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PCSing? Military members can now receive a Pet Travel Allowance.

29 February 2024 by

Effective January 1, 2024, active-duty military personnel have been granted the right to be compensated for moving costs associated with one household pet due to a permanent change of station transition.

The shift costs for either one canine or one feline incorporate travel expenses within the nation or abroad, and any other movement necessities, as stated by the Joint Travel Regulations Office.

Ever since Lloyd J. Austin III, the Secretary of Defense, assumed his role, he has focused his efforts on enhancing the support provided to Defense Department staff and their families through his campaign called "Taking Care of Our Service Members and Families."

These endeavors include significant projects to enrich the lives of military personnel and their families via access to quality and affordable child care, and by alleviating the stress of moving for military families, to name a few.

"DOD recognizes that pets can be a source of stability and security to service members and families who often move. Defraying the cost of PCS moves involving a pet acknowledges the role played by these emotional constants and will improve quality of life for the force," said Jennifer McPherson-Todd, director of the Defense Travel Management Office.

Additional Travel Expenses Covered Under the Rules

  • Fees for quarantine
  • Compulsory microchipping
  • Boarding charges
  • Hotel service fees
  • License fees at the new duty station
  • Shipping costs if the military personnel choose air travel over driving

Moreover, dependents of service members, DOD civilians, and dependents of DOD civilian employees who are directed to evacuate from an overseas duty station are eligible for transportation and quarantine costs for up to two pets — dogs or cats.

Service members can be reimbursed up to $2,000 for one dog or cat for each permanent change of station move to or from the continental United States, or $550 if moving within the lower 48 states. PCS orders must be effective on or after Jan. 1, 2024, according to the Military Times. 

This new benefit will help alleviate some of the burden of rising costs of moving with pets for military members and their families. 

A PDF detailing this initiative in more depth can be found at the bottom of the DOD's post highlighting this new benefit here. 

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