Our clients are often surprised to learn that the process of bringing a pet to Hawaii requires a significant amount of time and preparation. Our team of experts can provide an explanation of what this looks like, in addition to managing your pet's entire move so you don't have to navigate it alone!
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What to Know Before Bringing Dogs and Cats to Hawaii
Microchip and Vaccinations
Make sure your pet meets these basic requirements so you can begin the import process.
Blood Tests and Other Treatments
The timeline for travel starts with your pet's first rabies vaccine.
Any veterinarian may administer the rabies vaccines, but the titer blood draw must be performed by a USDA accredited veterinarian.
Once your pet's blood test is completed, the documentation process begins!
Quarantine and other information
If you follow our guidelines, your pet should not need quarantine in Hawaii.
If Honolulu is not your destination
If the island of Oahu is not your final destination, there are additional steps.
Hawaii Pet Import Requirements and Timeline
Microchip and Vaccinations
Time frame: at least 90 days before departure date.
Does your pet have records in multiple locations? Is your veterinarian properly accredited? Are all required vaccinations in line with import and export regulations? There is a lot to consider. We’ve got you covered!
Hawaii requires multiple vaccines and a blood test, which typically results in 3-4 vet visits, all of which we will manage. Our team also provides sample documents to help ensure everything is properly filled out and signed the first time. Our relocation coordinators manage an average of 190 vet visits per month, and stay up to date on regulatory changes so you and your vet don’t have to.
All pets entering Hawaii must be microchipped and vaccinated. Read more below for specific details and requirements.
How to start the process of moving your pet to Hawaii.
Pets must have an electronic microchip implanted (required before an OIE-FAVN rabies blood test is performed).
The microchip must be scanned by your veterinarian to verify that it is working and that the microchip number is correct on all documentation.
If the pet cannot be identified by scanning the microchip, they will not qualify for direct airport release and will undergo up to 120-day quarantine.
Rabies Vaccination and Certificate
- Pets should be vaccinated at least twice for rabies in their lifetime. These rabies vaccines should be administered more than 30 days apart.
- The most recent rabies vaccination should be done no more than 12 months prior to the date of arrival in Hawaii for a 1-year rabies vaccine, or no more than 36 months prior to the date of arrival for a 3-year rabies vaccine.
FAVN Blood Test
Make sure testing and treatments are done on time.
To avoid a stay in quarantine in Hawaii, make sure your pet has their vaccine and blood test done at the correct time.
Make sure strict timelines are met.
OIE-FAVN Rabies Blood Test
First, make sure your pet has a valid rabies vaccine (that is at least the second vaccine he or she has had in their life). Once that rabies vaccine is at least 30 days old, your pet will need to have their blood drawn for a rabies antibody test by an accredited veterinarian to ensure that the vaccination has provided adequate rabies antibody levels.
A blood sample must be sent to Kansas State University (KSU) or the DOD Food Analysis and Diagnostic Laboratory in Texas. Blood test results must be greater than or equal to 0.5 IU/ml.
You must have a copy of the successful blood test results showing the pet’s microchip number.
Make sure your veterinarian lists “Hawaii” as the destination on the blood test submission form. KSU and DOD will then automatically send your pet’s results to Hawaii.
Time frame: at least 30 days after your pet's most recent first rabies vaccine.
Your veterinarian must issue two signed rabies vaccine certificates and submit the blood draw for the rabies titer test to an approved lab.
What happens if your veterinarian isn't accredited?
- Your dedicated relocation coordinator has likely already worked with an accredited vet in your area, or can recommend one.
- At this stage, we provide detailed templates for your veterinarian and answer any questions regarding the proper completion of the required form.
- It's not uncommon for a client's veterinarian to lack these required credentials for import. However, we can provide guidance with this process if they'd like to become accredited.
- Did you know about the timeline for the final vet visit? In order to avoid delays, we include this in our service with a veterinarian we know and trust with international travel preparation!
Time frame: within 10 days of departure.
Once you have your test results back, you'll need to make an appointment with a USDA accredited veterinarian within 10 days of your planned travel date.
Avoid paperwork headaches by hiring experienced pet movers.
Submission of Documents
You are required to submit the following documentation to Hawaii Rabies Quarantine Branch. All documentation listed below must be received at least 10 days prior to your pet's arrival into Hawaii to ensure direct release.
- Completed Dog & Cat Import Form AQS-279.
- Two original rabies vaccination certificates with actual veterinarian signature.
- Fee payments accepted by cashier’s check or money order only (pet’s microchip number must be included with payment), payable to: Department of Agriculture
- $185/pet in advance for direct airport release. Please note, if your documentation arrives less than 10 days prior to your pet's arrival you will be subject to a higher fee per pet.
You may send the listed documentation by mail with return receipt to Animal Quarantine Station 99-951 Halawa Valley St., Aiea, Hawaii 96701.
Final Veterinary Appointment
Within 10 days of travel to Hawaii, your pet will need to see their USDA accredited veterinarian. Your vet will need to issue a domestic health certificate, or APHIS-7001, deeming your pet healthy enough for pet travel. This document does not need to be endorsed by the USDA. This original health certificate, along with copies of the rabies certificates and titer test results, must travel with your pet.
Pets must be treated for ticks with a product containing Fipronil or an equivalent, long-acting product (Revolution is not acceptable) within 14 days of arrival and the product name and date of treatment should be recorded on the health certificate.
Quarantine and other information
Your pet should be able to avoid quarantine in Hawaii.
If your pet does not meet the above requirements upon entry to Hawaii, they will be required to complete 30-120 days of quarantine.
Direct Release at Airport
Direct Airport Release is only done at the Honolulu International Airport. This is PetRelocation's preferred method of entry into Hawaii.
- Pets must arrive at the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility (808-837-8092) at the Honolulu International Airport during normal inspection hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Keep in mind that it may take up to one hour for the airlines to transport your pet to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility.
- Pets not arriving at the facility during normal inspection hours will not be released at the airport, so it is important to note that your pet’s flight will need to arrive no later than 3:30 p.m. in Honolulu if you would like to have your pet released the same day.
- Pets on international flights will also need to clear US Customs before they may be released from the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility. You may check with your airline regarding US Customs hours of operation or ask your PetRelocation relocation coordinator.
- Pets will not qualify for direct airport release if ticks or other parasites are found at the time of arrival.
If Honolulu is not your destination
Transiting through Honolulu or flying directly to another island.
Honolulu is the only airport in the Hawaiian islands that has an animal quarantine facility. While it may be possible to fly directly to other destinations with your pet, there are additional steps that must be taken.
Extra steps you need to take.
Transiting Through Honolulu
Many pet owners will have a layover in Honolulu before continuing onto their final destinations within the Hawaiian Islands. In this case, your pet may follow the import guidelines laid out previously. Make sure to allow your pet enough time between flights to have their documentation cleared for import.
Please note: Only cats and dogs who fully meet import requirements may fly directly onto a neighboring island. Any other species must enter through the Honolulu airport's animal quarantine facility. Cats and dogs who do not fully meet the import requirements must complete their 30-120 days quarantine in the Honolulu Animal Quarantine Station.
Flying Directly Into a Neighboring Island
If Honolulu is not the final destination for your pet they may fly directly into a neighboring island, such as Maui or Hawai'i (The Big Island). However, the following steps must be taken:
- All of the submission documentation mentioned previously, along with payment, must be received by the Animal Quarantine Station at least 30 days before your pet arrives.
- Since there is no animal quarantine facility at any Hawaiian airport other than Honolulu, pet owners must hire an accredited veterinarian to meet your pet upon their arrival. The veterinarian will then approve all paperwork and clear the pet through customs.
- Your pet will still be required to see a USDA accredited veterinarian and receive an APHIS-7001 health certificate within 10 days of travel.
Our Hawaii Team
Meet the experts behind your pet's move!