Sign Up Widget 1
Enjoy Exclusive Savings

Sign up to unlock special offers at your local commissary, monthly emails, recipes, beauty tips, and more.

Sign Me Up
OIT relocating with pets article

Relocating with Pets

From Family Magazine


When it comes to relocating with pets, few experiences are as insightful and inspiring as those shared by other military families. Known for navigating the challenges of frequent moves and adjusting to new surroundings, they have honed their expertise in ensuring the well-being of their beloved pets throughout the journey.

Family Magazine spoke with active-duty Army spouse, Jayla Rae Ardelean, about her firsthand account of recently moving to Italy with two dogs, plus two kids. If you must relocate soon, check out her unique perspective, which may inspire and guide you toward a successful and harmonious transition for your family and furry companions.

How many times have you and your family relocated?

Since my spouse has been in the Army, we have moved six times. Three of those moves have been OCONUS (overseas).

We recently relocated to Italy. This is our second time stationed here. Because of our first experience moving with the dogs here, we chose to do things differently this time. However, things still didn’t go as we would’ve liked them to.

The first time, we decided to fly them in the cargo area, where most of the pets are placed. This caused so much stress with the dogs and with us during the international flight that we considered that in this recent move to Italy. This time, we kept them with us. They were small enough to travel with us and stayed in their mesh kennels underneath the seats in front of us. Unfortunately, it wasn’t any better for them or us. They weren’t allowed out of their mesh kennels at all. So, holding them in our laps wouldn’t happe as we had hoped.

There’s a difference between CONUS (stateside) and OCONUS (overseas) when traveling with pets. For the CONUS relocations, we usually drove. This enabled us to have more freedom when it came to a stop to let the dogs out to walk around for a moment and have more potty breaks when we stopped at gas stations to fuel up or restroom breaks.

What three pieces of advice would you give someone if they are getting ready to move with a pet?

• Make sure you look into the airline’s pet policies. Each airline is different. And some airlines are specifically military-friendly and more understanding if you’re moving with your pets. Also, if you have concerns, contact them to clarify questions. Once you’ve chosen your airline, follow their guidelines.

• A few weeks before moving, begin to wean the number of bathroom visits. You want them to get used to holding their bladders. If you haven’t been using a kennel with your pet, train them to go inside their kennels in the month leading up to travel.

• Flying pets adds another element to your itinerary that the military (usually) isn’t sensitive to. You’ll be taking on a lot of your own initiative to figure out how to make it work! Remember, no matter what – You’ve got this! When things get too stressful, just think of what it will be like to havethe WHOLE family together once you arrive.


Read the original article by clicking here. (Link opens in new window.)