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Service members get new benefit: Pet Travel Allowance

A soldier reunites with his dog in Sandston, Va., after returning from almost a year of supporting security operations in East Africa, Sept. 29, 2022. Photo credit: Army Sgt. 1st Class Terra C. Gatti

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As of Jan. 1, active-duty service members are now authorized to receive reimbursement for costs related to relocation of one household pet due to a permanent change of station move.

The relocation expense for either one dog or one cat includes travel costs within the U.S. or overseas and any other travel requirements, according to the Joint Travel Regulations Office.  

Since taking office, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has prioritized efforts to strengthen support for Defense Department personnel and family members under his "Taking Care of Our Service Members and Families" campaign.

Those efforts include key initiatives to improve the lives of service members and their families through access to quality and affordable child care and by easing the burden of relocation for military families, among other things. 

"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.

Also, service members' dependents, DOD civilians, and DOD civilian employees' dependents who are ordered to evacuate from a foreign duty station are authorized for transportation and quarantine fees for up to two pets - dogs or cats.

Other Travel Expenses Covered Under the Regulations:

  • Quarantine fees
  • Mandatory microchipping
  • Boarding fees
  • Hotel service charges
  • Licensing fees at the new duty station
  • Shipping fees if the service member flies, rather than drives

For more details on this new benefit, click here:

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