Tips for PCS moves with pets

Military personnel must be prepared to relocate at almost any time. Moving out of state or abroad is a distinct possibility when new Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders arrive. Soldiers and spouses know that relocation is a regular part of the military lifestyle and prepare accordingly, but families with pets have to handle additional responsibilities.

There are special regulations in place for dealing with pets during PCS moves. Service members must research their branches’ rules and restrictions when they are bringing an animal to a new base.

Make the necessary arrangements writes that pets can be included in PCS orders if soldiers notify the proper offices. Dogs, cats and other domestic animals can be listed alongside family members in the new orders. The military accounts for the pets, but the owners are still responsible for transportation.

The news source writes that the family has to cover their pets’ airfare. Soldiers should contact airlines early to find out their size limits for animals. For pets that are too large for airplanes, a household moving company can recommend an animal relocation service. The specialists are trained to work with animals and provide excellent care while on the road.

Consider housing options
Ask about pets when you’re researching your housing options. According to, most on-base residences have a two-animal limit. Contact your new base’s transport office to see if it has any additional restrictions or allowances.

Off-base housing is a little more difficult. Landlords can ban pets, so you have to be careful when house hunting. Most real estate listings include sections about pet restrictions. Kristen McDeeLite, a military spouse, told the American Forces Press Service that you can have your dream house and four-legged companion by sweetening the deal for the property owner.

“I’ll contact people that say, ‘no pets’ but then offer a larger pet deposit if it’s a house I really like,” McDeeLite said.

Locate temporary housing options
In most cases, military houses are not ready on the reporting date. Soldiers and their family usually have to stay in hotels for a couple days before they can officially move into their new homes.

Research hotels in your new neighborhood and look for one that accommodates pets. Ask other service personnel for recommendations on temporary housing options. Soldiers who live near your base can direct you to the best pet-friendly hotels.