So you received orders to a new duty location and now you need to start planning?
PCSing does not need to be as stressful as it seems. Yes, it is stressful, but we are here to help alleviate the pressure when it comes to traveling with your pets.
To begin, you need to determine if you are flying or driving. If you are going OCONUS and don’t have the option to drive, you do need to establish if you are on the AMC flight or flying commercial. Be sure to check airlines policies for in-cabin and cargo options as well as heat embargoes, especially if traveling in summer.
Note: some airlines restrict certain breeds of cats and dogs.
For OCONUS, verify customs requirements for entry into the new country and be mindful of the potential time commitment. It is possible to wait for long periods of time at your new destination for your pet(s) to go through customs.
This will make a big difference in how to go about preparing for the new move.
No matter what option you choose you will need to see a vet to either pick up medical records, refill Rx’s, or to be brought up to date on shots. I highly suggest you call an on base vet and schedule an appointment right away, especially if you are going to Hawaii, Korea, Japan, etc., where it is mandatory to quarantine your pets. On base vets are actually cheaper than off base vets, and they also know exactly what needs to be done for different locations. If you need financial help to cover the vet visit costs, head to our grant page and read more about Dogs on Deployment.
It is essential to plan your travel in advance. There would be nothing worse than to arrive at a new location only to find out your pet cannot be accommodated. Check out the hotels, restaurants and parks along your travel route, and even the boarding facilities at your new duty location. Even if you don't end up using the hotels or boarding facilities immediately, they could be helpful in the future if you want to explore what is beyond your duty station and board your pet(s) safely.
For a more detailed checklist of what needs to be done for your PCS, head to our CONUS and OCONUS pages.
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