggage, the charges are dealt with differently. Most airlines arrive at their cargo charges, using the volume or dimensional weight system. The maximum outside 3 dimensions are utilized. Usually as inches, the cubic measurements are taken.  Once cubic inches arrived at: divide by 194 to reach domestic weight; and divide by 166 to arrive at international weight. International volume or dim weight is usually further calculated to the metric system and shown as kgs.  It is essential that these measurements are very carefully taken as one inch can make the difference in many dollars.

If you will visit: Wikipedia - Dimensional Weight; and/or: Volume, much of this will be better explained.

We might say here that: United airlines base their charges on actual weight of each pet and kennel; as opposed to vol or dim weight.

Please, at ALL times:  Make sure that the pet shipper of your choice itemizes ALL charges very carefully for you. On top of the above methods of arriving at pet shipping charges, one must also specifically ask about: fuel and security charges, taxes, etc.

How To Properly Measure A Pet For Their Pet Travel Carrier Stand pet on all fours, Head as high in air as possible, nose forward (you might need to force head up and back) Measure from highest point on top of head, tip of ears if ears stand up, to the floor.  ADD at least two (2) plus inches, to arrive at kennel height required For length:  with head extended straight out from body, measure from tip of nose
to base of tail.  Add: 3" to arrive at the kennel length size required. These may NOT be natural positions for a pet, but, this is what the airlines will look for to make their decision as to kennel acceptance. For domestic shipments, usually ventilation is NOT required on the rear portion of shipping kennel.  We strongly advise to have ventilation on ALL four sides..... It is required for international shipments.... With ALL Brachycephalic breeds, we INSIST on additional ventilation holes placed on both sides, and the rear, of the kennel, being placed all around on the upper portions of the lower portion of the kennel...... We carry a drill for this purpose.

How to transport your pet?

We will help with all details, start to finish. Don't hesitate to contact us anytime with any questions you may have. With over 47 years experience, we do know something about the subject, and we do this without gimmicks or high pressure.


Do NOT fall for the rip off products of The Pet Travel Store in Ft Lauderdale...  These forms are NOT pet passports.  Everything they sell is normally FREE else where. Most can be downloaded on the internet; free from your Veterinarian or FREE from the USDA. Most of their forms are useless.  They are a total RIP OFF outfit!!

We highly recommend that all pets be microchipped.
ISO 11784 or 85 is most recommended.
This is VERY Important

For SAFETY:  We will NOT accept kennels that are NOT held together by nuts and bolts.  Also, ALL kennels MUST  have solid tops.. NO doors or openings on top.  ALL kennels for international travel MUST  have ventilation on ALL  4 sides.  IATA requires this.  We highly recommend this for domestic travel as well. ALL shipping kennels MUST have TWO (2) bowels attached to inside of door. 

For International travel, always insist that your Veterinarian provide the APHIS 7001 international health certificate, and nothing else. We strongly recommend that it always be endorsed by the USDA. Remember:  Aphis 7001 or other health certificates MUST be NO older than 10 days from date your vet signs, NOT date of USDA stamp... MOST airlines require this even if country of destination will accept older certificate!! Some countries will require health certificate to be NOT older than 5 0r 7 days!

It is true, some countries and airlines may not require the endorsement, but it is best to always have it.

What veterinary services do I need?

There is always the remote possibility that a flight gets postponed at the very last minute. Pets then may need to be boarded at the last minute. We strongly urge that ALL pets be current on ALL vaccinations... Also, be sure dogs have a Bordetella (canine kennel cough) vaccination at least 3 days BEFORE travel. ALL first class kennels will require this!!

What are the requirements for travel, especially to another country?

Due to international shipping, and using so many different destinations, we need to update some of our procedures.
Attn: Veterinarians, and others, who sign the various forms we must use.

Please Use the European, international, military way of signing dates. Not, the American way.

Please  always use the following examples:  day/month/year    02-03-2010; BEST to use: 02 Mar 2010

Please take time to put BOTH dates in every space.  Will take a little longer, but will cover all language situations,  never use 03-02-2010. Outside USA this would mean: 3rd day of February.

Regarding the recording of times. Again, use the non-American way. use the 24 hr clock

0001  =  1 minute past midnight

0100 hrs = 1 am

1200 hrs = noon

1300 hrs = 1 pm

1505 hrs = 5 minutes past 3 pm

1800 hrs = 6 pm

2400 hrs = midnight

There is no 2401 hrs, etc

Never use  AM and/or PM with the 24 hr clock

How safe is pet air travel?

I have heard so many stories of hundreds of pets dying and being injured. Well, this is what it is, stories. I have never had someone be able to document these stories.

The pets all fly in a special compartment in the cargo section, designed for Live Animals. It is fully pressurized and same temperature as the passenger cabin. This area is very carefully monitored by the Captain and staff. Yes, it does have some noise.

With nearly 15,000 pets flying monthly on the domestic carriers, there is bound to be some risk. Pet owners can minimize these risks. Major problems resulting in death or serious health issues result from: brachycephalic breeds of cats and dogs; and having the brachycephalic respiratory syndrome. Also, elderly pets, and those having congenital or pre-existing health issues. These pets often have pre-existing heart disease resulting in pulmonary congestion and edema. Then, if a death occurs, one is often inclined to blame the airline. The airline absolutely has nothing to do with these deaths.

Kennel construction is most often the problem with escapes, etc.  Many kennels have very poor connection devices.  Nuts and bolts are the best.  We always reinforce all kennels with removable zip ties. Also, we reinforce the doors with ties. Kennels with only solid tops. No doors and other openings on top of kennel.

Many pet injuries occur when some pets scratch and try to escape. Pet shippers and airlines can not be held responsible for highly agitated pets. If you have a pet that meets any of the above criteria as being a risk factor, just do not ship these pets. Sorry. The above brachycephalic pets are the most likely candidates for heat stroke. Many airlines wisely refuse these type pets.

Please refer to: Air Travel Consumer Reports; and Airline Animal Incident Reports for actual facts and figures regarding pet travel safety.

What is the Purpose of USDA Endorsements?

The primary purpose acts the same as a notary public. Simply authenticates the legitimate signature of the accredited veterinarian.

Otherwise, someone might have a stock of blank health certificates, etc and just sign as if he/she were a veterinarian and all kinds of illegal things could go on.

Airlines often have stricter requirements than do many countries.  

This is why:  We INSIST on having the APHIS 7001 International Health Certificate, and  Endorsed by the USDA, even when a country might NOT specifically require this.  Again, the airline cargo people usually will require it. Always have the 7001 endorsed by USDA  NO matter what you might be told by your Veterinarian, and even USDA sometimes provides wrong info. Reason for endorsement: Now that you can download the 7001 from internet, phony (also phoney) people can fill out form and sign as if they were a Veterinarian. This could lead to mass criminal activity in pet travel. The USDA endorsement is same as Notary Public.  This authenticates the signature of the Veterinarian.

Recently USDA has adopted some new regulations and has decided to NOT endorse ALL paperwork.  We have tried WITHOUT luck to convince them that endorsements are really desirable. Be prepared to have a problem with the airlines!

The Health Certificate should never be older than 10 days from date the veterinarian signs it, at time of travel. Some countries require the H.C. to be even less than 10 days old.

Again, it is better to have all paperwork, and not need it; than to need it and not have it. This lesson comes from years of experience.

Do you help Military Families with their Pet Relocation?

YES. See our Military Pets Page

Pet Transport and Dog Shipping Services | Action Pet Express| Additional Pet Shipping Information

Pet Transport and Dog Shipping Services | Action Pet Express | Additional Pet Shipping Information

Feeding Prior To Travel

For most breeds of dogs and cats, do not feed anything for at least 10 hours before any kind of travel (This includes puppies).

For BRACHYCEPHALIC dogs and cats, do not feed for at least 15 to 18 hours before travel, and nothing during travel. You do not want to do anything that can contribute to vomiting or any other digestive problem. Choking on vomit is a major problem! Some airlines will tell you that you  must feed within 4 hrs of travel. Do not listen. Just respond that you did comply with their feeding requests.

Water of course is always necessary. Always consider providing bottled water only during pet travel. Especially at the end of the journey, especially if in foreign lands, do not provide tap water.

SPECIAL  NOTE:   ALL airlines require that at least two (2) small plastic cups be attached to inside of door. One for food; and, one for water.  For above Brachycephalic dogs; and indeed for ALL dogs, you may wish to consider the crate cage crock made by Lixit.  These are much larger and simply can NOT come off the door.  Visit:   Then consider on way to airport, purchase bag of ice cubes.  When finished with checking in with airline, and after TSA does their thing, put some ice cubes in the cage crock.  Dogs and cats should have more than adequate water supply to last until their next stop.   Since food should NOT be provided during travel, one small plastic cup can be attached and left empty; and as many as two of the larger cage crocks be attached for water supply.  These cage crocks are available at most pet stores; as well as on line. They are a bit more expensive than the plastic ones, but WELL worth it!!  Your pets welfare comes MUCH before the saving of a few pennies.

More Pet Transportation Information

Other Helpful Information

TAX TIP – Your pet relocation expenses may be tax deductible. Check IRS publication #521


As of this date 14 Jan 2013  We Will NOT
accept any shipping kennel that is NOT held together by nuts and bolts.
Airline Live Animal Acceptance Checklist
The easiest way to find the status of your pet air cargo shipment
Enter the awb # (Airway Bill number)
Locate the Airline being used first
Leave no spaces

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