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For many military families, pets are part of the family. They are an essential part of the home and come with their own set of joys and challenges as anyone else in the family. Families who have military pets value the companionship and steadfastness their four-legged members provide and understand pets also take a lot of work.
Several considerations come into play, specifically for military dogs and other pets due to temporary living situations, deployments, and other last-minute arrangements that need to be made if a service member has to leave home suddenly. Let's look into what it's like to live with military pets, what to consider if you're thinking of getting one, and what to do when your furry family member needs somewhere to stay.
We Love Our Military Pets
At Lincoln Military Housing, we love our pets! At many of our installations nationwide, you can have up to two pets for each family. From military dogs to military cats, they have gone through many military family transitions and are happiest when home with the family. We would never charge you extra for your family, and we don't charge extra for your pets! At Lincoln Military Housing, we do not have any pet fees or pet deposits.* We help make it affordable to have your fur babies with you!
Accommodations and Cost
The first thing to consider when adding a pet to your family is if the accommodations are adequate. When you have fur babies, military housing has fantastic benefits to help your furry friend feel right at home. We offer spacious homes with fenced-in back yards at many of our locations. Many communities provide pet stations or even designated bark parks. Is there enough room within the house for them to live comfortably with the rest of your family? Talk with your leasing specialist before your move to ensure you have a space that fits your needs.
Also, think about the costs of vaccinations, pet insurance, and other procedures or medications your pet might need during the time they're living with you. Can you afford to provide coverage when necessary? Do you have access to these services? Many military bases have full-service veterinary clinics available. Check which services are offered to ensure your pet can receive regular checkups needed to stay healthy.
If you're traveling from country to country, are pets allowed? What kind of preparations need to be made beforehand? How much are traveling fees? These are the things that will be determined by the size and breed of your pet, but that should be planned for as much in advance as possible.
If you're relocating to a new military installation, this means a change for your family as you search for new housing and get familiar with a new city. But what does it mean for military pets? They should be factored in when the orders come in to move since they don't get to "voice" their opinions for their new living situations. Military pets can adapt fairly quickly to their surroundings, as long as you consider their needs in advance when you move. Many of the military housing communities feature long walking paths, bark parks, and events for your fur baby. We understand the needs of your family, including your fur family.
Pet Sitters and Daycares
Every military family knows how busy day-to-day operations can get. How often will there be someone at home to take your pet for a walk, make sure the food and water dish is filled, and give your pet the attention they need to thrive? If your time at home is limited, start researching day camps for military dogs or pet sitters that provide your pet the daily necessities and care needed to live.
Start a list of resources to secure a pet sitter for your needs. You can choose from different options with most pet sitting services, including dog boarding, doggy daycare, or dog walking. Get matched with qualified sitters that can step in when you can't be around to give your military pets what they need.
Find out the level of care and amount of time your dog will require daily and select the option that works best for you. It will help your pet feel loved while making you feel less guilty for not being able to be around as much as you'd like to be.
Whether you want to adopt a pet of your own or are looking for someone who can take your pet during deployment, you have options for both. Many service members choose to adopt from a shelter to provide for pets who genuinely need a good, loving home when going the adoption route. Visit your local shelter or get more information from your base for suggested organizations to use for adoption.
If you're scheduled to leave on deployment and don't have family members that can stay with your pet long-term, you may choose to put your pet up for adoption or match up with a family who wants to care for your pet while you're away. It can be hard to let go of your pup or cat, especially when it's unexpected, so use your resources to find the option that makes the most financial and emotional sense.
*Pet fees and deposits and other amenities may vary based on location.