Best Practices for Managing a Multi-Pet PCS Move: Tips For Military Families

Patrick MacFarland Patrick MacFarland · Updated May 13, 2024

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A soldier in camouflage uniform sitting on a couch with a woman in an orange sweater, both smiling and petting multiple small fluffy dogs during their multi-pet PCS move.

You just received your Permanent Change of Station orders and are now about to embark on a journey that is unique to military members. You’re moving to another destination — which means you have to pack up all of your belongings and move your family, including your furry friends, to another home.

But what happens when you have more than one animal to move? How do you juggle that? Let’s take a look at tips for transporting more than one dog or cat during a military move.

How to Prepare for a Military Move

Preparing for your military move with multiple companions follows the same guidelines as moving with one. It’s important to get everything in order ahead of time so you’re not scrambling at the last minute.

  1. Obtain health certificates from a USDA-registered veterinarian.
  2. Organize all necessary paperwork that transporters, airlines or customs may require. Keep it in an easy-to-access place.
  3. Get all required vaccines at least 21 days before travel.
  4. Consider microchipping and purchasing sturdy name tags.
  5. Purchase either a hard-sided or soft-sided carrier — though some ground transporters provide their own carrier.
  6. Acclimate your pets to the carrier.

Tips for Managing Your Military Move with Two or More Pets

When managing your move with several animals, it’s always smart to ensure that they’re as comfortable as possible. They should feel safe, as well. Here are a few helpful tips.

  • Create a safe space so that they feel as comfortable and less stressed as possible.
  • Acclimate them to traveling by having them ride in cars more often or being inside their respective carriers for longer periods of time.
  • Look for lodging that is 100% pet-friendly.

Consider hiring a pet transporter through a marketplace like CitizenShipper — there are hundreds of veterans that work on the platform as pet transporters. Many offer military discounts and understand the stress of a PCS move. Plus, it’s easy to find transporters that can accommodate them.

The Department of Defense recently passed a new law that allows military members to be reimbursed for transporting your furry friends during a PCS move. You can find the reimbursement form here. Unfortunately, that law only allows reimbursement for one pet — so if you have more than one pet you want to transport, you’ll have to go out of pocket.

Why CitizenShipper Is a Great Pet Transportation Resource for Military Members

Two-way marketplaces like CitizenShipper are a great resource for finding safe, secure and humane pet transport. There are also many benefits to using CitizenShipper for your military pet move — it’s easy to use, you’ll receive quotes within just a few minutes and there’s a wide variety of transporters to choose from. CitizenShipper also offers unique benefits like 24/7 televet access through FirstVet and a $1,000 Pet Protection Plan.