Disclaimer: The following information and recommendations have been put together based on BESA members' own individual experiences only. It may be out of date or not apply to your individual circumstances so please also conduct your own research.
Most of this information relates to dogs but there is also general information that may be of use for other pets.
Bringing your pet to post:
Taking your pet home:
Suggestions from BESA members:
"Be well prepared and get a US vet that understands the DEFRA requirements, there are strict rules about the timings of rabies vaccination, health certification and tapeworm treatment. Our vet, although super lovely, also completed an international healthcare certificate which wasn't required but cost $90 so be careful!"
"If you are military, Fort Myer vets are experts and have the local and federal certification - one stop shop for departures, no need to have the paperwork signed twice. They regularly ship to Germany, Europe, Japan etc. When we shipped our lab back in 2013 we used a military vet and the shippers said that our paperwork was perfect."
1. You must get a dog license for your dog. You can usually do this online and you need to send proof of rabies vaccinations. It is renewed every year and your dog must wear the tag they send you at all times.
2. If you get your pet microchipped here, look into https://www.homeagain.com/ as they provide support for finding lost pets as well as covering you if you need to call their medical emergency hotline or ASPCA poison control (which can cost $65 just to phone them for advice). UK microchips will often still work over here, you just need to update the address.
1. There are vaccinations that your dog will need that it doesn't need at home, including for rabies. Your vet will be able to help you with these.
2. You need to get your dog tested for heart worm and then get a supply of heart worm treatment such as Heartgard Plus chewable which is given monthly as a preventative.
3. You will also want to get a flea and tick treatment for your pet as ticks can carry Lyme Disease here.
4. Watch out for poison ivy which is common around the area.
http://www.elpaw.net/ - Alexandria
http://clarendonanimalcare.com/ - Arlington
https://vcahospitals.com/southpaws - Virginia (emergency center)
If you are military you can use Fort Myer vets for yearly checks, vaccinations and things like worm and flea treatments (it is much cheaper), the down side is getting appointment can be difficult and opening hours are restricted so you may still want to register with a local vet in case of emergencies.
*Note: Your dog must be on a leash at all times, unless in a designated enclosed dog park.
Duke Street Dog Park - Alexandria
Shirlington Dog Park - Arlington
Glencarlyn Park - Arlington
James Hunter Park - Arlington
You can take your dog to beaches, but check ahead as there will be certain rules such as times of year you can take your dog and whether it has to be on a lead.
Many BESA members are often willing to look after pets for each other so it is always worth putting a request on the BESA Facebook page.
https://www.fetchpetcare.com/ - Arlington and Alexandria.
Adoption/ rescue organisations: