Thinking about Relocating with Pets to Hawaii? Here’s Some Tips!
While traveling with pets is becoming more and more common, relocating with your pets, especially to certain places, can be a challenge. If your life takes you to Hawaii, for example, there are very specific guidelines and regulations for bringing animals into our 50th State. It used to be that all pets were quarantined for a period of 120 days without exception. That’s four full months without your furry best buddy!
Recently though, the state of Hawaii has issued a revision to their quarantine laws. Failure or inability to follow these current guidelines will result in a 120 day automatic quarantine of your dog or cat. Additionally, there are specific animals that are not allowed to be brought into Hawaii under any circumstances. Ferrets, gerbils, hamsters, monk parakeets and snakes are just some of the more common animal varieties that are prohibited in Hawaii.
For dogs and cats moving to Hawaii, if certain requirements are met prior to arriving in Hawaii, your pet could qualify for the State’s “5 Day or Less Program.” Hawaii’s Animal Quarantine Laws are taken seriously and there is no way to wheedle or whine your way around them.
Rabies Vaccinations — Your dog or cat must have been vaccinated for rabies at least twice in their lifetime. Further, those two vaccinations must have been given more than 30 days apart from one another. The most recent rabies vaccination must have been done at least 90 days prior to the dog’s arrival in Hawaii but not later than the expiration date of the vaccine.
Micro-chipping — Your dog or cat must be micro-chipped prior to arrival. If there is no chip or if the chip is unreadable, your pet will be subjected to the 120-day quarantine.
Blood Samples — Have your vet draw blood samples from your dog or cat and then send them to an approved lab for an OIE-FAVN Rabies Blood Test. After the test results are received, you must wait 120 days before your pet can arrive in Hawaii. Results for these tests are valid for three years.
Flea and tick treatment — Your pet must be treated for fleas, ticks and other pests with an approved product (such as Fipronil). This treatment must be recorded on your pet’s health certificate, and must happen within 14 days prior to your pet’s arrival in Hawaii. If, upon arrival at the inspection station in Hawaii, your pet shows any signs of infestation, he can be quarantined for the full 120 days even if he meets all other criteria.
Documentation — All documents for relocation of a pet to Hawaii must be mailed to the Animal Quarantine Station at least ten days prior to your arrival in Hawaii. Only original documents will be accepted, no photocopies, faxes or scanned and emailed documents will be accepted. Keep copies with you for your records. It is a good idea to have them available upon arrival in Hawaii.
Animal Inspection Office Hours — The animal inspection office is open from 8:00am – 5:00pm. Your flight will need to arrive in Honolulu by 3:30pm if you want to take your pet home that same day. Pet transfer from the plane to the Animal Quarantine Station could take as long as an hour.
Cold Hard Cash — Direct release at the airport is $165 per pet, $224 for the 5 day or less program and $1080 for the 120 day quarantine. The Animal Quarantine Station can process the payments on site upon arrival, but they recommend mailing the fees in with your other documentation to avoid long lines and delays.
Hawaii makes it a hassle to relocate with a pet, but all of the regulations and quarantine laws are designed to protect the natural beauty, habitat and environment of the islands, not to just make pet owners jump through hoops for the fun of it. Obviously, moving to Hawaii with a pet takes some advance planning to avoid the 120-day quarantine, but it is well worth it for the love of your furry friend in your new tropical home!
If you need a place to stay until you get settled, please reserve a pet-friendly hotel at Vacation Pet Friendly.