We have puppies as far as both coasts within the lower 48 as well as in Alaska, Germany, and Hungary. While we always prefer to meet people personally either by them driving or flying in on the airlines, we understand that it is not always possible for new puppy parents to come personally to pick their puppy up. Arranging a transport is sometimes a necessary option to getting a puppy to its forever family. Any and all costs and risks associated with transport are the responsibility of the new puppy parent. There are a couple options we utilize listed below besides.
#1 New Puppy Parent Flying in via Airlines/Driving;
*This is my favorite option if it is possible with new puppy parents. Montana has lots of touristy activities so new parents may make a vacation trip out of it and visit some of the neat things Montana has to offer while also picking their puppy up! Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Fairmont Hot Springs, and Gem Mountain are just a couple fun places to visit/do while here. Missoula Montana Airport is our closest airport (1hr away from our place) and while most flights require a connecting flight, there are some direct flights and/or most of the time there is the option to fly in early in the am and fly back out in the pm to make it just a day trip. I do offer to meet people at the airport if you don't want to rent a vehicle to drive out to our place. I do ask $50 for gas/time to do this due to the fact that it is an hour from my house. However you can rent a vehicle and drive out to our place if you would prefer. Puppies do have to weigh 20lbs or less to ride up top the airplane under the seat as a carry on. Cost of this will be cost of your ticket plus small fee for pet plus $50 health certificate.
#2 Ground Transport;
*In this option the puppy rides in a crate within a vehicle with a hired driver to its intended destination. This is the most popular option other than flying/driving in personally due to overall costs and availability. There are a couple different ground transporters that we have used previously and try to work with rather than finding someone new, however finding someone new is occasionally the only option. I would never send a puppy home with someone I haven't done my homework on (reviews, background checks, etc.). Puppies sleep anywhere from 15-20 hrs. on average at 8 weeks of age so they tend to sleep majority of the time during the trip and transporters stop often enough to let them eat/drink/potty/stretch their legs. This cost depends on distance and the specific driver that we use but can range anywhere from $250-$800 give or take.
#3 Flight Nanny;
*This is a less popular option due to the high cost and troubles getting nannies to come into MT. This option is where a hired flight nanny would fly in to me, get your puppy, and bring your puppy back to you as carry on under their seat. This option gets pricey and because a lot of flights coming into MT require a connecting flight, nannies don't like to come here. This can cost anywhere from $800-$2000 give or take plus reimbursement of $50 for me to drive to the airport and $50 health certificate. Puppies do have to weigh 20lbs or less to ride up top the airplane under the seat as a carry on.
#4 Flight Cargo;
This option is where your puppy would ride as cargo under the plane in a temperature and air controlled area. Your puppy would be dropped off at Missoula Montana Airport early in the am with food and water in a crate and be to to you that afternoon-evening. This is an option for puppies going to the western side of the states (closer/direct flights) and AK only. Puppies on the eastern side of the states do not have this option due to layovers and distance. There are temperature and time restrictions that you will have to look into for specific airlines. I prefer option #1 and #2 over this option if at all possible. This cost is typically $200-$400 give or take plus reimbursement of $50 for me to drive to the airport and $50 health certificate. .
OPTION FOR FINDING A TRANSPORTER;
Citizenshipper is a large platform created to match those offering transport with those needing transport for anything you can think of; vehicles, furniture, pets, etc.. This platform allows you to create a shipment and get an estimate of cost and/or get bids to book a transporter. We have personally used this platform many times and believe it is a great resource to help guide you in finding a transporter for your pet. You can see transporter's reviews, if they have had a background check or not, their cancellation rate, how many shipments they have done, etc. to help guide you through choosing the best transporter for the job! Click the link below to be taken to the Citizenshipper website and get started on finding a transporter.