Moving with Pets in the Military

In addition to the stress that people in your family experience, you must also look out for the welfare of your pets during your move. Once orders have been received and travel arrangements have been discussed, there are a few tips to keep in mind as you plan for the relocation of your household pets.

Veterinarian services

  • Talk to your current veterinarian about travel options and your pet's current health. If your pet is not healthy enough to travel, you may need to make other arrangements for them for the time you are at your new installation.
  • Make sure all vaccinations are up to date and have been cleared for travel by your veterinarian. Get your pet’s medical records before you leave to bring with you to your new installation.
  • Ask for advice on preparing your pet for shipment (including such issues as immunizations, feeding, watering, sedatives)
  • Contact your new installation's veterinary clinic or local government on registration requirements as each state, installation, and country has different registration requirements for pets.
  • Some countries and overseas stations have specific regulations about importing pets. This includes vaccinations, time in quarantine, official medical documentation, and specific travel arrangements. Your destination veterinary clinic will have this information posted on their website. If you are unclear on these requirements, contact your current installation's veterinary clinic or Transportation Office.

Travel services

  • Ask your Relocation office for information on how to ship a pet. They will be able to tell you about the specifics behind getting your pet to your new destination.
  • If you are flying, specific paperwork and requirements vary with each commercial airline. Research what is needed and make sure to hand carry all records for all your pets.

Housing Office 

  • When you and your family are deciding where to live, look into the pet policies on and off the installation. Even if you had a specific breed, size, or number of pets at your current installation, this does not mean that it will be allowed at your new installation. Check with your installation housing office for specific pet policies as it varies across installations and communities.
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