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Out and About: Hawaii's Quarantine Rules

Out and About: Hawaii's Quarantine Rules

Welcome to Hawaii! Off the bat, I want to mention that the Aloha State has a special quarantine law designed to protect resident people and pets from potentially serious health problems associated with the introduction and spread of rabies. All dogs and cats, regardless of age, must comply with Hawaii’s pet import requirements. This makes it impossible to bring your doggie or kitty for a last-minute family vacay – you'll need at least four months of preparation, including rabies vaccinations and a blood test that requires waiting 120 days after a successful test result before entering the state. If you do arrive or relocate on the islands before this time period ends, you'll not only have to give up your pet, but you'll also have to pay boarding fees of $224 for five days or less (plus $17.80 each additional day after that) and relinquish your pet to the quarantine station on Oahu where you can visit during afternoon hours but cannot take animals outside of their outdoor kennel enclosures. To learn more about Hawaii's laws,


This is a big improvement from the previous law, which required all pets to endure quarantine for at least 30 days, but it still makes travel to the nation's only rabies-free state difficult and pricey – even after paying for the necessary health requirements, it costs an additional $165 to get your pet released from the airport to the island. For those of you who've planned a trip in advance and waited the requisite time, they now also have a direct-release program for dogs traveling between the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, and Oahu making it smooth sailing for subsequent island hopping.


Join The Conversation
myluv4pets myluv4pets 9 years
This question is for Jennifer how long ago did you bring your pet thru hawaii and your pet went home with you the same day? Im really concern about this cause i dont want my pets to go thru the painful times in quarantine time. What did you do to make it easier on everyone for your pet? Can you tell me what you had done and i can make sure the paperwork and everything is up to par on my end. The reason is my husband is being shipped to the air force base in hawaii and the kids have cats that live in doors they only go to the vet for shots and other reasons but my cats never go outside besides the vet visits please let me know. Really confused on this law and dont want to see my kids crying for their pets
CillaB8 CillaB8 9 years
I contemplated teaching in Japan, and they have a similar 6-month quarantine rule. If you don't complete the time before entering the country, you must board your dog with them for the remaining time. I couldn't imagine my dogs living in a kennel for months away from me; it breaks my heart. Pets from Hawaii are allowed into Japan, though I am sure you would need to show proof of your Hawaii quarantine completion and/or residency.
supercoolnat supercoolnat 9 years
Growing up in Hawaii, I always knew that the quarrantine process was so long and complicated that it was hardly ever worth it to bring pets in. I had heard that the new law is a lot more lenient, but it definitely needs a lot of planning! Good info to know, if I ever get the chance to move back. (Oh yeah, and if I ever get a doggie of my own)
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
Hawaii also requires microchipping your pets prior to your visit. Many other countries do as well.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
Rabies is the main concern, but that goes along with the eco system. This bums me out though. My best friend is hawaiian and she loves our dog but we can't bring him to see her when we visit in Aug. He has to stay at grandmas! Sad, but understandable
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
But, as far as the ecosystem goes, that's also true. That's why snakes and some other reptiles are completely banned.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
I think it's mostly because there is no rabies in Hawaii. :?
JessNess JessNess 9 years
Yeah Hawaii is very strict because it has a very delicate ecosystem. Even looking at the introduction of mongooses and cats has done to bird population alone is outstanding.
CanadianInVA CanadianInVA 9 years
Wow. I never knew that Hawaii had these rules. I knew the UK did.
JessNess JessNess 9 years
Some guy in Hawaii just bought a horse from my mom's trainer and had it shipped to Hawaii. It cost $1000 to ship the horse
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Oh, and don't count on your vet to know exactly what needs to happen even if they say they do. The rules have changed a lot over the last few years, and they're fairly complicated.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
I've done this twice and recommend that you verbally speak with the quarantine department to make sure you understand exactly what their requirements are. We were able to take our dog straight from the airport home both times and I credit that to the really helpful peeps at the department who helped clear up some wildly confusing language in the quarantine rules. When I was a kid it was actually a 6 month quarantine for incoming animals, so the new program is a HUGE improvement.
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