Hawaii…the land of aloha and where palm trees sway. It’s a top travel destination for many and sadly many think they can’t bring their dogs with them on when traveling on an extended trip or moving to Hawaii. Hopefully, after this article, you’ll consider including your pup on your next planned trip to paradise as we are going to talk about how you can travel and fly with your pet to Hawaii.
Tips for Traveling With Your Pet to Hawaii
Plan in Advance
Many do not know that all of the Hawaiian Islands are rabies free, so the Hawaii Department of Agriculture has very strict guidelines in bringing any domesticated pet into Hawaii.
Side note: not all pets qualify for entry into Hawaii. The regulation of animals is governed by the Plant Quarantine Branch jurisdiction and administrative rules. Snakes, some rodents, Wolf, Wolf Cross, Dingo, Savannah and others are strictly prohibited under Plant Quarantine (PQ) law.
These guidelines and requirements put off a lot of travelers bringing their dogs to Hawaii, but with a plan in advance, it can easily be done.
If you are considering traveling with your dog to Hawaii…plan in advanced. Six months out is a great time to start planning and making sure you get everything in order, as there is a bit to get done!
Requirements for Traveling With Your Pet to Hawaii
Your dog needs several items in check before you are able to travel to Hawaii together:
- To be up to date on his/her vaccines
- To have a microchip
- To have a successful FAVN rabies antibody test BEFORE arriving in Hawaii
- Choose the Quarantine
- Figure out airline requirements
- Get your dog’s health certificate
1. Updated Vaccinations
Your dog will need to have at least two rabies vaccinations with the second one being done within 90 days before you arrive in Hawaii.
Your dog will also need a microchip so make sure to speak to your vet about both the microchip and rabies vaccinations if your dog has neither.
A FAVN test is done by a veterinarian in which they draw blood and send the sample off to a designated lab for testing. The lab will send a copy of the results to Hawaii’s Animal Quarantine Branch.
This process can take weeks (which is why I recommend planning in advance), so it’s definitely not something you can put off or do at the last minute. I highly recommend that you also obtain a copy of the results and call the Animal Quarantine Station to confirm they have received the results and your dog is clear to enter the state.
4. Choose the Quarantine
Next, you will need to choose between “direct airport release”, “5 days or less” and a few other options for when you arrive in Hawaii.
With Animal Quarantine making many changes, it’s best to read up on the most current requirements on their website. You can view more information here.
Since sometimes it can be a little confusing, definitely call Animal Quarantine directly at (808) 483-7151. This will also give you the opportunity to find out how much your fees will be and where to submit your payment.
5. Airline Requirements
Once you have gotten the green light, call your airline of choice to figure out their requirements.
Many airlines have restrictions for flying dogs in and out of Hawaii, especially during the summer season due to high temperatures.
6. Health Certificate
Your dog will need a health certificate clearing them to fly in and out of Hawaii. Health certificates are valid for 10 days and the clock starts the day you have issued the certificate. If you happen to be staying in Hawaii for more than 10 days, then you will need a new health certificate issued to clear your dog to leave the islands.
If you have a service dog, then your requirements are slightly different, but for the most part you will follow the same guidelines. These requirements can be found on the Hawaii Animal Quarantine website.
Hawaii recently passed a law regarding service dogs and owners who try to pass their dog as a service dog unlawfully, so please don’t state your dog is a service dog if it is not.
Although it seems next to impossible to bring your pup on a trip to the Hawaiian islands, it’s all possible with proper planning.
So grab your sunscreen and slippahs (aks flip flops) and get planning on your trip to Hawaii with your pup and share some Aloha together!
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About the Author:
Bertha Villanueva-Shertzer is a full-time pet business owner, social media manager and pet blogger at www.hawaiipetbeat.com. She is a disabled combat veteran and is part of a service dog team with her dog Julian. She has lived in Hawaii for the past eight years.