It’s getting close to that time for those who are expecting PCS orders this summer to start finding out where their next assignment will be. It’s an exciting time and it’s a stressful time!
Besides worrying about getting the house ready and getting the kids ready and worrying about how everyone will like the next duty station, those families with pets will have to make sure that the pets are ready too!
If you staying in the States and driving to your next assignment, then you will need to make sure that the pets will be okay in the car. Plan on making sure that food and water are available during the trip. You might consider giving them food and water when you stop for a break. For cats, you will need to make sure that their is litter box available for them. Plan on stopping a little more often to take dogs for a potty break. Cats may do better in a cage because they usually feel a little more comfortable in a more structured setting instead of letting them wonder around the car. Plus if you don’t put your cat in a cage, when you stop you will have to make sure that they don’t make a dash for freedom when you open the door.
If you are moving overseas, then you need to contact the veterinarian office at your next base for shots and quarantine information. Plus, you need to plan on paying to fly your pet. You can only claim quarantine costs for your pets. You will not be reimbursed for travel costs associated with your pets. Small animals like a cat or very small dog should be able to fly in the cabin with you, but you will still have to pay a fee. If the pets are going in the cargo hold, then airlines will only fly them when the weather will not be hot! This can be difficult if you have them fly during the summer months, but each airline will have its own rules. Immunizations and blood tests for your pets must be done on a specific timeline and are specific to where you are going, so check early with your base veterinarian for the requirements.
No matter if you move pets in the States or overseas, you should make sure that all shots are up to date and that they have chips embedded so that they can be identified if they separated from you.
Your base veterinarian is your best resource to help you get your pet ready to move!
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