PCS’ing with Pets

There are many regulations about flying with and transporting our pets. Knowing and abiding by these rules is the pet owners’ responsibility, with veterinary personnel guiding you through the process or hiring a professional pet travel company. Be sure you check the rules and regulations of the country or state you are moving to 6+ months prior to your PCS.

A licensed veterinarian must issue a health certificate to all animals traveling by air within 10 days of transport. Health certificates can be obtained by appointment at U.S. Army Veterinary Treatment Facilities worldwide. You must provide a crate (check with the airline for specific requirements) for your animal to travel in. Travel crates are made specifically for air flight with affixed water bowls and a spot for your contact information. Provide a blanket or bed for a comfortable ride in the crate for your pet. If you are traveling a long distance, your carrier may require food.  Be sure to contact the airline for specific travel information for your pet.petairline-travel

If you are going to Japan, Hawaii or Guam, these locations require long quarantine periods before your animal will be admitted beyond the arrival point. The process to qualify for shorter quarantine periods requires multiple visits with your pet to your local VTF. 
Failure to follow the proper timeline can result in extended quarantine times for your pets and large out of pocket expenses upon arrival. 
Additionally, many countries require health certificates and rabies certificates from civilian veterinarians to have original signatures and to be countersigned or stamped by a U.S.D.A. veterinarian. In most countries, but not all, original signatures by Army Veterinary Corps Officers are exempt from this requirement, so it may be advantageous to complete all of the steps in the process through the base VTF.

Regulations generally prevent pets from riding in temperatures under 45 degrees or more than 85 degrees for more than 45 minutes. This can be a major concern depending on what cities your flight goes through during your travels. It may be necessary to ship your pet before or after the PCS in order to safely transport.

No matter where you are going, PCS’ing with pets requires some additional prep. Be sure to ask questions and follow all guidelines and requirements especially when dealing with OCONUS moves.

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