Oconus PCS with Pets

Oh, those lovely little fur babies that become part of our lives and hearts. Normally moves are smooth with them, as long as you bring them food and water they are happy as can be. But what happens when you get orders overseas to Japan?

Many of the things I read up on said to leave them behind or prepare to spend thousands of dollars. While that may be true for some, it isn’t true for all.

For example, if what you have is cats or small dogs, the odds are that they can fly in the cabin with you for a small fee. Now if you need to add them as cargo, due to the larger size, and are traveling on orders, you can get a nice military discount on commercial flights. Just keep in mind a Patriot flight or military flight is always the cheaper option for larger pets. However, those get booked quickly so book as soon as possible.

But let’s rewind just a little, I, for example, have not yet made the big puddle jump. We are currently in the quarantine phase, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Here is a small step by step guide of what you need to do to prepare your pets for travel to Japan.

1. Microchip. If your pet already has one, make sure it is the new 15 digit microchip. The old ten digit is no longer acceptable for Japan. If you do have the ten digit one, you will need to do a new microchip.
2. Two rabies vaccination that is done AFTER the chip’s inserted. The second vaccine can be done 30 days after the first.
3. The rabies antibody test. It is a blood sample that is drawn after the second vaccine.
4. Quarantine or waiting period. This one is the “bad” part. It is 180 wait time or quarantine. The date of blood sampling is counted as 0. If you have to travel before the quarantine is over, you may still take your pets. Depending on the base you will be going to, you may finish the quarantine within the base “house, ” you get assigned, or you may board your pet with the base vet for quarantine completion.
5. If flying commercial, you must send in Advanced notification at the expected port of entrance. You can find all the forms needed here.
6. Vet visit clearing for travel.
7. Get all certifications. Individual information, microchip number, and date of implanting. Date of rabies vaccinations, effective period, kind of vaccine, product name, and manufacturer of the vaccine. Date of blood sampling for a rabies antibody test, antibody titer, and name of designated laboratory. Result and date of clinical inspection, as well as a USDA, stamped international health certificate.

As you can see, it is quite a few steps. We are currently on 4, and waiting to find out how we are flying over.

Hope this has helped you some in finding out how to get your pet over to Japan.

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