I don’t know about you but this year has flown by! As we head into summer we can look forward to swimming, school vacations, and uh oh…THE PCS. So you just got orders now what?! This can feel like such an overwhelming time and be really scary. Just about the time you’ve settled at your current duty station you get to pack up and head somewhere new. This can often feel like a scary and daunting time. If you’re scared and stressed about it imagine how your pets feel. As someone who is about to embark on her 7th PCS, I understand completely!
Don’t leave Fido or Fluffy frazzled. There are plenty of ways you can prepare and execute a less stressful PCS. First off, let make sure Fido and Fluffy feel safe and comfy in the car and in their crate. I love crate training and his has come in handy for all of my PCS moves. Whether my pets need to be kenneled at a hotel or TLF, Temporary Lodging Facilities, I can count on them to be quiet and content in their crate. Make their crate a safe space. This can involve a fluffy bed or blanket and some safe toys. My dogs really enjoy their Kong toys or a chew safe bone. I have also had good luck stuffing the Kong with peanut butter and their food and sticking it in the freezer. Talk about a Pupsicle! I would encourage you to get them comfy in their crate months before. Start with a small amount of time and work up to longer spans of time over several weeks. This would also be helpful if you have to fly to your next duty station.
There are ways to help Fluffy acclimate to a crate also. I would start by just having the crate out and then also putting a nice blanket in there and removing the door if possible so they can come and go as they please. This allows your kitty to see the crate as less threatening. You can add some catnip or catnip spray to entice them. I also love the Feliway sprays and DAP products for pleasant pheromones. These help your pet feel relaxed and at ease. You should also consult with your veterinarian. They will likely have other recommendations to ensure your move goes as smooth as possible. No move is perfect but there are plenty of steps you can take to ease the tension you or your furry friends may be facing.
Don’t forget to use your resources. The information on http://www.militarypetpcs.com is so great. They have information for OCONUS and CONUS moves. There are also great giveaways and sweepstakes. There is also a great community of fellow military members just like you and me! They share their experiences and provide helpful tips and tricks for all types of moves. When searching for a great Veterinarian. I have had good luck in utilizing the resources on the American Animal Hospital Association’s website http://www.aaha.org. The hospitals must uphold certain standards and qualifications to be AAHA accredited. This is a great place to start when you feel lost with such a daunting and important task. I’ve also had really great luck utilizing Facebook. The base or duty station Facebook groups or spouse’s groups often are a wealth of information. These spouses and members have first hand experiences with the resources in the area. With a little prepping and some research you too can take the stress out of your next PCS.