How to Relocate Dogs to Hawaii

by Elton Dunn
    Plan in advance to get your dog to you in five or fewer days in Hawaii.

    Plan in advance to get your dog to you in five or fewer days in Hawaii.

    Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    You can move to Hawaii overnight, but your dog can't. Hawaii's Department of Agriculture controls domestic animal admissions. Familiarize yourself with the pet relocation process six months before you leave and work through the needed steps at least four months before you go to minimize quarantine time.

    Step 1

    Microchip your pooch if you want to qualify for the 5-Days-or-Less Program. Have your vet scan the microchip and make sure it works before you relocate. Dogs who aren't microchipped or whose microchips don't scan will be quarantined in Hawaii. Do this at least four months before you want to move.

    Step 2

    Have an OIE-FAVN rabies blood test performed once your pet has been microchipped, no less than 120 days before you plan to move. To get your dog through Hawaii controls in five days or less, have the test analyzed by the Department of Defense or Kansas State University. Ensure your vet submits the test sample to one of these labs and marks "Hawaii" as the destination. Failure to comply with these regulations can delay your pet's passage through quarantine.

    Step 3

    Ensure your dog's rabies vaccination is up to date and that your pet meets Hawaii's rabies vaccinations rules at least 90 days before you plan to relocate. Hawaii mandates that a dog have at least two rabies vaccinations in his life, at least 30 days apart. The current vaccination must not have expired and not be given less than 90 days before your move. If the vaccination is less than 90 days, your pet shall be quarantined in Hawaii until the 90-day vaccination period is complete.

    Step 4

    Verify that your pooch is up to date on other vaccinations, which include canine distemper, canine parvovirus and leptospirosis. Your vet can advise you in all necessary vaccinations. This is necessary for any dog entering Hawaii.

    Step 5

    Schedule your pet's flight to Hawaii. To meet the 5-Days-or-Less Program, your dog must arrive in Hawaii 121 days after the KSU or DOD lab receives the test sample. If your pet arrives before this time, he'll be in quarantine until the waiting period passes.

    Step 6

    Ensure you have all relevant paperwork. You'll need carbon copies or original ink signature copies of the two qualifying rabies vaccinations. These must list the vaccine name, lot, serial number and other information. Computer-generated copies aren't acceptable. You'll also need an original, English-language health certificate performed within 14 days of your dog's flight to Hawaii. At the health certificate exam, ask your vet to treat your dog for ticks and record this information on the health certificate. Finally, you'll need Dog & Cat Import Form AQS-278, available from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and a money order or cashier's check made payable to the Department of Agriculture. The fee for entry is $224 for the 5-Days-or-Less Program or $165 for direct release (only available at Honolulu International Airport).

    Step 7

    Mail your documents at least 10 days before your pet's flight to Animal Quarantine Station, 99-951 Halawa Valley St., Aiea, Hawaii 96701. You cannot send photocopies or fax the documents. Do keep photocopies for your records, however. If the documents aren't received in time, your pet will sit in quarantine until they arrive.

    Step 8

    Make a quarantine arrangements if your pet doesn't qualify for the 5-day program for any of the reasons listed above. During quarantine, your pet needs to be registered at an approved local veterinary hospital in the event of emergency care. The Department of Agriculture can provide you with this list. You'll also need to pay for quarantine care on a per-diem basis.

    Step 9

    Crate your pet for the flight and offer food and water. To keep your pet hydrated on the long flight, freeze small containers of water. These will melt during flight to provide a steady supply. Plain water can slosh out of the crate during flight and leave your pet without a drink.

    Step 10

    Visit your pet during quarantine's visiting hours. When the 5-day, 120-day or other quarantine period is over, take your pet to your new Hawaiian home.

    Tips

    • Puppies must be at least 9 months old to enter Hawaii. Pregnant dogs past 40 weeks, chronically ill dogs and very elderly dogs cannot relocate. If you're unsure whether your dog meets these conditions, call the Plant Quarantine hotline at (808) 832-0566 or (808) 837-8413.
    • Some airlines have seasonal restrictions on shipping pets.

    Warning

    • Only domestic pets can relocate to Hawaii. Dog-wolf hybrids, dingoes, bengals and other domestic-wild hybrid dogs are not allowed in Hawaii, per the state's plant quarantine law.

    Photo Credits

    • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.

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