NAWS China LakeCommunity

NAWS China Lake
Shipping Pets

Shipping Pets

Licensing, Vaccinations

Pets are allowed in base housing, but owners are responsible for their care and proper control. All dogs four months or older must be licensed by Kern County. For pet licensing requirements and fees contact the Ridgecrest Civic Center.

Please visit the Ridgecrest Animal shelter/control to find out what vaccination your pets would need for transportation to your new duty station.


There are no pet boarding/kennel facilities aboard China Lake. Contact the Fleet and Family Support Center for assistance in locating a facility or check the yellow pages of the local telephone book.

Base Regulations

When living in base housing at China Lake, residents are limited to a maximum of two pets in a single dwelling.


Only birds are subject to quarantine in California if brought into the state from outside the country, requiring 30 days of quarantine. Birds brought from another state are not subject to a quarantine period.

Pet Travel

If you are bringing a pet, plan for the pet’s trip in same manner as you plan your trip. Any veterinarian can give you great tips on traveling with your pet, including types of pet carriers, feeding your pet prior to and during travel, and medications to make the trip easier on your pet. For information about shipping your pet on government transportation, contact your local Personal Property Office.

Traveling with your pet:

  • Start with a trip to the vet to make certain that your pet is in good health and to determine if any medical aids would make the trip easier.
  • You may need a health certificate from your vet if you’re traveling by air. 
  • Many humane societies recommend that pets in cars/trucks be crated. An uncrated animal could actually cause an accident or be injured.
  • Airlines have specific crating regulations, which should be requested in advance or at least when making reservations. 
  • When the animal is crated, make certain the animal has enough room to stand, turn around and be comfortable, yet feel secure. Make certain enough air gets in and that the locks are securely fastened. 
  • If an animal is unaccustomed to traveling, let it get used to the crate with short practice runs. 
  • If an animal is left unsecured, it should not ride in the front seat if the vehicle has a passenger-side air bag, which could be lethal if it engages.
  • Pets should not be left in closed cars in hot weather. Even with windows partly open, heat builds up quickly and can cause extreme distress, suffocation, and death. 
  • Pets should travel with proper identification tags, proof of vaccination, and proper licenses. 
  • Be sure to pack food, favorite toys and bowls, a recent photo and description of your pet, appropriate medications, your vet’s number, and plenty of water, for both on the road and later. (Diluting local water with water from home can help prevent diarrhea.)
  • Make certain to check pet policies at hotels or other places of lodging, like campgrounds in advance. 
  • Be aware that most train and bus lines do not allow pets although some cruise ships do. 
  • Traveling can be especially stressful for birds and smaller mammals, such as hamsters and rabbits. Even more so for reptiles because of their specialized diets, and specific light and temperature requirements. 
  • Exercise your dog before you leave. A tired pet will sleep more easily and adapt more readily to new surroundings. 
  • Do not let animals hang their heads out of the window of moving vehicles. Eyes, ears, and throats could become inflamed. 

Traveling with Pets

Are you taking pets with you to your next installation? If so, read the articles on moving with pets provided from the Department of Defense’s special report on moving at It’s Your Move. They discuss shipping and quarantining your animals. Another informative article on moving with pets is published by AmeriForce.

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