Moving Pets to Hawaii: The 2021 Guide

Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that is rabies-free. Because of the delicate ecosystem in the state introducing rabies would dramatically impact the island. To prevent this from happening, Hawaii has rules about moving pets to Hawaii and even restricts some animals completely.

Before you begin the process of bringing an animal to Hawaii you should know which ones are permitted. Moving pets to Hawaii The 2021 Guide provides you all the information needed to properly move your animal to the state.

In general, domestic animals including dogs and cats are permitted, as are guinea pigs, parakeets and chinchillas. There are certain animals that are not allowed to be brought to the island including snakes, bees, hamsters and ferrets.

There are also some animals that shouldn’t be transported to Hawaii including animals that are more than 40 days pregnant and those that are less than 9-week-old, chronically ill or very old.

The government provides a full list of permitted and prohibited animals.

The state has established a quarantine program that provides instructions moving to Hawaii with a dog or other animal. Animals can enter the state through one of the following processes:

  • Direct Airport Release
  • 5 Day-or-Less Program
  • 120-Day (4 Month) Quarantine

How to Move Your Dog to Hawaii

The quickest way to get your pet to the island is through Direct Airport Release and then the 5 Day-or-Less program. These programs allow pets to be directly released at the airport if the pet owner followed strict procedures prior to arrival.

Direct Airport Release

If traveling with your animal, direct release means that you plan on picking up your pet before you leave the airport. If you are not traveling with your pet direct release means that you want your pet to leave the airport and be transported to your private residence shortly after the plane transporting your pet lands. Pets that qualify for direct release can be picked up at the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility located at the Honolulu International Airport. If your pet is arriving to a neighboring islands, there are approved animal holding facility for direct release on those islands. Direct airport release costs $165.

5 Day-or-Less Program

Some pets arrive and need additional documentation that requires them to stay in the 5-day-or-less program. This program can also be used if you need to spend a couple of days in a hotel or at a place that doesn’t allow pets. The Animal Quarantine Station charges a flat rate of $224 for an animal to stay up to 5 days.

Steps to Qualify for Direct Airport Release or 5-Day-or-Less Program

To following must be completed for each animal in order to qualify for the direct airport release or 5-day-or-less program:
  1. Rabies vaccination. Your pet must have been vaccinated for rabies at least two times during their lifetime. Shots must have been administered more than 30 days apart. Your pet should have received their most recent shot no less than 90 days before their arrival to Hawaii.
  1. Working microchip verification. Your pet must have an electronic microchip implanted. The chip must have recent veterinarian verification that is documented on your pet’s health certificate. If the microchip isn’t working, or can’t identify your pet, your pet will have to complete the full 120-day quarantine.
  1. OIE-FAVN rabies blood test. After your pet receives its second rabies vaccination, wait at least 3 weeks before taking your pet back to the veterinarian to have a blood sample taken for the OIE-FAVN test. The blood sample will be tested to make sure your pet does not have rabies.
Blood samples must be more than 36 months and not less than 120 days from when you are moving pets to Hawaii. These results will automatically be sent to your veterinarian and to Hawaii.
  1. Waiting period. Following a negative OIE-FAVN test result, animals must wait at least 120 days or 16 weeks before arriving at Hawaii. Early arrival in Hawaii means your pet will not qualify for the 5 Day-or-Less program or direct airport release. If arrival occurs before 120 days has elapsed, the animal is subject to quarantine until 120 days are completed.
  1. Documentation. Proper documents will be required upon arrival in Hawaii.
  • Two rabies vaccination certificates.
  • Original health certification.
  • Dog and cat import form. This form must be notarized, and you will need one form for each pet you are bringing to the island.
If entering Hawaii at island other than Honolulu additional documentation needed includes:
  • Neighbor Island Inspection Permit. Neighboring islands require an inspection permit for that island.
  • Certification must include vaccine name, lot or serial number, booster interval, vaccination date and lot expiration date.
  • Submission of documents. All documents and fees should be sent together more than 30 days prior to arrival.
  • Pet pick-up. Pets will only be released to the person identified on the shipmaster’s declaration, or those listed on a notarized Dog and Cat Import Form.

Full 120-Day (4 Month) Quarantine

If your pet doesn’t have the required vaccines and paperwork to qualify for the Direct Airport Release and then the 5 Day-or-Less program, then they may have to undergo the full 120-day quarantine. This program costs $1,080 per pet which doesn’t include airline or vet fees. The United States Department of Defense may reimburse active-duty military members with moving to Hawaii with a dog or cat for up to $550 per family. Military members should check with their command on whether this allotment is available to them.

Need Help?

If you and your four legged friend are moving to Hawaii call us today for help. We offer Moving Pets to Hawaii The 2021 Guide with complete information on what needs to be done before you arrive. The Hawaii Government also has several resources that provide help in knowing how to move your dog to Hawaii.

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