How to prepare for a smooth PCS with your pets – United States Army

By Michelle ThumMarch 11, 2022
WIESBADEN, Germany — A permanent change of station move is stressful as it is, but moving with your pet can add an extra layer of stress unless you are well prepared. Public Health Command Europe Veterinarians have some tips to help make moving your furry companion as easy as possible.
“As soon as you know your travel details, contact your local veterinary treatment facility to assist with your upcoming pet travel process,” said Maj. Christopher Reeves, a veterinarian and officer in charge of the Wiesbaden Veterinary Treatment Facility. “Some countries, such as Japan, Guam or the United Kingdom, have specific requirements for importing a pet and can take over six months to prepare. Therefore it’s important to prepare for your move ahead of time.”
Additionally, rotator space has become more limited during COVID-19, so Reeves recommends reaching out to the transportation office as soon as you can to see if you can get a reservation.
Your Veterinary Treatment Facility can help prepare you for a smooth move.
For any PCS, the following documentation is required:
Note: Pets must be at least 12 weeks old to receive the rabies vaccine. If this is your pet’s first rabies vaccine, your pet must be vaccinated at least 28 days prior to travel to allow the vaccine to take effect.
“It is important to remember summer is peak PCS season so the on-post veterinary clinic appointments fill-up quickly,” Reeves said. “I recommend making your appointment as soon as your receive an indication of your orders. We do not need official orders to start the process, just the project country.”
Public Health Command Europe veterinarians recommend the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website for any country requirements and additional resources.
Your method of travel may have separate and additional requirements. Check with your airline or shipping carrier to determine what requirements they may have, if any.
If your animal isn’t used to being in a carrier or crate, it’s helpful to get them used to that crate well in advance.
According to Reeves, this can become their “safe space” during the transition, “not just on the plane / car, but also in the hotel or while household goods are being picked up.”
Reeves added it is the responsibility of the pet owner to make sure their pet has met the requirements of the destination country. A failure in meeting the requirements can result in the animal being returned to the origin country at the owner’s expense, the pet being quarantined at the owner’s expense, or even euthanized.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinary treatment facility for help.

PCSing with pets


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