We shipped our first puppy in 2008 and since then have shipped many puppies safely to their new homes with no problems. I have compiled detailed information below on how the process works and what you can expect when receiving your new family member through the airline.

Where/How do you fly? 

We fly through the United PetSafe program which is specifically geared towards pet travel. We have flown  puppies for more than 10 years with no problems and have seen  firsthand how the puppies are handled and treated. At this time we fly within the United States, and have previously flown to Puerto Rico and Canada as well. Flights will be discussed on a case by case basis although there should not be a problem finding an airport near you. The puppy will be shipped to the  nearest major airport to you or the one you specify as long as they  accept puppies being shipped  through the airline pet program. We will make the reservations for you  through the airline. Puppies must be at least 10 weeks of age to be shipped. 

"Can I fly in and fly back with my puppy as an in-cabin pet?" We receive this question all the time, and unfortunately, no, Ridgback puppies are too large when they are ready to leave to fly as in-cabin pets.


It now costs $450 to ship a 10-week-old puppy to any major airport in  the Continental U.S. (more for international and possibly for older puppies depending on weight). The shipping charges cover the airfare,  shipping crate, veterinary exam, health certificate, and any other costs such as airline taxes and fees. We only charge what it actually costs us to get the puppy to you and often end up paying more than the charged amount in gas, etc. which we do not add in to the cost. These fees are subject to change if the airline changes their prices. The puppy must be paid for in full by 9 weeks of age to  give us time for the veterinary visit, final flight requirements from the airline, and to give PayPal time to clear in case a hold is placed on the payment. This includes the total puppy price + shipping. Please note the online estimate on their website is only for the flight cost and does not include veterinary exam fees, health certificate, crate, or airline-charged taxes. These are paid by us directly through our own licensed veterinarian.

More Information on Shipping: 

Please allow us to initiate the flight scheduling with the airline. It is quite different than scheduling a human flight and we are what you would call "experts" in dealing with the airline since we have shipped many puppies over the years.

The puppies can fly via the airline starting when they are 10 weeks old. (The exact first available flight date is often when they are about 10 weeks and 2-3 days old because of the veterinary preparation and procedures the airline requires.) Prior to this I will work with you to decide on the exact day that works well for you to receive your puppy. The days are pretty flexible, but the times depend on what the airline has available and are sometimes limited. The puppies ship on specific airplanes that are equipped to handle live animal transport. This means that puppies can only go on specific flights and there are not as many flights for puppies as there are flights for people. Please know that with these added rules, your puppy is coming to you the safest way possible.

We can generally ship any day of the week except Sundays and can schedule the flight up to several weeks in advance. Once I fill out the flight information form with the airline, it can take up to 3 business days for them to schedule the flight and get back to me. We can request a day and time of day for arrival, but they have the final say as to the flight times based on flight availability for that specific day. As soon as we receive the detailed information on your puppy's flight from the airline I will send you a detailed pdf flight itinerary sheet complete with reservation confirmation number, flight number, departure/arrival times, what to bring with you, and the specific pickup location address at your airport. This allows you to see the details directly through the airline website tracking page or even call them for confirmation if you wish. We have never had any problems with the PetSafe program and have been shipping puppies for over 10 years.  

As per airline requirements, every puppy shipping through the airline receives a health check & flight clearance through our licensed veterinarian prior to the flight date.

What information do you need to ship my puppy? 

We need the following to schedule your puppy's flight with the airline: 

  • Name of the person who will need clearance at the airport to pick up the puppy (as it appears on your govt. issued photo ID such as license).   
  • Your Address   
  • Your Phone Number   
  • Secondary Phone Number (optional)

What to bring when you pick up your puppy: 

  • The phone number for pet Reservations line.   
  • A printout of the confirmation number from the pdf that included the flight itinerary.   
  • Photo ID for the person picking up the puppy; you will not be able to pick your puppy up without a photo ID.   
  • Water to offer the puppy after you get to your vehicle.
  • A small treat or a few kibbles of food; this starts the bond with your new family member and  your puppy already associates you with something good. 
  • Antibacterial wipes to wipe the puppy's feet if soiled during the trip. (Many do not have accidents, but they are still babies so it can happen.)   
  • Trash bag or plastic grocery bag to put the soiled bedding in from the trip.   
  • Your puppy's blanket I will send you with the familiar scent of their former home to put with them for the ride home.


An older puppy waiting for his flight at the airport to head to his new home in California.

An older puppy waiting for his flight at the airport to head to his new home in California.