Monday, October 27, 2014

PCS Files: Taking The Pet

If you're anything like me, then your pet is more like family to you than just an animal that lives in your house. So when you move, they come with you, no matter what. Moving to another country makes this a lot more difficult when you want to make this happen though. You have to do your research, talk to the veterinarian, make plans with transportation (AKA the airlines that you are flying with), and get their health records up to date. It can be a very stressful and costly procedure.

The first thing you need to know is, the Military does not pay to move your pet. If you're moving across states and just driving, then this shouldn't be a problem for you. You can just have your (insert animal here) hop in the car with you and be on your way. When you are flying, it's a different story. You have to contact the airlines you are flying with as soon as you get your tickets. That way you can reserve your pets spot on the plane. Each plane only allows a certain amount of animals, and it isn't a large amount. We are taking our dog in the cabin with us. I'm not one for trusting the airlines to take good care of her (plus I'd probably get anxiety without her by my side). We have a small dog, who is well behaved, and hypo allergenic. So I don't see too many issues with her being in the cabin with us and everyone else. You also need to learn about what you need to buy for your animal to transport it in.

Before the whole plane situation though, there are a few things you need to get done to be sure your pet can go with you. Do NOT take my complete word for it though, make sure you call airlines and talk to the vet in case rules have changed or anything. I am simply sharing my experience so you have more of an insight on what happens! Plus, keep in mind we are taking our dog to Germany, and different countries have different laws/rules. What I have learned, is that you have to get your dog microchipped, and then (after the microchip has been inserted) get a rabies shot and certificate. The rabies shot has to be given no less than 30 days before you leave. Then, no more than 10 days before you arrive in Germany, go to the vet and get a health certificate. When I talked to the vet we will be going to for the health certificate, she gave me the advice of getting the health certificate as close to the date of us leaving as possible.

For example, if you are leaving on the 20th, try and get the certificate on the 18th. That way if anything happens to delay the flight or the day you will arrive in Germany whatsoever, the certificate is still less than 10 days out and you don't have to worry about going back to get another certificate and a new plane ticket, etc. It saves a lot of trouble!

Another tip, try and use a Military vet. They will be cheaper, and have gone through this process with many other families that have gone through a PCS so they know exactly what to do. Also, we won't be on the base we are living on now when it is time to get the health certificate. So I called around to Military bases closer to where we will be to find a vet there that can help us. So if you won't be around the base you are familiar with, don't be afraid to do what I did and find a base that will be closer to you during this time.

**Stay tuned for PCS FILES: Taking The Pet Part 2! All about reserving the spot for your pet on the plane, and getting the health certificate!**