We're here to answer your questions!
Pet travel can be confusing, but we are here to make sure all your questions are answered
Yes, it is possible to courier pets in Australia. Using a pet travel specialist, you can easily book your pet’s travel needs and arrange for them to be couriered safely throughout the country. Pet owners should take comfort in knowing that experienced and knowledgeable professionals are available to help manage their pet’s journey.
If you’re based in Australia and looking for the cheapest way to transport your dog, read on for some useful tips.
For pet owners with limited travel experience, the safest option is usually to book through an accredited pet transport company. These services are designed specifically for animal travel and comply with strict regulations set by the Department of Agriculture in Australia. While this may not be the most cost effective solution, it will provide peace of mind when it comes to ensuring your pet’s safety and comfort during their journey.
For those looking to take their dog abroad or interstate, there are several transportation methods available. However, the most popular form of travel is by air due to its convenience and cost-effective nature. Before booking any flights, it is essential to research what airline will best meet your needs in terms of climate controlled cabins and other related services such as vet checks and quarantine requirements.
Our PetFlyers agents can guide you on where to start.
In Australia, most domestic animals such as cats, dogs, birds, guinea pigs and rabbits are allowed to travel between states and territories. Some species may require permission from the relevant state or territory government before they can be transported. This includes native Australian wildlife such as koalas or kangaroos.
This system enables pet owners to go on vacation without having to worry about leaving their furry friends behind.
For those who wish to transport other animals such as horses or birds, special arrangements must be made with the relevant state authorities ahead of time.
Pet taxis provide door-to-door transportation of your furry friends from one location to another; whether it’s within your own state or further afield. Professional driver/pet transporters are experienced in caring for animals during long journeys and they will ensure that all necessary stops, such as rest breaks and toilet stops, are taken throughout the journey.
The safety of a pet’s journey is the top priority when it comes to transporting animals. Professional pet transportation companies must adhere to strict regulations and guidelines, in order to ensure that all animals are kept safe during their travels. These regulations include temperature control, air flow monitoring, food and water availability and other factors that can affect an animal’s health during transit.
Using a reputable travel agent who specializes in pet transport can greatly reduce any risks associated with moving your furry companion from one place to another.
We provide services to all capital cities in Australia – including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra – as well as regional centres throughout each state. PetFlyers also travel to Northern Territory locations such as Darwin and Alice Springs; Tasmania locations like Launceston and Hobart; and further afield destinations including Broome WA and Cairns QLD.
Our office is open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Mondays to Fridays and you can call us any time during those hours. We do not open Weekends or Public Holidays. If you wish to contact us during the hours we are closed you can email us. We monitor the email fairly regularly and will respond to urgent requests.
If your Pet is flying Domestically with one of these Airlines the freight handling agent that loads and unloads the Aircraft is Qantas Freight (formerly Australian Air Express);
- Air North
Contact Details for their Depot locations can be found on this link;
In most cases the depot is is at or near the Airport but there are some exceptions so please confirm with us when you make your booking. At most locations you can lodge the Pet yourself but at some of the larger Cities we are required to be present when you Pet is lodged so we will give you a meeting time when you make your booking.
Sometimes we may also book your Pet on a Qantas Flight through a Cargo Agent called Toll Air Express. We will advise you if this is the case.
Their Depot locations can be found on this link;
If your Pet is flying Domestically with Virgin Australia their freight handling service is called Virgin Cargo.
Their Depot locations can be found on this link;
If your Pet is flying Internationally it will need to be lodged by one of our Agents so we can collate and sign the paperwork and clear security. For this reason we collect all Pets traveling Internationally well in advance and for departures before 2:00pm we will need to collect your Pet the day before the flight.
If you hire a crate from us we will usually leave it at the Depot so it is ready for your use when you arrive. Some depots do not permit us to leave our Client’s crates on site due to storage restrictions. In this case we will either meet you at the depot with the crate(s) when you drop off your Pets or post the crate to your home address (if you have a small Pet). If we are picking up your Pet in one of our Pet Taxis we will bring your crate with us.
At the time of booking a Domestic Flight you can choose to either hire a crate from us, purchase a crate from us or supply your own crate. If you choose to hire a crate from us you MUST leave it at the Airport. It is a Federal Offence to remove our hire crates from any Australian Airport and we will prosecute offenders. For small Pets, especially Cats, it is well worth spending a little extra to purchase the crate so they can travel home with you in their crate. We do not hire crates for International Movements so if we have supplied a crate for the flight it is yours to keep.
We ask all Customers not to feed their Pets for at least 12 hours before the flight and give them plenty of exercise. A pet will not be loaded onto an Aircraft if it’s crate has been soiled and Airline staff are not allowed to take Pets out of the crate and clean the crates themselves. This means we will be called in to clean the crate and in most cases the flight will be closed by the time we can get your Pet ready to go again. If we have to make a special trip to the Airport to clean a soiled crate we will charge you for it. Please also note if your Pet is transiting through another Airport it may be delayed at that Airport if it soils the crate en-route. Soiled crates are one of the most common causes of late arrivals and missed connections and the only solution is not to feed your Pet before the flight. They should be given water as normal.
All Dogs and Cats flying through Qantas Freight must be at least 12 weeks old. This includes Pets flying with Qantas, Qantas Link, Air North and Rex. The person lodging the Pet may have to show proof of age at the Airport and may be refused carriage if they don’t have it.
Pets flying through Virgin Cargo can fly at 8 weeks as old as long as the Person lodging the Pets with the Airline has a valid Fit to Fly Certificate from a Registered Vet.
- If your Pet is between 8 and 12 weeks old and flying with Virgin
- If your Pet is 12 years or older
- If your Pet has a pre-existing medical condition
Fit to Fly Certificates are valid for 14 days only.
No we do not offer Pet Travel Insurance. You should be aware that additional costs are incurred from time for various reasons beyond our control including missed connections and cancelled flights. The Owner is responsible for all additional costs. There are Commercial Insurance Companies that do offer Pet Insurance and we advise you to discuss your Insurance needs with them.
Some Airlines allow Pets to be taken as excess baggage but if you want to do this you must book it with the Airline, we can only accept freight bookings.
We sell a full range of crates and can send one to you in the post or consign it to the Airport your Pet is departing from. We do not hire crates to be used for Pets traveling as Excess Baggage but there are some other Companies that offer this service.
Our Hire Crates have water dishes in them in and if you are supplying a crate yourself you need to ensure it has a water dish. After your Pet is lodged at the Airport we don’t normally have access to it (unless there is some issue that the Airline notifies us about). The Airline staff can provide water as long as there is a dish fitted. If your Pet has a connecting flight we recommend cable tying a bottle of frozen water to the door of the crate as well as supplying a water dish. The ice will melt during the flight and the condensation will form on the outside of the bottle. Your Pet will then be able to lick the condensation. If your Pet has a particularly long transit we will arrange a comfort stop (give water, clean the crate, dogs are taken for a walk).
On International Flights Pets are given fresh water at each Airport they pass through.
This is one of the biggest sources of frustration for Pet Shippers and Customers alike. Firstly your booking needs to be prepared carefully, most Airlines have their own special booking forms to complete and there is quite a lot of information to enter. Our Booking Clerks need to time to do this properly and get it right. And of course we don’t only have your booking to process, on any given day there are dozens of bookings in our system waiting to be processed. We have to make sure every Pet gets on it’s flight which means we must do them in order of priority. When we do forward your booking to the Airline we have to wait for them to confirm it. For Domestic Bookings this will usually happen on the same day but for International Bookings it usually takes a week and often longer.
So why so long? Again it comes back to the Volume of bookings being processed and the number of people involved. When an Airline receives a booking request for an International Flight their booking staff have to enter it into their system. Their load controller needs to check if there is space available on the flight and approve the booking. Most Airlines have a staff member contacting each Consignee to make sure they are expecting the Shipment and know how and where to collect it. If the Consignee can’t be contacted this slows the process down. In some Countries, including New Zealand, the Airline must contact the Government and get approval to ship the Pet. The Government officer has to enter all the bookings into their system and check the paperwork is in order and pre-payment has been made.
If your Pet is transiting through another Port such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai or Doha a transit Permit has to issued which takes a few days.
So there are many people involved, all dealing with hundreds of bookings and all doing them in priority. Everyone is actually very efficient at their job and there is only a miniscule percentage of shipments that don’t proceed on the nominated date. But we can’t confirm your booking until the Airline gives us the ok to forward and that usually comes fairly late in the process for the reasons stated above. Booking your Pets flights with us several weeks or months in advance helps us a lot to organise your booking but doesn’t guarantee an early Confirmation will be issued. Many Airlines don’t accept Cargo Bookings until 14 days before the flight and even if they do early bookings will not usually be actioned until a couple of weeks before the flight.
So if you haven’t received your booking confirmation please be patient and don’t worry, the process is not like ordering a Pizza or even like booking a flight for yourself. It involves a lot of busy people processing a lot of bookings and yours will be taken care of when the time comes.
Fortunately, except for Christmas time, Cargo Space is usually not an issue, although the Airlines carry huge numbers of Consignments most of them are small items like medical supplies, documents and spare parts so there will almost always be enough space left for your Pet(s). Prepare your Pet to depart on the nominated date and get the necessary Vet Appointments done. In the rare event that an Airline refuses a booking we will usually be able to offer an alternative route or care for your Pet for a day or two until a flight can be secured.
However there are a couple of Airlines who have a policy of not carrying “Natural enemies”. This means they will not accept a Dog and a Cat on the same flight unless they are from the same family. When we need to use these Airlines we will give your booking top priority and try and get in first. But for example if there is already a Cat booked on the flight we will need to find another route for your Dog or change the flight or date.
We accept payment by bank deposit or credit card. 2 % surcharge applies to card payments. If you choose to pay by bank deposit we will give you our bank details when you make your booking. We do not accept cash payments on the day of the flight as the flights have to be booked in advance.
For Domestic Bookings you will charged for crate hire if you arranged to hire a crate from us and we have already set it up at the Airport. You will also be charged a $150 fee for booking the flight. The balance of your payment will be refunded.
For International Bookings the cancellation fee is $500 and the balance of your payment will be refunded.
Brachycephalic means “shortened head” and refers to the short nose and flat face of some Dogs & Cats. These breeds face much higher risks of illness or morbidity during travel due to their propensity to experience heat stroke before, during and after the flight and breathing issues in a pressurised cabin. Consequently most Airlines have a list of Brachycephalic Breeds they will not accept. The Airlines who do accept them usually require a Brachycephalic Vet Check where your Pet’s risk of traveling is assessed and the Owner to complete an Indemnity form which Indemnifies the Airline against legal action from the Owner in the event of death or injury. Petflyers will also require Owners of some breeds to complete an indemnity form indemnifying Petflyers.
You must tell us at the time of booking if you own a Brachycephalic Breed so we can take all necessary pre-cautions to ensure the safety of your Pet.
There are a number of pre-cautions we take when shipping Brachycephalic Breeds including;
- Providing a Travel Crate one size larger than usual
- Choosing Flights that arrive and depart at times when it will not be hot
- Arranging for a Comfort Stop during long transits or transits that take place during times when hot weather cannot be avoided
- Recommending Owners discuss their Pet’s travel with their Vets prior to travel and in particular have their Vet check the Pet’s Airways for Breathing issues
Brachycephalic Dog Breeds include:
Bulldog including French Bulldog
King Charles Spaniel
Brachycephalic Cat Breeds include:
Himalayan or Persian cats
American Burmese cat