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How to Send an Animal Through UPS or FedEx

| Updated November 02, 2017


  • Poisonous animals, arachnids, birds and endangered animals are among those prohibited from being shipped.

There are specific regulations to shipping live animals through UPS or FedEx. To ensure that the shipping goes smoothly, contact the couriers for their rules and regulations and plan ahead to minimize the discomfort to the animal during transit. Keep in mind the water and food needs as well as the amount of time that the animal will remain in the packaging.

Contact UPS or Fed Ex to ensure that you will be allowed to ship the animal you want. FedEx will only ship animals that are pre-arranged through its live animal service desk. The phone number to call is 1-800-405-9052. Get the guidelines, requirements, restrictions, travel time and cost for making the shipment.

Purchase the packaging for the animal. Each courier has specific guidelines for the strength of the cardboard, and the package must have ventilation holes. For example, UPS requires ISTA certified packaging for live animal shipments. Use water-resistant packaging for animals that require water during the trip. Label the package well; and indicate that there is a live animal inside to alert the shipper that the package requires caution when moving.

Prepare the animal for shipping, as per the guidelines and restrictions you received from the shipping service. This could include bagging the animal in breathable bags, double bagging fish in minimum 4 mil thick plastic bags or placing the animal in a plastic jar. Some animals may also need to be crated and the crate placed inside an approved shipping box.

Include temperature controls, water, feeding systems and other necessary items inside the box. Secure them in a manner so that they do not move around during transit. When a water bottle is required it should be a non-spill container and extra provisions taken for any drips that may come from the bottle while the animal drinks. This will avoid spills, package leakage and discomfort for the animal during transit.

Place the animal in the container and seal it. Deliver the animal to the shipping agency and pay the shipping fee. Keep your receipt for tracking purposes.