How To Find Temporary Pet Housing During Your PCS Move

Patrick MacFarland Patrick MacFarland · Updated March 14, 2024

Your Pet's Journey Matters!

  • Fast and easy
  • Only pay when you book
When you get PCS orders, you may need to find temporary housing for your pet.

When you receive permanent change of station (PCS) orders, life can quickly become stressful. It’s hard to uproot your life and move to a new state or country. Sometimes the move is only temporary or a short distance — but often, it’s across the country or overseas.

The stress of a military move is compounded when you own pets. On top of arranging for your household items, car and other possessions to be shipped to your new home, you have to find a way to transport them. If your new home isn’t ready or you’re having trouble finding pet-friendly housing, you may need to find a temporary home for your furry friends. Navigating a PCS move with pets can be difficult, so we’re here to help.

How do you find temporary pet housing during a PCS move? We’ll show you the ins and outs of finding short-term pet accommodations to help you prepare for a military move.

Options for Temporary Pet Accommodation

When it comes to temporary pet accommodation, there are several options. These options will be the best available for you and your military family. Let’s take a look at the options.

Military Base Kennels

You may be in luck if the base that you are going to offers boarding facilities for your pet during your PCS move. 

  • The only downside to this option is that availability is restricted. 
  • There could also be breed restrictions.
  • Your pet will be living with other animals.

Pet Boarding Facilities

Another option is looking for pet boarding facilities. Sometimes there are commercial kennels or boarding facilities out there that can provide the Professional Care that pets need. 

  • They also provide structured routines to make things easier for pets. 
  • You may have to research on Google or various military programs that can accommodate your pet’s needs and fit within your budget.

Friends and Family

Another option is asking your friends and family. Friends and family are a great resource when it comes to stressful situations in life. If you can’t find temporary pet housing that accepts pets, the most cost-effective pet solution may be to trust your friends and family to take care of your pet. 

Military-Specific Programs

There are military-specific organizations that you can reach out to for assistance. Organizations like PACT for Animals or Dogs on Deployment can offer temporary housing for military pets, or can help you find temporary housing for your pets.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Temporary Housing

When choosing temporary housing for your pet, your main priority is its safety and comfort. Here are a few factors to consider when deciding where your pet will live temporarily.

Your Pet’s Needs And Personality

Choose an option that ensures your pet will be comfortable. The temporary housing should fulfill your pet’s activity/exercise requirements,

Length of Stay

When choosing temporary housing, consider the amount of time you’ll be staying there. If temporary housing isn’t perfect for the entire family, including your pet, then your length of stay should be shorter, not longer.


Consider staying somewhere that meets your financial requirements. The military may pay for some part of your temporary housing, but you should always plan ahead and compare prices and services offered by different options.


Your temporary housing may be just temporary, but it’s also very important to choose a location that’s going to be convenient to your work.

Licensing And Insurance

When choosing your temporary housing, make sure every facility where you’ll be staying is licensed and that there are several available insurance options.

Overview of Short-Term Boarding Solutions for Military Pets

There are times when your temporary housing may not allow pets. What do you do in this case? There are various short-term boarding solutions:

On-Base Kennels and Veterinary Facilities

The first option you have is putting your pet or pets in on-base kennels or its veterinary facilities. 

  • Nearly every base has a veterinary facility. 
  • There may also be  an option for kennels where you can house your pet on a temporary basis.
  • Check with your base to see if they have these as options for you. 
  • Keep in mind that these facilities are for extremely short-term boarding.

Networks of Accredited Off-Base Pet Hotels

The second option you have is researching off base pet hotels. This is a newfangled thing that has popped up in the past few years. Pet hotels are the new rage. 

  • Research accredited pet hotels that are licensed accordingly with the USDA and other government agencies. 
  • Make sure they follow the law in every way. I
  • It’s possible to get military discount at many pet hotels. 

Considerations Around Amenities, Costs, Regulations

From the options given, you should always consider three things: amenities, costs and regulations.

  1. Make sure the amenities are pristine so your pet will love the place and feel comfortable.
  2. Take a look at the costs — if they’re too pricey, check for military discounts.
  3. Make sure they follow the letter of the law.

Tips for a Smooth Transition to Temporary Housing

Transitioning to temporary housing doesn’t have to be a difficult, stressful experience for your pet. Taking a few measures before you make the move can make the process much smoother.

1. Pack Familiar Items

  • The best way to create a smooth transition is to pack your pets familiar items. 
  • If you’re going to be staying with your pet in temporary housing, follow the routines you had in your previous home. 
  • If your pet will be staying at a pet hotel or a boarding facility, pack its favorite toys, bedding and food bowl to ensure your pet is less stressed and more comfortable.

2. Introduce Your Pet Beforehand

  • Pets are creatures of habit and understanding its surroundings. 
  • When you familiarize your pet with a new environment, your pet is going to observe and study what’s around them. 
  • Visit the temporary housing beforehand with your pet so that it gets comfortable with the new environment. 
  • When you move into the temporary housing, your pet will be more familiar and less stressed.

3. Provide Detailed Instructions

  • If your pet cannot stay with you during the transitory or temporary housing situation, it’ll probably be staying with a pet sitter or at a boarding facility. 
  • It’s important that you provide detailed instructions for your pet sitter or those in charge at the boarding facilities. 
  • These detailed instructions should include dietary needs and your pet’s preferred routines.

4. Stay In Touch

  • When you’re apart from your pet, it’s going to miss you.
  • Animals’ sense of time is different from yours, so even a few days can feel like eternal loneliness.
  • Schedule regular visits or video calls with your pet. 
  • This practice canl ease your pet’s stress and separation anxiety.

Why To Trust CitizenShipper with Your Pet Move

If you’re in the military and you are looking for pet transportation, there are many options available out there. The good news is that two-way marketplaces like CitizenShipper are here to help. Our affordable pet transportation marketplace is a hassle-free alternative to traditional pet transportation companies.

Even better, the United States Department of Defense has implemented a policy to help compensate military members that need to transport a pet:

“as of January 1, 2024, military Service members going through a PCS within the continental United States can be reimbursed up to $550 for one household pet, either cat or dog, and up to $2,000 for moves to or from a location outside the continental United States to cover costs related to the transportation of a pet.”

There are also many benefits to using CitizenShipper for your military pet move — it’s easy to use, you’ll receive multiple quotes within minutes and there are a variety of options. CitizenShipper also offers unique benefits like 24/7 televet access and a $1,000 pet protection plan.

Posting a Listing on CitizenShipper

  • Click “Get Transportation Quotes” on CitizenShipper’s home page.
  • Select “Dogs” or any other pet from the list.
  • Enter all the detailed information of your transport.
  • In a matter of minutes, a fleet of background-checked and vetted drivers will send you a variety of quotes.
  • You can use the internal chat system to discuss the details of the transport with every driver that submits a quote.
  • You can read reviews from previous customers and check out drivers’ ratings.

The drivers on our pet transportation marketplace understand your pet means the world to you and every member of your family. That’s why they’ll treat your furry friend with proper care throughout the entire journey. 

With a transporter hired through CitizenShipper taking care of your beloved pet, you can focus on other important PCS matters with your family. Make your PCS move a little easier and post a pet transportation listing to get free quotes instantly!

Need Help?

Looking for expert guidance or have questions about pet transportation? Our AI-driven Customer Support Agent is here to help, offering empathetic and precise assistance for all your needs. Let's ensure your pet's journey is safe and smooth, together.