How To Move Your Pets to Hawaii Successfully

Moving, in general, is a chore that people do not do for the fun of it. Moving out of the mainland is an even greater chore as it’s not simply a change of scenery. Most times, it’s a change of everything, culture, climate, even time zones take a dramatic change. If you are a pet owner, then the change will also affect your dog. However, as Hawaii is very strict with rabies control, you and your pet will have to go through several processes just to get your dog, cat, or other pet to the Aloha State. Here are some guidelines and tips so you and your pet can have an easier and faster way to enjoy the climes of Hawaii.

  • Follow the checklist. The best way to do this is to follow the checklist provided at Hawaii’s Agriculture Department website for their 5-Days-Or-Less program. With the program, your pet does not have to take the 40 day mandatory quarantine. The checklist can be found in pdf form here: Follow this checklist to the letter as even a small miscalculation or mistake may disqualify you from the program.
  • Get your pet vaccinated and tested. Make sure your pet gets at least two anti-rabies shots that are 90 days or more apart and less than 90 days before the move. An OIE-FAVN rabies blood test is also mandatory, your local veterinarian can do this for you and he or she will then send the results to the KSU or DOD. Remember to tell your veterinarian to administer the test more than 120 days before your move, and to place the word HAWAII in the blood test submission form, this way, the DOD or KSU will send your file directly to Hawaii DA.
  • Implant a microchip. To qualify for Hawaii’s program, have a Microchip implanted to your pet. This is normally done along with the rabies blood test called OIE-FAVN. Your vet has to scan a microchip to verify that it works. The cost of such a microchip varies, though the average market price for these helpful instruments is about $20 to $40.
  • File paperwork. You are required to print all relevant forms from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture website, be sure to store these and another batch of copies in separate, waterproof cases. Papers you need to bring are original or even the carbon copies of your pet’s rabies vaccinations with your vet’s signature that should be mailed to the Quarantine Facility in Hawaii along with a notarized pet import form and payment. As for your tickets, remember to book a flight for your pet as some airline carriers have a limit to the amount of pets onboard.
  • Final preparations. Once you’ve filed your blood test submission, you are required, by law, to wait 120 days before you can take your pet with you to Hawaii. A few days before, not more than two weeks, bring your checklist, along with your pet to the vet for the final medical examination. Once your pet gets its clean bill of health and all waiting periods due, you are now allowed to bring your pet into Hawaii for their special 5-Days-Or-less program

Moving to Hawaii is far from the vacation that tourists experience. It’s different, indeed, and far stricter when it comes to pets, but if you followed all the steps in the checklist and used this guide, then the chore should, hopefully, be lessened. Aloha!


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