Moving pets across state lines requires special paperwork, whether via plane, train or automobile, but if you are planning to move your pet to an area considered rabies-free, including Hawaii, there are very specific import requirements to be followed to avoid a long and expensive quarantine period. However, when your pets are your family members they get to move with you! We wanted to share some helpful information to help with this transition:
- Plan at least 6 months in advance. The MINIMUM time required is a little over 120 days, even if all rabies vaccinations have been done appropriately, and it can be longer if you are arriving with your pet outside of Honolulu Internation Airport.
- Visit the Hawaii Department of Agriculture site as soon as you know you are planning a move. It has the most current information regarding the import requirements.
- Make certain your pet’s rabies vaccination will not expire prior to your arrival in Hawaii. A vaccination for rabies cannot be given within 90 day of your planned travel date.
- Make certain your pet has an appropriate microchip – this identification is needed prior to blood testing at the 120d mark as well as required for arrival in Hawaii.
- Talk with your airlines – airlines can have their own requirements for the transport of pets that can make your trip to the airport very tricky if you have not planned ahead.
- Talk with your veterinarian about any requirements you do not understand – moving is difficult enough without complications with your pet once you arrive!
If you plan to move (or travel on an extended visit) with your pet internationally, these requirements can be even more complicated – visit the United States Department of Agriculture/APHIS website for important information. Often, importing pets into another country requires a visit to the State Veterinary Service (APHIS) office in order to obtain the final signatures and endorsements for your paperwork.