Bavaria Branch Veterinary Services
PCSing is incredibly stressful, which is only compounded by ensuring your children and pets have what they need prior to travel. Your on-post veterinary treatment facility (VTF) is here to help you.
It’s important to call your vet months in advance with any questions so that we can help you iron out the kinks well before it’s time to PCS. Here are some key pieces of information you’ll need to know:
1. Rabies Vaccination and Microchip
German law requires that your dogs and cats be up-to-date on rabies vaccination while living in Germany. It is also required that they be microchipped with an ISO compliant microchip. A rabies vaccination must occur on the same day or after the microchip is implanted, and the primary rabies vaccine must occur at least 21 days prior to travel. The primary rabies vaccination is either the first vaccine the pet receives in its life, or the first vaccine administered a lapse in vaccination.
It is best to ensure microchipping and rabies vaccination are done well in advance of your health certificate appointment prior to travel. This is not something you want to be scrambling to fix at the last minute.
2. Health Certificate
A European Union (EU) health certificate is required to PCS to Germany. It must be issued within 10 days of your arrival at your destination. This can be done on- or off-post, but the health certificate must be endorsed by a USDA-accredited or military veterinarian. This is usually done by appointment only, but call your local VTF to learn their scheduling requirements and health certificate process. The earlier you start gathering information, the better.
3. Do your homework.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service pet travel website is a helpful tool. This site contains current information for traveling to or from the United States with animals and gives country- and state-specific guidance. This website is at www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel.
Your veterinarian cannot sign anything designating your pet as an emotional support animal (ESA). ESA’s are like any other beloved pet at the vet, and we want to ensure they are healthy and vaccinated prior to travel, but we cannot sign airline documents requiring information other than medical care and vaccine history.