By Amanda Mitchell, AFC® Candidate
Our dog Charlie, a sweet little Boston Terrier, has been through all the up and downs of military life with us. In his ten years as a furry military family member, he has seen more of the world than the average human. He has lived in a few different states and has spent the last three years in Germany. Having a pet has been an immensely rewarding experience, but four-legged friends add another level of logistical complexity to military life norms. PCS season, in particular, can create an added layer of stress to an already stressful situation. Having a MILDOCS binder for your pets will ensure that you and your furry buddy are prepared for all of the unexpected events that military life can throw at you. Our MILDOCS binder for our dog Charlie has been an invaluable resource throughout his life. He has had many health conditions throughout his life, and our MILDOCS binder has helped us ensure continuity of care as we transitioned to different homes. Additionally, it has saved us a ton of money on vet bills. Whenever he visited a new veterinary clinic, we avoided repeat tests and treatments because we were able to give proof of his prior care.
What to Include in Your Pet’s MILDOCS Binder
- Spay/neuter records
- Vaccination records
- Rabies vaccination and other certificates
- Microchip Information
- Service animal paperwork if applicable
- Treatment history
Creating Your MILDOCS Pet Binder
First, print off the MILDOCS pet checklist here. You can create a special section within your family’s MILDOCS binder, or you can create a separate smaller binder specifically for your pet. Since our pet has a lengthy health history and needs to be seen by the vet every few months, I chose to put Charlie’s documents in a separate binder. I took it to every visit and immediately put his documents in the binder as soon as I received them.
Before you leave your current vet, ask them to print out your pet’s medical records. Most vets are happy to provide you with all the notes and detailed treatment information that they have on file for your pet. Your next veterinary care provider will be grateful to have detailed information on your pet’s health history, especially when they need ongoing care for specific conditions.
In the end, as pet parents, we all want what is best for them. As military families, that sometimes requires an extra step. Utilizing MILDOCS to keep track of your pet’s documents will help you approach a PCS with more confidence and decrease your overall stress because you will know you are prepared. For more information about PCSing with pets, visit these helpful resources: