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Do You Tip A Dog Transporter? [Is It Expected Of You?]

Most owners do not need the help of a dog transporter on a regular basis. Still, there are times when it makes sense to have someone else help you get your dog from place to place. If you are moving across the country or buying a puppy from far away, you may find yourself hiring a dog transporter. Now that the time for transportation is drawing close, you might be wondering if you’ll need to plan for a tip.

So, do you tip dog transporters? Tipping a dog transporter is considered optional; it is not a requirement for great service. However, if you want to show appreciation for your dog’s safe arrival, a tip is an acceptable option. Dog transportation specialists take their jobs (and their cargo!) very seriously, and receiving recognition for the responsibility they take on will be appreciated. 

Here’s a quick important caveat to take into account.

If a dog is being transported from one person to the care of another person, such as from a breeder to its new home, any tip offered is usually from the person receiving the dog.

Just consider that.

They needn’t need tipping twice. 

Although that can happen, it is something that may occur from time to time.

Particularly after great service or given certain contexts and circumstances.

Nevertheless, you like still have a lot of questions to ask; should you tip, will they be expectant of a tip, how much you should tip and how to actually do it if you intend on doing so.

So let’s get into them!

Should You Tip Your Dog Transporter?

It is the owner’s choice whether or not they tip a dog transporter when they need to move their dog from place to place. Opinions are split on whether or not tipping of a transporter should be considered common practice for all dog owners. 

Yet with many people thinking of their dogs like family, tipping the person who helped your pet travel safely starts to sound like a pretty good idea.

Dog transporters take on a great responsibility every time they hit the road for work. 

Their cargo is both living and cherished, and the transporters know it. 

Many dog transportation companies have vehicles that are specially designed for transporting dogs safely long distances, and their drivers take having a clean driving history and following the rules of the road very seriously. 

Dog transporters have to know more than how to drive from place to place. 

They must be comfortable with feeding, watering, and walking dogs when traveling long distances. 

They must be able to stay focused on the road even if a dog is barking or whining, and they must have great communication skills to arrange pick-up and drop-off of dogs. 

When we consider all that dog transporters do as they deliver puppies and elderly dogs alike safely to their destinations, it seems that at least on occasion, tipping is a smart way to give thanks for a job well done. 

If you feel your dog transporter was safe, friendly, and an overall great service provider, then offering a tip as a ‘thank you is appropriate.

If you choose not to tip, your dog transporter would be happy with a positive word of mouth review of their services to your pet-owning friends and family.

Do Dog Transporters Expect To Be Tipped?

Dog transporters don’t expect to be tipped by every person who hires their services. Dog transportation falls within the animal service industry. The service industry for animals is not built on the same financial systems like that of service providers in the food or hospitality industry. 

Dog transporters make the base of their income from fees already attached to their services, but tips are a positive incentive for the specialized care they give your pet.

The expectations around a tip may vary based on the dog transporter that you have hired. 

A small, private transporter can offer very personal services and may run on a tighter budget than a transporter for a larger animal transportation company. 

For small-business transporters, a tip can help with covering some of the added expense of small business dealings or help with paying for upgrades to their services. 

Some companies operate on a larger scale, transporting pets across a wide area of the country with the help of multiple drivers on common routes. 

Tipping their drivers shows individual appreciation for what your specific driver has done for your dog. 

In some cases, a dog transporter may not want to be tipped or may not be allowed to accept tips. 

If your dog transporter turns down a tip, simply thank them again and be sure to put in a good word for them with their employer or on their business pages.

If you are considering a tip for your transporter after your dog’s next trip, you’ll need to decide on an amount and what time to tip. We can help you figure that out.

How Much Should You Tip Your Dog Transporter?

For dog transportation services, tips can be based on a percentage of fees or a flat rate determined by you as the owner. If you are tipping based on a percentage of fees, it is a good idea to consider tipping 10-15% of your transportation expenses. 

This amount shows an appreciation for your transporter without breaking the bank and will be an amount that is typically relative to the distance your dog was transported.

If you prefer to tip a set amount for transportation, there are a few things you may want to consider when deciding on an amount. 

How Many Dogs? 

The first thing is how many dogs you have had transported.

The more dogs needing transportation, the higher of a tip you may want to give. A good starting point would be $10 per dog transported.

Distance Travelled

A second consideration when choosing to tip is how far your dog has traveled.

Was it a couple hour drive, or did your dog need to fly somewhere? 

A close friend sells hunting dogs, and her puppies have needed delivery from Wisconsin to places as far away as Alaska. 

Whether my friend does the transporting herself or an independent professional is hired, distance traveled should be considered when not tipping based on a percent of your charged transportation cost. 

Calculating this could be as simple as offering to tip three cents for every mile traveled.

Special Needs

The other thing to consider is if your dog has special needs while traveling.

Did the transporter need to give the dog extra bathroom breaks? Did they need to give medication to your dog during transport?

Did you need transportation on short notice?

We will look at these situations more when we talk about times you may want to tip your transporter more than normal. First, let’s talk about when to tip your dog transporter.

When To Tip Your Dog Transporter

If you are going to tip your dog transporter, the best time to offer the tip is when your dog has been safely delivered to you at its final destination. In the case of a dog being picked up from one person, such as a breeder or care facility, and delivered to someone else, the person receiving the dog at its final spot would be the one offering the tip.

Tips are seen as a potential reward for work and services performed at or above a person’s level of expectations. 

As such, it is smart to wait to tip your dog transporter until you have seen that your dog is healthy and safe at its new location. 

When your dog is delivered, a quality transporter will wait while you make sure that your dog has arrived in the expected happy, healthy condition and give you any useful information about their experiences during the trip. 

This is the best time to offer a tip to your dog transporter.

If for any reason, you do not see your dog transporter face-to-face when your dog is delivered, a tip can also be offered as an addition to any final payments that need to be made. 

When you make your final transportation payment, you can add in your tip and a note of thanks.

When You May Want To Tip Your Dog Transporter More

You may want to tip your dog transporter more than planned if your dog needs special accommodations when traveling if your transporter experiences weather-related transportation hazards and still delivers your dog safely and in an expected time frame, or you arrange a transportation trip on short notice. 

Goes Above And Beyond

Most dog transporters make plans to stop every few hours so that their puppy passengers can potty, drink some water, and stretch their legs. 

If you have made arrangements with your transporter for more frequent breaks or special types of exercise on the journey, it might be worth an extra few dollars of thanks. 

Takes On Additional Requests

Even under the best circumstances, traveling is stressful for some dogs. Dogs are generally not fed giant meals during transportation for this reason. 

A dog with an upset stomach in a moving vehicle is never a good time. 

If your transporter meets requests for special meal considerations or needs to give medicines, either related to travel or your dog’s general health, it’s a good time to give an extra tip.

Longer Trips

Anyone who has done much traveling can tell you the weather is not something we can always predict.

If your transporter comes across inclement weather that increases the length of their trip or requires extra care to deliver your sweet dog safely to your door, an increased tip is kind.

Short Notice

Last, if you find out on short notice that you need a dog to be transported and are able to secure services with a transporter, a few extra dollars tip shows that you are grateful for your transporter demonstrating flexibility with their schedule. 

The same can be said for transportation services around holidays where transporters experience both added financial expenditures and busier roads!

How To Pay Your Dog Transporter A Tip

A cash tip offered at the time your dog is safely delivered is an excellent method for paying your dog transporter a tip. A cash tip allows the transporter to use the money as they see fit and, when given with a personal word of gratitude, can hold great meaning for the one who safely saw your dog from point-a to point-b.

Other options include adding a tip on to a credit card charge slip, paying with a check that has a thank you written on the memo line, or, if using electronic payment, adding a few dollars when sending final service payments.

If you aren’t certain how your dog transporter would like to be tipped, it never hurts to ask.

If your transporter does not wish to receive a financial tip, you can offer to leave them a good review or recommend them to anyone you know who has animal transportation needs in the future.


Having a dog transported by someone else can be stressful for both the owner who wants to keep their dog safe and happy and the pet who is experiencing changes. 

Tipping is an option for those who want to show gratitude for the safe and loving travel experience provided by their dog transporter. 

Wondering who else you may need to tip, and how to appropriately do so? I’ve got you covered in the following guides: