Travelnuity

How to Fly to Hawaii with a Dog & Skip Quarantine

While dogs and other pets are allowed to travel to Hawaii with you, it’s one of the most difficult places in the USA  to visit with your dog, requiring more preparation than any other state, including the possibility of quarantine. 

If you’re planning to travel to Hawaii with your dog, whether it’s for a holiday or you are moving with pets to Hawaii, here are all the steps that you need to follow, to ensure that your pet is allowed in without any quarantine. I’ve also detailed the pet policies of airlines flying to Hawaii, including which ones allow pets to fly in the cabin to Hawaii.

Travel to Hawaii with Dog

Why is Hawaii So Strict with Pets Entering the State?

Hawaii by far has the strictest rules in the United States for pets travelling to the state, with far more preparation required than any of the other 49 states. The reason for this is that Hawaii is rabies-free (like many island nations, such as Australia and New Zealand), and they want to keep it that way.

The only other part of the US that is as difficult to travel to with a pet is Guam. This is because Guam is, you guessed it, also rabies-free.

Hawaii farmland

Is Quarantine Required for Pets Travelling to Hawaii?

There is a chance that pets arriving in Hawaii may be quarantined for up to 120 days. This is what would apply if you arrived in Hawaii without any preparation (or if you missed some of the steps). This also applies to pets with failed blood tests and puppies or kittens that aren’t old enough to complete all the steps.

However, there is a newer “5 Days or Less” quarantine program that pets may qualify for, if you complete all of the required steps. In particular, pets following this program may qualify to be released directly to you at the airport (“Direct Airport Release”), with no quarantine period at all, if all steps are followed, including submitting paperwork in time.

Hawaii beaches

Looking for dog-friendly beaches on Oahu? Check out this list by the Hawaiian Humane Society

The 4 Steps to Prepare Your Dog or Cat to Travel to Hawaii

To ensure that you dog or cat qualifies for the Hawaiian “5 Days or Less” quarantine program (and ideally Direct Airport Release), start preparing well in advance. The following steps are required. For the full details of these requirements, see the government checklist , plus the latest information page , including warnings of any delays.

1. Microchip

Have your dog or cat implanted with a microchip. This doesn’t need to be done before the rabies vaccine (although that’s a good idea, if you later want to travel to the EU with your pet), but needs to be done before the rabies titre test.

2. Rabies Vaccinations

Vaccinate your dog or cat for rabies. This needs to be done at least twice, more than 30 days apart. The most recent rabies vaccine needs to be have been administered more than 30 days before you arrive in Hawaii, plus still be current. Your veterinarian should give you a rabies vaccination certificate for each vaccine; see the checklist for the full requirements of this certificate.

Dog at vet about to have vaccinations

3. Rabies Titre Test

Do a FAVN rabies antibody titre test for your dog or cat. There is no government requirement to wait a set number of days after the rabies vaccination, but ideally it should be done around 30 days or later after the vaccine, no earlier than 3 weeks after a rabies vaccine for a successful result.

Your veterinarian will take a blood sample from your pet, then needs to send it to one of three laboratories for testing (Auburn University, Kansas State University or the DOD Food Analysis and Diagnostic Laboratory in Texas). The day after the laboratory receives the blood sample must not be more than 36 months and not less than 30 days before your arrival date in Hawaii.

The result of this blood test must be greater than or equal to 0.5 IU/ml. This blood test result will then be directly accessible by the authorities in Hawaii (as long as the destination is listed as “Hawaii” on the lab submission form). You can also check the status of the test here .

Note that in the last couple of years, delays in processing rabies titre tests have been experienced, so allow plenty of time. As of May 2023, delays of up to 1 to 2 months were being experienced.

4. Provide Required Documents

You are then required to mail or courier all the required documents to the Animal Quarantine Station (AQS) in Hawaii, to be received at least 10 days before your arrival date. The following documents are required:

  • Dog & Cat Import Form AQS-279
  • Two original rabies vaccination certificates, see the checklist for full details
  • Health certificate from a veterinarian, from within 14 days of your arrival date. Ideally this should be the original; if not, you need to provide the original on arrival in Hawaii. The veterinarian must also treat your pet for ticks within 14 days of your arrival date and record this on the health certificate.
  • Cashier’s check or money order for $185 for Direct Airport Release or $244 for “5 Days or Less” (refunds can be requested for excess payments).

Note that if your paperwork is not received by the authorities at least 10 days before your arrival date, your pet’s release could be delayed. Plus, you will be charged the higher fee of $244.

Moving pets to Hawaii

Minimum Preparation Time

There is no requirement to only have the rabies titre test after the 2nd rabies vaccination, instead it can simply be done after just the 1st rabies vaccination. This means the minimum preparation time is around 60 days, if you firstly vaccinate your dog or cat, wait nearly 30 days, have the rabies titre test plus a 2nd rabies vaccination, then wait the additional 30 days.

However, you also need to send in your paperwork at least 10 days before arrival (otherwise your pet’s release could be delayed). With the delays recently experienced for rabies titre tests of 1 to 2 months, it is likely your paperwork will not be ready in time.

Are There Any Exceptions?

If you are travelling directly to Hawaii with a pet from the British Isles, Australia, New Zealand or Guam, there are less steps required (including no rabies titre test), as these locations are also free of rabies.

Pets are exempt from quarantine, and will be released immediately, if they are certified to have been resident of the country for at least 6 months, the animal is transported in either a single aircraft or only transferred between aircraft under strict conditions, and there are no signs of disease on arrival. An original official health certificate within 14 days of transport is still required.

For more information, see here .

Flying Directly to Islands of Hawaii, Maui or Kauai

If you are wanting to fly directly to the islands of Hawaii, Maui or Kauai, then the steps are slightly different and more onerous. A slightly different set of documents are required to be sent in at least 30 days in advance, and you need to request a Neighbor Island Inspection Permit. See the full checklist .

Pet travel Hawaii

How to Fly to Hawaii with Your Dog

Not all US airlines that fly to Hawaii will fly pets to the island state. Plus out of the airlines that fly from the continental USA to Hawaii, many have different pet policies when it comes to flying a dog to Hawaii.

If you’d like to fly to Hawaii with your pet in the cabin, choose from these US airlines .

Flying a Pet to Hawaii with Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines is one of the best airlines to fly to Hawaii with your pet dog. Hawaiian Airlines permits pets to fly both in the cabin and as checked baggage, with only a few restrictions.

Hawaiian Airlines Special Services Sign

Pets are permitted to fly in the cabin on flights both to and from Hawaii, except for flights from or to JFK (New York City), BOS (Boston), AUS (Austin) airports and international destinations. A maximum weight of 25 pounds (11.3kg) applies. The carrier should be no larger than 16″ x 10″ x 9.5″.

Alternatively, when flying as checked baggage, the maximum combined weight for your pet and their kennel is 70 pounds (31.7kg), with a maximum carrier size of 36″ x 25″ x 28″. Otherwise, they’ll need to fly as cargo.

In either case, book your pet at the same time as your own booking, with availability information available by calling Hawaiian Airlines Reservations. Hawaiian Airlines also accepts pets on inter-island flights .

Flying a Pet to Hawaii with Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines also allows pet dogs and cats to fly to and from Hawaii, both in the cabin and as checked baggage.

Pets are permitted to fly to Hawaii in the cabin year-round, but there are seasonal restrictions on the number of pets who can fly as checked baggage, due to strong headwinds at times. No pet dogs or cats can fly as checked luggage to or from Hawaii during February, with reduced numbers from November to 1st April.

Call their call centre to make a booking and double check the full rules.

Pet Policies for Other Airlines

None of the other USA airlines that fly to Hawaii currently allowed pets in the cabin, although they may allow pets as checked baggage or as cargo. These are the policies of other airlines:

American Airlines: American Airlines does not fly pets in the cabin to or from Hawaii. However, they will fly pets as checked baggage to and from Hawaii, but only on flights to Honolulu or connecting via Honolulu. Pets are also not accepted on departures out of Honolulu before 8am from 5th March to 1st November.

American Airlines Plane

Delta Air Lines: Delta does not fly pets in the cabin to Hawaii, although it’s not clear if they prohibit pets on flights leaving Hawaii. There is the alternative option to fly pets as cargo.

Southwest Airlines: Southwest Airlines doesn’t transport pets to or from Hawaii, although they will fly pets on inter-island flights .

Sun Country Airlines: Sun Country only permits pets in the cabin on flights on the 48 contiguous states.

United Airlines: United Airlines doesn’t allow pets on flights to, from or through Hawaii.

Arriving in Honolulu with Your Pet

It’s best to ensure that your pet arrives at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu between the hours of 8am to 3:30pm . It takes up to an hour for pets to then be transferred to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility (AAQHF), and their inspection hours are 8am to 5pm daily (including weekends and holidays).

At the AAQHF your pet will be inspected , including checking for ticks and other parasites. If all paperwork was received on time and is in order, plus no ticks, parasites or signs of disease are discovered, your pet should be eligible for Direct Airport Release.

Direct Airport Release means that you are able to pick up your pet from AAQHF immediately after their inspection is complete (about 1 to 2 hours after arrival, although delays have been common in the last couple of years, due to the coronavirus pandemic). AAQHF is located in between Terminals 1 and 2, only 120 yards from baggage handling.

Just ensure that you have proper transportation for your pet, especially large dogs, as your pet must stay securely in its container until you leave airport property.

Hawaii pet quarantine

If your pet arrives after 4:30pm, it will be held at least overnight, until inspections are completed the following morning. You then need to pick up your pet from AAQHF between 8am and 10am the next morning, otherwise it will be transferred to the “5 Days or Less” program and taken to the Animal Quarantine Station (AQS).

If you’re planning on immediately flying to another island , it’s important to note these hours. Note also that if Federal airport security advisories prohibit Direct Airport Release, then you will need to pick up your pet the following day from AQS even if everything else is in order.

What If Your Pet Requires Quarantine?

Ideally your pet is eligible for Direct Airport Release. However, there are some circumstances where this doesn’t apply, and instead the “5 Days or Less” animal quarantine program applies:

  • AQS didn’t receive your paperwork at least 10 days in advance
  • You submit paperwork only on arrival
  • There are discrepancies with original documentation, including the microchip number

Additionally, if yourself or an authorized person is not able to pick up your pet on the arrival date (e.g. if you are flying to Hawaii a couple of days later), you can elect to use the “5 Days or Less” program.

A longer stay in Hawaii pet quarantine is required if your pet arrives earlier than permitted (based on their latest rabies vaccination or rabies titre test), their rabies titre test result is not successful, or a tick, other parasite or sign of disease is discovered.

Whether your pet is participating in the “5 Days or Less” program or a longer stay in quarantine is required, they are transferred to the AQS. This is located in Aiea, about 4 miles from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Additional charges will apply for longer quarantine stays; check with AQS.

Pets are housed in individual kennels, suitable for their breed and size. Generally dog kennels are outdoor, except for a sheltered area, suitable for a bed. You need to provide bedding for your pet. Visits are allowed, generally in the afternoon, except for on Mondays, Fridays and state holidays. Check the visiting hours on the AQS website.

Following a stay at the AQS, you will be required to pick up your pet from the facility, on the required date, during the pick-up hours.

For further information on all aspects of travelling to Hawaii with a pet, including Hawaii pet quarantine, head to the Animal Quarantine Information Page .

Flying Out of Honolulu Airport with a Pet

Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu is one of the most pet-friendly airports anywhere in the USA, let alone the world. Unlike most airports where you’re stuck inside once you go through security, the main overseas terminal has outdoor areas, perfect for both human and four-legged enjoyment.

Follow the signs to the Cultural Gardens , where you can enjoy a wander through a series of Chinese, Japanese and Hawaiian-influenced gardens, complete with ponds, waterfalls and real grass. Yes, you take your dog for a walk on real grass after security. Of course, make sure you clean up!

Cultural Gardens with Pond Honolulu Airport

There are also multiple service and transit animals relief areas at the overseas terminal at Honolulu Airport. One is located downstairs next to the Cultural Gardens (where there is also a handy poop bag dispenser), while there is also a second relief area next to Gate B1.

Outdoor Pet Relief Area Honolulu Airport

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About the Author

Photo of Shandos & Schnitzel

Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.

Feeling inspired? Pin this to your Pinterest board!

Travel to Hawaii with dog

34 thoughts on “How to Fly to Hawaii with a Dog & Skip Quarantine”

I would like to bring my dog from Malaysia to Hawaii. Does my dog need quarantine and how long is the process?

I believe the steps that I have listed also apply to Malaysia. So, if you follow the steps and there are no issues with paperwork or your dog showing signs of illness, no quarantine should be required.

Thanks so much for all this useful information! I know that you wrote this in the New Year, but are you aware of whether any of the restrictions / quarantines have since loosened? We are thinking of flying from US mainland with our dogs to Kauai this summer.

The restrictions and quarantine for dogs weren’t modified by Covid-19, other than delays in the process, so nothing will be loosening for the summer. However, the Safe Travels program for humans flying to Hawaii ended last week. There are now no Covid-related requirements for passengers flying from the US mainland.

The only restriction specific to summer months is the heat advisory. If the temperature is above 85 degrees F, from either the departure location or in HI for that day, including any connecting flights locations, pretty much all airlines will not allow them to fly cargo. This is for their own well being. However, if this restriction applies to dogs flying in the cabin im not certain but I would assume not since the temp is regulated. Snub nosed breeds are also prohibited from flying cargo, eg; pugs, English bulldogs, pekingese etc etc. Some airlines, most airlines, have breed restrictions for Pit Bulls and related PB type dogs, some prohibit PB mixed dogs.

What department in Hawaii should we call (and what is the number) that will have all the information needed re travelling with dogs to Hawaii?

The relevant department is the Animal Quarantine Station. Their phone number is (808) 483-7151 and email is [email protected] . Everything is also covered on their website: https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/aqs/aqs-info/

Can I fly from LA to Hawaii then to Australia with my dog?

Aria, I don’t see any reason why you can’t, although I haven’t heard of other dogs taking this route. The main requirement is whether any airline flies pets from Hawaii to Melbourne, which I’m not sure of, especially as there’s less flights operating still. I recommend speaking to a pet transport company. Note that quarantine for pets will still apply in Australia, plus a long list of other steps to prepare.

Hi! Thank you for this walkthrough. The only thing I can’t seem to find info on is, if you travel with your pup in cabin, once you get off the plane with them, can you then walk over to the inspection office with them or does the airline take them from you when you get off the plane and take them? If it’s the latter, do I just find my way to the inspection area and wait for someone to bring my pup out? Thanks so much!

I’m pretty sure airline personnel take the arriving pets to the holding facility, including if they fly in the cabin. Double check with the airline or airport staff, but it’s probably best to make your own way there.

My wife has a service dog by ADA rule the dog must remain with her so can I assume she would accompany the dog to inspection?

I’m not fully across the rules for service dogs, but I expect so.

Airports, like Federal Government Facilities and religious institutions, do not adhere to ADA regulations. “Do commercial airlines have to comply with the ADA? A. No. The Air Carrier Access Act is the Federal law that protects the rights of people with disabilities in air travel. For information or to file a complaint, contact the U.S. Department of Transportation, Aviation Consumer Protection Division, at 202-366-2220.”

I understand the question is specifically regarding if the airport is allowed to separate the disabled individual from their service animal for the purpose of the animals importation evaluation. The point i was trying to make is airports/tsa dance their own beat. So, whereas a dog must be allowed anywhere their person goes, not sure if the same rules apply in reverse.

Airports/TSA/Feds do what ever the FREEK they want…because you know ‘Musica!, oh and National Security.

So basically… 🤷🏻‍♀️

We are flying back home to the Big Island with our dog from Phoenix Az. Do you recommend flying to Honolulu first and then taking a inter island flight to help with cost and inspection?

He is also a support animal does this still apply as service animal?

If you have the additional time to send in the paperwork (30 days instead of 10 days) and can make a booking for the inspection on the Big Island, plus your airline allows it, it shouldn’t be too much more complex for the inspection. The costs for inspections on other islands aren’t listed online, so I am not sure how much the total cost compares. I recommend reaching out to one of the two hospitals in Kona, then making a decision.

If transiting through Hawaii from Guam (rabies free zone) to North Carolina, will my pet need to go through the quarantine facility?

No, there is no quarantine for pets flying from Guam, plus less requirements overall. Scroll down to the “Are there any exceptions?” section

Aloha, Did the change in domestic flights allowing dogs in the cabin with our also pertain to international flights. I would like to fly to Australia and pick up a Cavalier I am adopting . As you mentioned in another post Australia now lets dogs fly in cabins domestically. Is this true of international flights as well. I would like to fly from Australia to Hawaii with my new pup in the cabin with me.

While the prohibition on dogs in the cabin has been lifted, it’s up to individual airlines and none of them yet allow pets in the cabin. It’s not clear if the change also applies to international flights, but I’ve also not heard of any international flights departing Australia allowing pets in the cabin.

I am living in New Zealand but would like to spend a few months on Kauai since I have fallen in love with the Island last year. When my dog is all vaccinated and had his check up 14 days before the flight does she still has to go into quarantine? Or when going back to New Zealand? Also, she is a service dog. Thank you.

Travelling from NZ to Hawaii, you shouldn’t need to go into quarantine, especially as there are less requirements for NZ due to its rabies free status. However, I believe a 10 day quarantine period is required for all dogs travelling to NZ. I am not completely across the NZ dog entry requirements, so there is a chance an alternative may be offered to service dogs. I recommend thoroughly researching the requirements to travel back to NZ, as I know for dogs travelling to Australia without any preparation it takes up to 7 months to prepare.

Hello. My daughter is traveling to bring my sons dog to us from California. He is a dachshund and will be with her in cabin. She is flying to Honolulu first with an hour and 15 min layover then flying to Maui. Where does she go after landing. She flying Hawaiian airlines. Will an hour layover be enough time?

Pam – According to the FAQ on the government website ( https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/aqs/faq-for-five-day-or-less-program/ ), 1hr will not be enough layover time. They state it can take airlines up to 1hr or more to transport animals to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility, then animals are generally processed within an hour of arrival, but delays can occur if there are a large number of animals at the same time, or issues with the paperwork. It is recommended to allow at least 4-5hr for connecting flights. The facility is on the Ewa Service Road.

Hi, in this website you state: Vaccinate your dog or cat for rabies. This needs to be done at least twice, MORE than 30 days apart. In this website https://www.petsthattravel.com/flying-dog-to-hawaii/ it states In order to fly to Hawaii, your dog must have been vaccinated against rabies at least twice in his lifetime. Furthermore, those vaccinations must be NO MORE than 30 days apart. Please clarify if the 2 vaccines must be 30 days apart.

Heather – I have double checked back on the government website, and yes the two vaccines need to be more than 30 days apart. There is an error on the other website. (I have also spotted multiple inaccuracies on other pages that they have published…) It would be quite odd to give two doses of the rabies vaccine that close together!

Hawaiian airlines is changing their pet policy on 6/1/23. Sounds like they will be measuring the carrier AND the dog!! I’m suppose to fly with my dog to phoenix 7/20 and I’m very nervous they won’t accept him. He fits in the “approved carrier” but his head is taller than the carrier.. and according to the new policy.. he wouldn’t be accepted? It’s all very confusing. I bought a bigger carrier cuz I want him to have as much room as possible and I’ve never had and issue with Hawaiian or Alaskan accepting him with that in the cabin but now I’m nervous about this new policy. I might have to start flying Alaskan again but that’s just a long day of traveling (9-11 hours) as opposed to 5-6 hours flying Hawaiian. ☹️ My little guy has been flying with me the past 9 years.. I’ll be so sad if Hawaiian doesn’t accept him. If you hear anything about this new policy please send updates!!

Chelsea – Thanks for sharing. I had seen they updated their pet policy, but couldn’t work out what had changed. So it’s the check of the size of the animal inside the carrier.

Many airlines already had this requirement, but it isn’t always enforced. However, I’ve heard online that more airlines are enforcing this. I recommend asking in a Facebook group (such as my group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/dogfriendlytravelrtw , or a group for pet owners in Hawaii) the experience of others travelling to and from Hawaii during June. Hope this helps!

Hello, I am the Laboratory Director of the newly established One Health-Rabies Laboratory at the University of Missouri. I am happy to announce the initiation of our rabies serology for pet travel by the FAVN method as of June 6th 2023. I and my staff have years of experience in rabies serology. We are offering a price of $79.00 (no additional fees), a 7 to10 day turnaround, and an online submission form for your convenience. See https://vmdl.missouri.edu/one-health-rabies/ for more information. The MU One Health-Rabies Laboratory is recognized by the USDA for rabies serology for pet export purposes, see the USDA/APHIS pet export site for further information. People traveling with their pets is a continuing growing trend. With only a few laboratories currently offering this testing backlogs and delays can occur, causing distress for veterinary clinics and pet owners. Our laboratory’s mission is to provide quality results in a timely manner, we understand the importance of clear communication, responsiveness, and reliable quality. For more information, consult our website above or contact us by phone 573 882-3646 or email at [email protected] .

Thanks for sharing Susan!

Hi! Thank you so much for this incredible information. Did you have a quick release with your pet multiple times over? I am getting ready to move forward with taking my dog there and looking for any encouragement :).

While I’ve personally travelled to many countries with my dog, we still haven’t made it to Hawaii. I’ve spoken to multiple people who have done this. Make sure you allow plenty of time and check that everything has been received.

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Traveling to Hawaii With a Dog: Vet-Verified Checklist for a Smooth Trip

Young woman and her Husky in Hawaii

Image Credit: zjuzjaka, Shutterstock

Last Updated on May 7, 2024 by Dogster Team

Young woman and her Husky in Hawaii

VET APPROVED

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REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

All travel information presented herein is presented for the reader’s benefit, but may include unintended omissions, or inaccuracies. It is the responsibility of the reader to ensure they have the appropriate preparations, information, and have met travel requirements for their pet, using approved veterinary sources. This is for general information, only.

I have lived in Hawaii since 2008, and when my family moved to the islands, we had two dogs to bring along with us. What we didn’t know was that Hawaii is a rabies-free state, so canines cannot freely travel there, whether to live or just to visit. The state government requires that dog owners take a series of steps to ensure and prove that their pets do not have rabies before entering Hawaii.

Back in 2008, I remember the process felt overwhelming and stressful. It took about a year’s worth of veterinarian visits and paperwork submissions to complete the process. Fortunately, it doesn’t take as long nowadays due to updated policies, resources, and services.

Still, I thought that I’d share the process of bringing a dog to Hawaii so you can decide whether it’s worth jumping through all the hoops to go on vacation with them. Here is everything that you need to know about the process of bringing dogs to the Aloha State, complete with resource links.

Dogster_Website dividers_v1_Jan 18 2024-01-TEST

  • A Travel to Hawaii Checklist
  • Plan With Your Veterinarian Months in Advance
  • Schedule Rabies Vaccinations as Necessary
  • Complete an FAVN Antibody Test
  • Be Prepared to Quarantine Your Dog
  • Check Island Requirements
  • Fill Out the Proper Forms
  • Gather, Complete, and Submit All Paperwork
  • Pay the Applicable Fees
  • Review the Hawaii State Information Page Frequently

dogster face divider

  • The 9 Steps for Traveling With a Dog to Hawaii
  • 1. Begin Preparing Months in Advance

Every dog that will be entering the state of Hawaii must be vaccinated for rabies and have an FAVN antibody test done before their arrival. At least two rabies vaccines are needed, and neither the last vaccine nor the FAVN antibody test can be completed less than 30 days upon arrival. Pets must also be microchipped prior to testing.

Other waiting periods and requirements can add to the timeline, so tell your vet about your plans to visit Hawaii several months before you plan to go to the state.

signing papers and documents

  • 2. Know the Rabies Vaccine Requirements

Your dog must have had at least two rabies vaccinations before they arrive in Hawaii. The most current rabies vaccine must be administered at least 30 days after the first vaccine and within 30 days of arrival in Hawaii.

  • Vaccine name
  • Lot or serial number
  • Booster interval
  • Vaccination date
  • Lot expiration date
  • 3. Know the FAVN Antibody Testing Requirements

The FAVN antibody test that is required by the state of Hawaii looks for antibodies that develop after rabies vaccination. The idea is to ensure that the dog being tested is effectively protected from the rabies virus. An FAVN antibody test must be at the lab at least 30 days prior to entry to the state and Hawaii must have the results before the dog arrives in the state.

Your veterinarian will take the antibody sample and send it to a state laboratory for testing. The results of the test will generally be sent directly from the lab to the state of Hawaii.

maltese dog receiving an injection

  • 4. Know the Quarantine Requirements

All dogs have to “quarantine” for 30 days before entering Hawaii after their last rabies vaccine and FAVN antibody sample have been sent to the lab. The quarantine time begins 1 day after the lab receives the sample.

If a dog arrives in Hawaii before the 30-day quarantine period is up, they will be kenneled in quarantine at the owner’s expense or sent back to their original location. A dog can enter Hawaii the day after the quarantine period expires if all the paperwork is in order.

  • 5. Know the Miscellaneous Requirements
  • Health Certificate — A veterinarian has to complete an official health certificate examination on your dog, which must be done within 14 days of travel.
  • Treatment — All dogs must be treated for ticks, and you can’t do it yourself at home. Your vet has to do it with appropriate medication and sign off on doing so.
  • Microchip — If your dog is not already microchipped, they will have to be before they can put a paw off the Hawaiian airport’s property. The microchip must be implanted before the FAVN antibody test can be taken.

vet microchipping a beagle dog

  • 6. Know the Extra Steps for Neighboring Islands
  • Receive and Submit a Neighbor Island Inspection Permit — You will receive an inspection permit by email after Hawaii receives all your paperwork, and you’ll have to print and submit it to the airline before your dog can be boarded.
  • Coordinate an Airport Inspection — While an animal inspection center is located at the Oahu airport, this is not the case for neighboring islands. Therefore, you will be responsible for coordinating an inspection of your dog by a participating veterinarian, who will meet you at the airport and complete the inspection.

The following veterinarians can be scheduled for inspections:

  • Alii Veterinary Hospital: (808) 329-8999
  • Keauhou Veterinary Hospital: (808) 322-2988
  • Kona Direct Release
  • At Home Animal Hospital: (808) 873-0102
  • Central Maui Animal Clinic: (808) 893-2380
  • Maui Direct Release: (808) 281-0496
  • Kauai Humane Society: (808) 632-0610
  • Kauai North Shore Animal Clinic: (808) 755-8728
  • 7. Know the Paperwork Requirements
  • Original health certificate from veterinarian
  • Two original rabies certificates
  • Payment for services

Send your paperwork to: Animal Quarantine Station, 99-951 Halawa Valley Street, Aiea, Hawaii 96701.

woman sitting on couch reading the paper

  • 8. Know the Costs Involved
  • FAVN laboratory fee: $70
  • Airport release fee (Oahu): $185
  • Inspection permit (neighboring islands): $165
  • Inspection fee (neighboring islands): $200–$600 (estimate)

If your dog does not qualify for direct release from the airport because the paperwork isn’t in order or due to another reason, you may be required to quarantine your pup in-state until eligible for release, which will cost $244, plus $14.30 a day.

  • 9. Check for Any Updates

Hawaii’s travel rules can change at any time, and it’s your responsibility to stay as informed as possible. You can do so by regularly checking the Animal Quarantine Information page on the state’s government website. It details any new or updated advisories, and it also has several FAQ sections and printable forms.

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  • A List of Resources
  • Checklist for Those Going to Oahu  
  • Checklist for Those Going to Neighboring Islands
  • Veterinary Hawaii Dog Checklist
  • Dog & Cat Import Form
  • Hawaii State Animal Quarantine Information Page

Traveling with your dog to Hawaii may seem as simple as putting your dog on a plane, but a significant amount of paperwork and money is involved. The Hawaiian archipelago is rabies-free, and its residents wish it to remain that way, for the safety of both the people and the abundant wildlife there.

You may not find it worth the effort to bring your dog with you to the Aloha State if you’re just visiting, but if you intend to move there, you are now aware of the requirements and can begin preparations early so as to make the transition easier for everyone involved, including your pup.

  • Also see:   Traveling to Mexico With a Dog: Vet-Reviewed Points To Consider

Featured Image Credit: zjuzjaka, Shutterstock

About the Author

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Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000. In this time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She is an artist at heart and loves to read, paint, and make jewelry. As a vegan, Rachael is obsessed with helping animals in need, both in her community and anywhere in the world where she feels she can make a difference. Animals also happen to be her favorite topic to write about! She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and flock of chickens.

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How to Fly to Hawaii with Your Cat or Dog: A Guide to Bringing Pets on Vacation photo 0

How to Fly to Hawaii with Your Cat or Dog: A Guide to Bringing Pets on Vacation

Preparing for the flight.

The first step is ensuring your pet is ready for the long journey. Schedule a vet check-up at least a month in advance to make sure your pet is healthy and up to date on vaccinations. Pack enough of your pet’s regular medication in your carry-on in case bags are delayed.

Pet Carrier Requirements

All pets must travel in FAA-approved carriers that fit completely under the seat in front of you. The carrier should be escape-proof,leak-proof, and allow your pet to stand up and turn around comfortably. Help your pet get used to their carrier before travel day through positive reinforcement training.

Pet Food and Supplies

Bring plenty of your pet’s normal dry or canned food in your carry-on in case of delays. Don’t forget bowls, leashes, waste bags, toys or treats, and vaccination records in an easily accessible spot. Also bring water, as airport drinking fountains may not be accessible in-carrier.

Booking Your Pet’s Flight

Most major carriers allow one pet per passenger in the cabin for a fee, usually 5 each way for dogs and cats under 20 pounds. Larger pets must travel in the cargo hold and have different rules. Research policies for your specific airline well in advance and book early, as some routes may have volume limits.

Hawaiian Inter-Island Flights

If combining islands, be aware pets cannot fly between islands on some smaller inter-island carriers. Stick to major carriers like Hawaiian Airlines, which allows in-cabin pets on all flights within Hawaii.

Arrival Procedures in Hawaii

Have paperwork ready to show agriculture inspection officers upon arrival. Import regulations require pets be at least 4 months old, vaccinated for rabies, and accompanied by a valid health certificate. Make sure to comply fully or risk expensive quarantine!

How to Fly to Hawaii with Your Cat or Dog: A Guide to Bringing Pets on Vacation photo 3

Health Certificate Timing

The health certificate must be dated within 14 days of arrival. Consult your vet 3-4 weeks ahead of travel to allow processing time. It must affirm your pet has not had symptoms of distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, or parvo virus in the past 30 days.

Microchipping Requirement

All dogs and cats over 8 months must be microchipped prior to entry; chips must be ISO-compliant. Have your pet scan-checked by the vet before travel to ensure proper implantation andchip legibility upon inspection.

Accommodation Options in Hawaii

Many hotels and resorts allow well-behaved pets for a fee . However, some have weight limits or do not allow pets in ocean-facing rooms. Here are some top pet-friendly choices:

  • Outrigger Hotels (Waikiki): No pet fee, bring bowls and request optional dog bed. Daily room service fee applies.
  • Aulani Resort (Ko Olina): Dogs under 30 lbs only, $150 non-refundable fee. Extensive amenities for furry guests.
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village (Big Island): All room types pet-friendly for $75/night. Play areas, pools, and beach access available.
  • Maui Ocean Club (Maui): Allow pets under 50 lbs for an extra $100 deposit. Pool side gazebos a bonus!

Vacation Rentals

For more space and flexibility, try a vacation rental like VRBO or Airbnb. Carefully screen listings for pet policies before booking to avoid unpleasant surprises. Some condos ban pets or require them to be crated when unsupervised.

Fun Things To Do With Pets in Hawaii

No need to leave your furry friend at the hotel! Many beaches, trails and activities welcome well-behaved dogs on leashes. A few top pet-approved options:

  • Waikiki Beach (Oahu): Early mornings before the crowds arrive are perfect for pooch beach time.
  • Makapu’u Tidepools (Big Island): Explore the tidepools while Fido splashes nearby, but avoid high surf days.
  • Haleakala National Park (Maui): Hike lower elevation trails like Sliding Sands with your pup.
  • Koko Head Trail (Oahu): Take the challenging but spectacular coastal trail, just keep pup on leash.

Dog-Friendly Restaurants

Many restaurant outdoor seating areas are dog-friendly, like the urfer-approved joints below where pups can stay by your side. Just be sure to ask, as indoor dining with dogs is rare.

How to Fly to Hawaii with Your Cat or Dog: A Guide to Bringing Pets on Vacation photo 2

  • Cafe Pualani (Poipu, Kauai): Enjoy island views with your pooch under your table.
  • Hula Dog (Kihei, Maui): Their signature pupuccinos are too cute, and dogs get treated too!
  • Liliha Bakery (Honolulu): Sit outside for locals-favorite treats and your doggo’s meal.

Transporting Your Pet Between Islands

Interisland flights are an easy way to see multiple Hawaiian islands without a long drive. Here are some tips from experience:

If flying pets between islands on Hawaiian Airlines, book early as only a limited number of pets are allowed in cabin each flight. Cargo hold has stricter size and climate control variables to consider. Ask agents patiently about policies to avoid misunderstandings. Explain your pup’s needs courteously but firmly for best service.

It’s worth hand-carrying your dog onboard if small enough due to unpredictability of baggage transfers between terminals Sometimes planes are swapped at last minute, not always smoothly for cargo. With pup at your side, you have one less stress!

On long island-hopping trips, remember your dog’s needs just like yours – fresh water, potty breaks, stretches, playtime. We tend to get wrapped up in adventure but our companions depend on us. A happy dog makes for happier memories too, I always find.

In closing, with a bit of preparation your dog is sure to have a fun, relaxing Hawaiian vacation just like you. Don’t hesitate to reach out if any other questions arise! Aloha and safe travels to you and your furry friend.

Flying to Hawaii with Your Pets

Can i bring my dog or cat on the plane with me to hawaii.

Yeah basically airlines will let you bring your small pets along in the cabin as long as they meet certain requirements, like being in a carrier under the seat. But bigger pets usually gotta go in the cargo hold, which gets kinda sketchy in my opinion.

What documents do I need to bring my pet to Hawaii?

Is it worth bringing my pet on vacation, what if my pet gets lost in hawaii, are there any pet-friendly activities in hawaii, what if my dog gets car sick on the winding coastal roads, what if i run out of dog food during my trip.

No need to panic if Fido’s food bowl is looking sparse – pet stores on every island stock all the usual brands. You can also ask your hotel concierge for recommendations on where to stock up. One cool tip is Nature’s Market, a health food store that happens to carry really high quality organic dog foods too. And as a last resort, there’s always spam – in moderation of course! Aloha and bon appetit pup.

Bringing Pets to Hawaii [Pet Passport 2023 Guide]

bringing to hawaii

Bringing pets to Hawaii may seem like a lot of fun, but unfortunately it isn’t as easy as hopping onto a plane with your furry friend.

Hawaii has strict entry requirements for pets, including microchipping, vaccinations, rabies blood testing, tick treatments and an import permit. Furthermore, it is likely that your pet will need to spend some time in Hawaii animal quarantine, even up to 120 days! Additionally, some pets may even qualify for the ‘5 day or less’ quarantine programme. This is why it’s important that you plan ahead. 

In this article, we will discuss in detail how to bring pets to Hawaii, including the strict requirements and processes you need to follow.

What is a Hawaii Pet Passport?

Hawaii does not have an official ‘Pet Passport’, however it is a term used to describe the documents that are required to take a pet to Hawaii. Customs officials will need to see these documents in order to clear your pet in customs. Essentially, a pet passport demonstrates that your dog is fit and healthy to travel. For a Hawaii pet passport you will likely need microchip documents, vaccination records, parasite treatment records, veterinary health certificate and import license. However, your Hawaii Pet Passport will vary depending on the species of your pet and where you are traveling from.

What are the steps to follow for bringing pets to Hawaii?

When bringing pets to Hawaii, you should take the following steps:

  • Book the first appointment with your vet – your pet will need a microchip and rabies vaccination at minimum. Your dog or cat may also need a rabies blood test depending on where you’re traveling from. There are time restraints when it comes to the blood test, so try to do this as early as possible.
  • Organise travel – being in the middle of the ocean, the most common means of travel is to fly. Ensure you fly with an airline that will allow your pet on board, either in the cabin or in the cargo area of the plane. Furthermore, you will need to fly into a specific airport that allows importing pets.
  • Book the second appointment with your vet – you will need a second appointment if you are traveling from a country other than the British Isles, Australia, Guam and New Zealand. The reason you need a second appointment, is because your dog or cat will need to pass a rabies blood test, which takes time. You will also need a second rabies vaccination more than 30 days after your first one, and a health certificate for your pet obtained within 14 days of your arrival.
  • Send documentation to the Animal Quarantine Branch – you will need to send your pet’s health certification to Hawaii’s Animal Quarantine Branch, by Fedex, in order for it to arrive on time.

We will go into more detail below.

What are the requirements for bringing pets to Hawaii?

The requirements for bringing a pet to Hawaii are as follows:

  • Microchipping – all dogs and cats must be microchipped.
  • Vaccinations – at minimum, dogs and cats must be vaccinated twice against rabies. These must be more than 30 days apart and over 30 days before entry to Hawaii.
  • FAVN Rabies Antibody Test / Rabies Blood Test – your dog, cat or ferret must pass a rabies titer test to prove the rabies vaccination was successful. This excludes those traveling from the British Isles, Australia, Guam and New Zealand.
  • Tick Treatment  – all dogs and cats must have an approved tick treatment within 14 days of arrival.
  • Health Certificate & Import Permit  – you must send your pet’s health certificate to the Animal Quarantine Branch within 14 days prior to arrival.

We will go into these in more detail below.

travel to hawaii with a dog

Microchipping

When bringing pets to Hawaii, your pet must be microchipped with an ISO 11784 pet microchip that is a 15 digit and non-encrypted. This only applies to dogs and cats. 

Not only is a microchip a requirement for pets to travel to most countries, it is also in your best interest to have your dog or cat microchipped. If you were to lose your beloved furry friend, it is far more likely that you will be reunited. When a lost dog or cat is found, the first thing they check for is usually a microchip.

Your veterinarian should provide you with a certificate that states:

  • your pet’s unique microchip number
  • that your pet’s microchip was successfully scanned

The microchip can be of the standard US issue (Avid) or (Home Again) type or a 15 digit ISO pet microchip.

We recommend that this is the first step you take. This is because your pet’s rabies vaccination will only be valid if attached to a specific microchip.

Rabies Vaccinations

When bringing pets to Hawaii, he or she must be vaccinated against rabies, at minimum. No other vaccines are required, but you may want to get your dog other common vaccinations, just in case. This only applies to dogs and cats.

The only vaccine that is a legal requirement to enter Hawaii is the rabies vaccination. In order to import pets to Hawaii, they must have been vaccinated against rabies at least twice in his lifetime. Furthermore, those vaccinations must be more than 30 days apart.

Your pet’s latest rabies vaccination must be administered more than 30 days prior to arrival in Hawaii.

You will need the original copies of your pet’s latest two vaccination certificates.

travel to hawaii with a dog

FAVN Rabies Antibody Test / rabies blood test

When bringing pets to Hawaii from any country other than the British Isles, Australia, Guam or New Zealand, they must pass a rabies titer test. This is also known as a rabies blood test or FAVN. This applies to dogs and cats. 

The rabies titer test (FAVN) is important to prevent the spread of the deadly viral disease. The FAVN tests whether your pet’s rabies vaccinations were successful and therefore whether your dog is protected.

A licensed veterinarian must take a sample of your pet’s blood and send it to an authorised laboratory for testing. The sample must be processed at Kansas State University or DOD Food Analysis and Diagnostic Laboratory in Texas. At the lab they will measure the level of the rabies antibody in your pet’s blood. They must find at least 0.5 IU/mL of the antibody.

The blood test needs to be completed not more than 36 months and not less than 120 days prior to entering Hawaii. Your veterinarian will need to scan your pet’s microchip prior to the blood test.

Your vet must provide you with a certificate showing your pet’s test results. All documents must be in English. Be sure that your rabies titer test submittal form states that your destination is Hawaii so test results will be sent there.

The test is valid for entering Hawaii for 36 months.

As mentioned above, your pet’s microchip must be implanted prior to the titer test otherwise it will not count.

Tick Treatment

When bringing pets to Hawaii, dogs and cats must be treated against ticks, within 14 days of import. The following list of active ingredients are accepted for tick treatment (t opical Products):

  • Fipronil Imidacloprid
  • Permethrin Pyriproxyfen
  • Permethrin Dinotefuran
  • Pyriproxyfen
  • Permethrin Metaflumizone
  • Amitraz Dinotefuran
  • Pyriproxyfen Dinotefuran
  • Pyriproxyfen + PermethrinFipronil
  • Amitraz Indoxacarb
  • Permethrin Flumethrin
  • Imidacloprid
  • Sarolaner + Selemectin

The following list of active ingredients are accepted for tick treatment (oral products):

We recommend that you consult with your veterinarian to determine what products are safe to use on your pet, and what dose and application directions should be followed.

travel to hawaii with a dog

Health Certificate & Import Permit

If bringing a dog or cat to Hawaii, a notarized Dog and Cat Import Form (AQS 279) is required. This involves getting a health certificate for your pet. Domestic birds, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils and rodents will also require a health certificate and import permit.

A licensed veterinarian must complete a Health Certificate for Hawaii in English. It must be an original, photocopies will not be accepted. If bringing a dog or cat to Hawaii, this certificate must be issued by your veterinarian within 14 days of your pet’s arrival to Hawaii. If traveling with a domestic bird, rabbit, hamster, gerbil or rodent, it must be issued within 7 days prior to your arrival in Hawaii.

All documentation should then be sent to the Animal Quarantine Branch, 99-951 Halawa Valley Street, Aiea, Hawaii 9670. The documents must arrive 10 days prior to your pet’s arrival to qualify for same-day release and reduced fees*. Since the documents must be processed within 14 days of your arrival, you must send them by an overnight carrier to qualify for airport release of your pet.

*There is a fee for processing the documents. You can find the current fees on hawaii.gov website here .

How much does it cost to bring pets to Hawaii?

Bringing pets to Hawaii can cost anywhere from $200 to over $1,000 per pet. The price you pay can vary widely depending on the species, size and weight of your pet, where you are traveling from, and which airline you fly with.

Let’s say that you have one dog that you are planning on moving to Hawaii. The below pricing is a rough estimate of what that might cost if you chose to do Direct Airport Release and were flying to a neighbor island (not Oahu).

Tick/Flea Meds : $25 Rabies Vaccinations : $45 (twice) = $90 Microchip : $42 OIE-FAVN Blood Test : $250 Health Certificate : $65 Lab Testing : $90

TRAVELING FEES:

Airline-Approved Pet Kennel : $75 Airline Ticket : $350 Direct Release : $165 Neighbor Island Inspection : $145

Total Cost : $1,297

Do all pets need to stay in Hawaii Animal Quarantine?

Not all pets are required to stay in Hawaii animal quarantine. Pets can spend anywhere between 0 and 120 days in quarantine upon arrival in Hawaii.

Hawaii has a 5 day or less pet quarantine programme, which has a provision for direct release at Honolulu International Airport after inspection. If you want to qualify, you must ensure your pet meets all the requirements listed above – microchipping, rabies vaccination, rabies titer test (if applicable), tick treatment, health certificate and import permit.

If your pet does not meet all the requirements for the 5 day or less programme, may be quarantined for up to 120 days upon arrival in Hawaii.

Hawaii Pet Quarantine requirements do not apply for your pet if it is entering from the British Isles, Australia, Guam and New Zealand when all of the following apply:

  • your pet’s flight is direct or your pet has evidence in writing from the officer in charge that your pet was not in contact with any other animal during their transit;
  • your pet’s crate was sealed by veterinary authorities at the point of origin;
  • you sign a declaration that your pet has resided in one of the countries listed since birth or for a period of at least 6 months prior to entry;
  • your pet is accompanied by a health certificate and proof of ticks and tapeworm treatment within 14 days of entry; and
  • your pet is accompanied by Guam Affidavit, form IC-5 (Origination in Guam only).

How much does Hawaii Animal Quarantine cost?

The cost of Hawaii animal quarantine depends on where you are traveling from, and if you meet Hawaiis pet import requirements. 

As mentioned above, some pets may not require a stay in Hawaii animal quarantine, however some may require a stay of up to 120 days. Please see section above for further information.

What is the best way to bring pets to Hawaii?

Flying to Hawaii is the most common means of transport, since it is an island in the middle of the ocean. There is the option of getting a ship to Hawaii, however, unless your pet is a service dog, it is unlikely they will be allowed on board. 

Many airlines will allow you to bring your pets to Hawaii with you. Many offer pet services that include climate controlled, pressurized, and comfortable areas to hold them. United Airlines  and  Alaska Airlines are commonly recommended for transporting pets to the islands, but the best airline for you depends on where you’re departing from, how many pets you are bringing and what time of year you are planning on arriving in Hawaii.

Before booking any flights, always check that your chosen airline will allow your pet on board. Furthermore, it is important to book well in advance (at least 20-30 days, sometimes 45 days).

Some airlines will allow small dogs and cats, weighing under 8kg, to fly in the cabin with their owners. This is as long as they fit in an airline-approved pet carrier that will fit under the seat in front of you. If you are traveling with a large or heavy dog, you will need to fly them in the cargo section of the plane, or arrange a private jet. Of course, this will be rather pricey!

Remember, airlines fly pets to Hawaii every day. Pets are successfully flown to Hawaii all the time and can quickly recover from the trip. So, as long as you plan ahead, have all your paperwork in order, and meet all the quarantine and airline specifications, bringing your pet to Hawaii should go smoothly.

Rules for flying pets to Hawaii.

When bringing pets to Hawaii, you may only enter through Honolulu International Airport only between the hours of 8am and 9pm.

We recommend that you arrange your flight to arrive in Hawaii before 3.30pm. As long as your pet conforms to all the entry requirements, the process of clearing your dog will should take around 1 hour. However, the process can take up to 4 to 5 hours. Particularly, if your pet doesn’t confirm to the requirements and you don’t have all the necessary documents. Pets that are not cleared by 4.30pm will be held overnight at the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility. You will be liable to pay for this.

Once your pet has cleared customs, he or she will be taken directly to the quarantine center. After the quarantine period has ended, you will need to pick your pet up from there.

You may also enter through the neighbor Island airports of Kahului, Kona, or Lihue but you only if you make special arrangements in advance.

It’s important to note that not all airlines participate in this program. If traveling into these airports, all requirements for entering Hawaii must be met and documentation must be submitted at least 30 days prior to arrival.

Related post: Flying Pets in Cargo: Will My Pet be Safe?

What airlines allow flying pets to Hawaii?

Most airlines allow flying a dog or cat to Hawaii. However, depending on the airline you fly with, pet policies differ. If you are traveling with a pet other than a cat or dog, you may have more trouble. 

When bringing a pet to Hawaii via air travel, it’s important to check airline pet policies before booking any travel. Different airline’s have different rules for flying with pets, including which species and breeds are allowed, the size and weight of pets that are permitted, and the number of pets they allow. Fees also vary between airlines.

According to US law, no domestic airline can refuse travel to licensed service animals. Requirements for service animals differ because they need to stay with their owners. With that said, owners will need to provide extra certification, to prove the dog qualifies as a service dog.

For a list of airlines that allow pets to fly in the cabin with their owners, check:

  • 20 Airlines That Allow Flying With Dogs In-Cabin [Prices & Policies]
  • 13 Airlines That Allow Flying With a Cat In-Cabin [Prices & Policies]
  • 8 Airlines that Allow Rabbits in the Plane Cabin [Policies & Prices]

For a list of airlines that allow other pets on their planes, check: 

  • 13 Airlines That Allow Pet Birds on Planes [Policies & Prices]
  • 7 Airlines That Allow Pet Snakes on Planes [Policies & Prices]
  • 7 Airlines That Allow Lizards on Planes [Policies & Prices]
  • 7 Airlines That Allow Rodents on Planes [Policies & Prices]
  • Which Airlines Allow Hedgehogs on Planes? [Policies & Prices]

What are airline requirements for pet kennels?

When bringing pets to Hawaii via air travel, it is important that your pet carrier is permitted for use on an airplane. Airlines often have specific requirements when it comes to size, weight and material of carriers. 

Firstly, it is important to note that just because a manufacturer says that their pet carrier is ‘airline-approved’, doesn’t mean it is. This is because different airlines have different requirements. Therefore, it’s important to do your research and find out the exact requirements for your chosen airline.

For pet carriers, make sure you:

1.  Choose an appropriate kennel size . Your pet must be able to stand, turn, and lie down in a natural manner. Some airlines only allow kennels that have certain dimensions, so again, be sure to check with your airline for their requirements.

2.  Choose an airline-approved kennel. Kennel requirements for pets riding in the cabin are a little different compared to kennels required for pets riding in cargo (see more information below). If your pet will be riding in both the cabin and cargo during the journey, make sure you have 2 different airline-approved kennels.

How to prepare your pet kennel.

When bringing a pet to Hawaii by air, you must prepare your pet’s kennel appropriately, for the comfort of your pet, and to abide by airline regulations. In order to prepare your pet’s kennel for the aircraft you should do the following:

1.  Put absorbent material on the bottom of the kennel – m essy shavings, such as hay or straw, are not allowed. Pet travel pads are recommended, however, a clean towel works well.

2.  Check kennel hardware – replace any plastic pieces with metal pieces (bolts, door, etc.) to ensure your kennel is strong.

3.  Place appropriate notes on pet kennel(s).  You will need at least 4 large print stickers including:

  • “ Live Animal ” sticker – 1 on top, at least 1 on side (2 total)
  • “ This End Up ” or up-arrow sticker on at least 2 sides (2 total)

4.  Attach any appropriate information to your kennel(s) – it is recommended that you include a copy of your pet’s paperwork in a large ziplock bag and securely attach it to the kennel. Be sure to include the following in a place that is visible and can be easily read:

  • Name of the person who is picking up your pet (if it’s not you)
  • Local Address
  • Your contact number (& number of the person who is picking up your pet)
  • A current photo of your pet

5.  Hang food and water tray  (or divided tray) on the  inside of the kennel door. Try to put it in a place that is easy for your pet to reach it and where it is less likely to spill. You can even use a pet water bottle in the kennel, but make sure it is the “no-leak” variety, so your pet’s kennel will stay dry.

6.  Secure a sealable, clear plastic bag to the outside of the kennel with your pet’s food (wait until moving day to complete this step). These are also handy to place any medication your pet may need for the flight.

7.  Include a “Shipper’s Declaration” label – leave instructions on how to feed and water your pet. T he USDA requires you to do this within 4 hours of check-in. If your pet should not be given food or water, be sure to include written instructions/verification from your vet.

8.  Secure the kennel door – use 4 hand-releasable cable ties to place through the holes at the corners of the kennel door so it is properly secure. This should be done on the day of travel once your pet is in the kennel.

Which dog breeds are banned from visiting Hawaii?

Non-domestic dogs, and their hybrids such as wolf, wolf cross and dingo are prohibited from entry to Hawaii. Banned cat breeds include Savannah and Bengal cats. 

Most dogs and cats are permitted to enter Hawaii. However, the problem often arises when booking air travel. This is because many airlines have policies preventing additional breeds from flying on their planes.

Dog breeds that are deems ‘agressive’, such as Mastiffs and Bulldogs, and snub-nosed dogs, such as pugs, are often banned. Even though owners of the ‘aggressive’ dog breeds listed below know that their beloved pooches are big softies, unfortunately they are often not permitted. Snub-nosed dogs are often banned due to health reasons. This is because they are prone to respiratory issues, particularly when traveling.

Bringing service dogs to Hawaii

Guide dogs for the blind and certified service dogs for the physically disabled must complete pre-shipment requirements.

Requirements include having a current rabies vaccination and passing an OIE-FAVN rabies blood test after 12 months of age and prior to arrival in Hawaii. These must be listed on a health certificate issued no more than 30 days before travel. The certificate must also show the dog has been treated for ticks within 14 days of travel.

Proof of certification must be provided, and must state the task(s) that the dog has been trained to perform. These tasks must be directly linked to the owner’s disability.

All documentation should be sent to the Rabies Quarantine Branch well ahead of your intended arrival date.

The dog must enter Hawaii with it’s owner.

On arrival in Hawaii, the dog must be brought by the airline to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility. They will ensure the dog meets all of the requirements and check the dog for external parasites. If everything is in order, the dog will be released at that point.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Can I take my puppy or kitten to Hawaii?

Due to the minimum requirements, puppies and kittens need to be at least 10 weeks of age before they can travel to Hawaii. Don’t worry if your pup or kit is too young! A 120 day quarantine is usually required for those that can’t meet the requirements.

Can I take my pet to Hawaii with an EU Pet Passport?

Yes, you can take a cat or dog to Hawaii with an EU Pet Passport. Hawaii is a non-EU listed country that accepts the EU Pet Passport. However, your dog or cat will also need to have a rabies titer test, and you will need to obtain a notarised health certificate and import permit.

Can I take my pet to Hawaii without quarantine?

Yes, as long as you meet all necessary requirements to comply with the '5 days or less quarantine programme' your pet may be released immediately. This is more likely if you are traveling from the British Isles, Australia, Guam and New Zealand

How hard is it to bring a pet to Hawaii?

It will take a lot of planning and there are many entry requirements for pets, however it is doable. Follow the simple steps listed above to ensure you comply with the Hawaiian Law for traveling with pets.

Bottom Line

So, as you are now aware, bringing pets to Hawaii does take a lot of planning and preparation. However, it is possible if you follow the simple steps above. Just be sure your pet is microchipped and is up to date on his or her rabies vaccinations. Furthermore, to avoid a lengthy quarantine period, be sure to send all documents off to the Hawaiian Animal Quarantine Department prior to travel.

Due to the chance of your pet being put in quarantine, you may want to consider leaving your pet at home if you are just visiting Hawaii for a short trip. However, if you are planning on relocating to Hawaii, the hassle is far more worth it.

Hope you have found this helpful. Happy travels!

Related posts:

  • How to get a US Pet Passport
  • How to get an EU Pet Passport

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Traveling With a Pet to Hawaii

Traveling with a pet to Hawaii may seem like a fun thought, but chances are you have no idea of what you're getting into. If you're talking about a cat or dog, it's possible, but not at all easy. If you're talking about some other type of animal, it's close to impossible.

Most will advise you to not bring your pet on your trip to Hawaii . There are also regulations applying to service animals that may surprise you.

Why Not Bring Your Pet?

Hawaii has a special quarantine law that is designed to protect residents and pets from potentially serious health problems associated with the introduction and spread of rabies. Hawaii is unique in that it has always been free of rabies, and is the only state in the United States to be rabies-free. It wants to remain that way.

There have been scares and in 1991 a bat found in a shipping container from California was determined to be rabid, but it was captured and destroyed without incident.

Should You Bring Your Pet?

The requirements of the quarantine law are very complex and potentially expensive. But forgetting the quarantine issue, most people would subject their pet to at least a five-hour flight in the cold luggage compartment of a plane. If you're coming from the east coast, you're talking 10-12 hours. Add to that there are very, very few pet-friendly hotels in Hawaii and common advice, once again, is to leave your pet at home with a pet sitter.

What If You Are Moving to Hawaii?

If you are going for an extended stay or are moving to Hawaii, as do many military families, then you'll need to comply with the quarantine procedure and to do so you'll need to start well before your move—at least four months. While that seems excessive, keep in mind Hawaii's quarantine law is not for your convenience. It's for the safety of Hawaii's people and animal population.

Revised Quarantine Regulations

There are new rules for the Rabies Quarantine Program in effect as of August 31, 2018. The changes include:

  • Minimum waiting period after a successful FAVN rabies antibody test before arriving in Hawaii was 120 days and now it has been reduced to 30 days.
  • Minimum waiting period after most recent rabies vaccination before arriving in Hawaii was 90 days and now it is 30 days
  • The fee for a Direct Airport Release was $165 and is now $185. A fee of $244 for each dog or cat released at the airport will apply when documents are not received 10 days or more before arrival. 
  • Quarantine fee for 5 days or less was $224 and now is $244.
  • The Dog and Cat Import Form, AQS-278 has been revised and now is AQS-279 with a date of August 2018.
  • Fortunately, because this is complex, the checklists have been revised. There are four new Checklists dated August 2018.

The Quarantine Law and Forms

It's rather complex, and so it will be necessary to carefully review the State of Hawaii's Department of Agriculture's website where you can get all of the details and necessary forms.

Basically, depending on when or if you complete the required steps of the 5-Day-Or-Less quarantine requirements prior to your arrival in Hawaii, your pet may be directly released to you at the airport or held for up to 30 days at your expense.

If you seek a direct release of the pet at the airport , you must submit the required original documents so that the State receives the paperwork at least 10 days prior to your pet's arrival. Even if you complete all of the paperwork, but it is not received at least 10 days prior to your pet's arrival, your pet will be quarantined for up to 5 days.

Pets that are not directly released under the 5-day-or-Less quarantine will be taken to the main Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa Valley on Oahu. If a pet stays between 0 and 5 days, the cost will be $244. There is an additional per-day charge for longer stays.

Types of things to Do at Home to Prepare

Your pet will have needed at least two rabies vaccinations and be current on them. The second vaccination must be done at least 90 days before arrival in Hawaii.

Your cat or dog must have an electronic microchip implanted.

Your pet will need to have had an OIE-FAVN Rabies Blood Test not more than 36 months and not less than 120 days before the date of arrival in Hawaii.

Numerous documents must be completed by you and your veterinarian and submitted to the State.

The Requirements Can Get Harder Still

All this assumes you're flying into Honolulu and staying on Oahu. If you're flying to the Kona on the Big Island , Lihue on Kauai or Kahului on Maui, things are a bit more complicated because the Port of Entry is Honolulu.

There are also special rules for guide dogs and service animals .

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Can You Bring Your Dog to Hawaii? This is How to Avoid Pet Quarantine

can you bring your dog to Hawaii

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase through my links we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Read about our affiliate policies here .

If you want to visit or move to Hawaii, but can’t imagine going anywhere without your dog, then you’ve probably wondered “Can you bring your dog to Hawaii?”

When we were moving from London to Maui, we had one big issue we needed to solve: how to transport our beloved dog, Hattie. We knew it was possible to bring her to Hawaii but we’d heard horror stories of dogs needing to be quarantined for six months upon arrival in Hawaii. 

We knew we couldn’t do that to her. Did we have another option?

Yes, you can bring your dog to Hawaii, but in order to avoid the six-month quarantine, you’ll need to apply for Direct Airport Release (DAR). You’ll need to start this process months in advance of arriving in Hawaii. We’ll cover exactly how we navigated the process and what we learned. 

can you bring your dog to hawaii our dog getting released in hawaii

If you are moving to Hawaii or vacationing, check out our Hawaii recommendations for what to pack , our favorite activities , where to stay , deals on rental cars , and even a list of discount codes .

How to take your dog to Hawaii without quarantine

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture has checklists to walk you through the process of taking your dog to Hawaii. They are a great resource, but in truth, I found it to be a little confusing at times. 

There are multiple checklists to choose from, depending on your situation. 

  • Checklist 1: your dog isn’t located in Hawaii and you’ll be flying with your dog to Honolulu (Oahu)
  • Checklist 2: your dog isn’t located in Hawaii and you’ll be flying with your dog to Kona (Big Island), Lihue (Kauai), or Kahului (Maui)
  • Checklist 3 & 4: applicable to dogs that are currently in Hawaii, will be leaving the island and will be returning to the state at a future date

We were flying directly from the mainland to Maui, so I followed the process in Checklist 2. 

can you bring your dog to hawaii how long to take pet to hawaii the process

Prefer to watch these steps? We posted a video all about our experience !

Step 1: Ensure your dog has a working microchip

This is important to get right before starting your process: ensure your dog has a working microchip. 

The microchip number will be used to identify your dog upon arrival in Hawaii and the number is used on the blood test that your dog will need to pass. If your dog doesn’t have a working microchip, get one implanted.

can you bring your dog to hawaii take dog to hawaii avoid quarantine

Step 2: Get your dog two rabies vaccinations

Hawaii is a rabies-free state (amazing!) and the strict rules they enact is their way of protecting their habitat to keep it rabies-free. Hawaii is the only rabies-free state in the union. 

That means they need to make sure that every animal coming into the state has enough rabies antibodies built up in their bloodstream.

To do that, your dog needs to have had at least two rabies vaccinations in their lifetime, and the most recent rabies vaccination must be active (not expired) before they arrive in Hawaii. 

Hattie hadn’t had any rabies vaccines in her lifetime (the UK is rabies-free) so we needed to get her two vaccines. The vaccines needed to be 30 days apart and we needed to also wait 30 days after the second vaccine to do her blood test. 

Planning and plenty of time are key to ensure that you get this all done before you want to bring your dog to Hawaii!

Two things to note here:

  • You’ll need to get a vaccine certificate from your vet, certifying the date that they gave the vaccine, and submit this to the Department of Agriculture when applying for your permit.
  • If your dog doesn’t pass the antibody test (step 3), you’ll likely need to get another vaccine, wait 30 days, and test again.

can you bring your dog to hawaii requirements to bring dog to hawaii

Step 3: Get the FAVN antibody test

Now that you’ve gotten your dog two rabies vaccines and you’ve given them time to build up rabies antibodies, it’s time to get a blood test using one of the three approved labs.

This was the most complicated part of the process for us as we were coming from the UK. It should be much easier to get this done if you’re living in the US. Provide your vet with the lab names and they should be able to coordinate getting samples shipped to them. 

Your dog’s blood samples will be mailed to the lab and the lab will send the results (pass or fail) directly to the Department of Agriculture in Hawaii. You should also receive a copy of the results from your vet 

If you want to check the status of the test and ensure the results were received by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, you can search using the Animal Quarantine Microchip Search . 

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Step 4: Apply for a permit

Once you’ve done all the hard work, this is where everything comes together. Before you apply for a permit, you should do two things:

  • Find a vet inspector on the island to meet you at the airport and clear your dog. This isn’t necessary on Oahu. We worked with Melissa from At Home Animal Hospital on Maui and she was great.
  • Book a flight with an airline that participates in the direct airport release program. We flew with Alaska and had no problems.

Once you have those two details worked out, it’s time to apply for your permit. If you’re not sure of the details, the vet that you choose on the Hawaiian islands can help you work through the application process. 

If you’re applying for a neighbor island inspection permit, submit your application paperwork at least 30 days before you plan to arrive in Hawaii. The documentation you’ll need to send in includes:

  • A completed and signed dog and cat import form
  • $165 cashiers check or money order
  • Original rabies vaccination certificate for the two most recent rabies vaccines
  • Flight information for your arrival flight into Hawaii

We also sent in a shipping label for the Department of Agriculture to use to overnight our permit to us. We were really nervous about getting the permit back in time for our flight.

can you bring your dog to hawaii? how to bring dog to hawaii our experience

Find the best beaches in the state! The 10 Best Beaches on Kauai: stunning spots you don’t want to miss! The 17 Best Maui Beaches (with parking, directions, and tips) 10 Best Beaches on Oahu: Secluded, White Sand, Find It All 11 Best Big Island Beaches You Need to Visit (+ map!)

Step 5: Receive your neighbor island inspection permit

If you’re flying to one of the neighboring islands like we were, the Department of Agriculture will mail you back a permit. This is the permit that you’ll need to present to your airline before you leave for Hawaii (they will check) and you’ll need to give this to your vet when you arrive. 

So treat this permit like gold. 

can you bring your dog to hawaii what airlines allow pets in cabin Alaska Airlines Hawaiian Airlines

Step 6: Get a health check

No more than 14-days before the flight, head back to your vet to have them perform a health check and certify that your dog is OK to fly. At this appointment, you’ll also want to have your dog treated for ticks because your vet will need to note that on the health certificate as well. 

Step 7: Fly to Hawaii and meet your vet upon arrival

It’s a lot of work and it takes a lot of time to get your furry friend to the islands with you. But, it’s worth it. I was really nervous about the process and wasn’t sure what to expect when we landed, but it couldn’t have been easier. 

Our vet met us at our gate, scanned Hattie’s microchip number, reviewed the permit paperwork, and we were off. It was the easiest part of the entire process. 

Yes, the process to get your dog to Hawaii is long. But if you’re making the move, it’s more than worth it. Now Hattie gets to enjoy the beaches of Hawaii and lay in the sun on our lanai all day. She loves it and we love having her here. 

can you bring your dog to hawaii our dog in Hawaii bring your dog to Hawaii

How much does it cost to fly a dog to Hawaii?

For your dog’s flight, rabies blood test, health certificate, and permit, you can expect to pay over $500. We paid $755 to bring our dog to Maui, broken down by cost: 

Flight: $100 (Alaska Airlines fee. The fee on Hawaiian Airlines is $225)

Rabies vaccines: $50

Rabies blood test: $65

Neighbor Island Inspection Permit: $165

Vet release: $300

Health certificate: $75

Most of these costs are standard, but you’ll save money by choosing the right airline. To fly a dog to Hawaii on Alaska Airlines, it’s $100. On Hawaiian Airlines, it’s $225. 

Looking for more Hawaii budgeting tools? Find out how much a trip to Hawaii costs for two and for a family of four . Check out how we book travel and how to get a cheap ticket to Hawaii . Visit the cheapest Hawaiian island , and book your lodging with points !

Can you take your dog on vacation to Hawaii?

I just laid out all of the steps you need to take to get your dog to Hawaii when you’re moving. The steps for bringing a dog on vacation are exactly the same. You’ll have to decide whether it’s worth it to bring your dog to Hawaii for a trip. 

It’ll take months of planning and it’s really expensive. The total cost to bring Hattie with us (including getting the rabies vaccines) was around $1,000. 

If you do decide to bring your dog to Hawaii with you, know that your options for lodging will be more limited. As we’ve traveled inter-island, we’ve been lucky to find a few hotels and vacation rentals that will allow us to bring Hattie. But it does always make planning more complex. 

We know that bringing your dog to Hawaii is complicated, so to help navigate it all, we also made a video sharing our experience with the process. Check out our video below as we walk you through our experience of bringing our dog Hattie to Maui.

Related reads: Planning a Trip to Hawaii: 15 essential details The Best Hawaiian Island to Visit: Don’t Get It Wrong The 59 Best Things to Do in Hawaii: Your Ultimate Bucket List

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I'm the co-founder, with my husband Jordan, of The Hawaii Vacation Guide. We have lived on Maui and Oahu and continue to travel, experience, and learn about the Hawaiian Islands. We travel with our kids, Henry and Edith. I am a planner! I love to plan trips from the mainland and island-hopping adventures, excursion days, and everything in-between. I spend a lot of my time in Hawai'i on a SUP and my favorite time of year in Hawai'i is whale season!

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HOME / BLOG / Travel Resources Hawaii’s Pet Travel Requirements

Hawaii’s Pet Travel Requirements

  • By Amy at GoPetFriendly.com
  • October 15, 2020

Black and white photo of a surfer holding his surf board with a German Shepherd Dog beside him

A lovely Hawaiian holiday sounds perfect for people and pets alike. And passing between states is not an issue in the contiguous majority. So it might surprise you to learn how complicated it can be to meet Hawaii’s pet travel requirements. The Aloha State is rabies-free, is strict with dogs and cats when they come to visit.

Woman and dog walking on a pet friendly beach in Hawaii

Understanding Hawaii’s Pet Travel Requirements

If you want to travel with pets to Hawaii, it’s best to start planning your vacation early. This will give you time to prepare your pet for Hawaii’s 5-Day-Or-Less quarantine program. If you’re successful, your pet might even leave the airport with you. Unfortunately for dogs and cats that do not meet the 5-Day-Or-Less program conditions, they’re subject to a quarantine of up to 120 days upon arrival in Hawaii.

Note: Special rules apply to assistance dogs. Please check with the proper authorities to meet their requirements.

Blind woman and her Golden Retriever service dog

Why Is Hawaii So Strict With Visiting Pets?

The reason for Hawaii’s strict pet travel policies is that it’s the only state in the United States that is rabies-free. Since rabies doesn’t exist in Hawaii, pets who live there don’t get vaccinated for the virus.

That means the Hawaiian government has to be extremely strict when it comes to four-legged tourists. Dogs and cats traveling to Hawaii need to prove they won’t introduce rabies into Hawaii’s unique ecosystem.

Can Dogs and Cats Fly In-Cabin to Hawaii?

The Hawaii government doesn’t impose any limitations on how your pet reaches the state. However, we have only found ONE airline that allows in-cabin pet travel to Hawaii: Alaska Airlines . Hawaiian Airlines permits only small cats and dogs to fly in the passenger cabin on inter-island flights and on flights leaving Hawaii.

Keep in mind that service animals and emotional support animals may qualify for in-cabin pet travel with other airlines. Here we are specifically referring to pets that are not qualified service or support animals.

READ MORE ⇒   US Airline Pet Polices

Hawaii’s Animal Quarantine Options and Costs

To prevent rabies from entering the state, Hawaiian law requires that dogs, cats, and carnivores complete either the 120-Day or 5-Day-Or-Less rabies quarantine program. As part of the 5-Day-Or-Less program, pets may qualify for Direct Airport Release, which allows them to leave the airport with their owner after passing inspection.

Pet owners are responsible for all quarantine costs, and there are no discounts for multiple pets. Currently, the 120-Day quarantine program is $1,080 per pet, the 5-Day-Or-Less program is $244 per pet, and Direct Airport Release costs $185 per pet.

Surfing Dog, Happy Young Golden Retriever on Surf Board

Meeting the Requirements for 5-Day-Or-Less Quarantine

For anyone visiting Hawaii with their pet, the 120-Day quarantine program doesn’t make sense. So, let’s focus on what it takes to meet the 5-Day-Or-Less quarantine requirements, with the hope that your pet will qualify for direct airport release.

The 5-Day-Or-Less quarantine requires meeting ALL of the following conditions:

  • Pets must have received at least two rabies vaccinations in their lifetime, and 30 days must pass between the two vaccinations.
  • What is the 30 day waiting period? If your dog or cat needs a rabies vaccination before your trip, you must wait 30 days after administering the vaccination before entering Hawaii. If you do not wait 30 days, your pet will stay in quarantined until the 30 day period has lapsed.
  • Pets must have a working microchip implanted by a veterinarian for identification purposes.
  • Again with the 30 days? Yes. There is a 30-day waiting period after passing the OIE-FAVN rabies test. If your pet arrives in Hawaii before the 30-days have passed, he will be quarantined until the period has lapsed.
  • A veterinarian must treat your pet with an approved tick prevention medication not more than 14 days prior to arriving in Hawaii.
  • All required fees and documents, including the import form, two most recent rabies certificates, and a health certificated completed within 14 days of arriving in Hawaii, must be submitted to the Animal Quarantine Station in Hawaii according to the detailed rules so they are received more then 10 days before your arrival.

Qualifying for Direct Airport Release

To qualify for Direct Airport Release, your pet needs to meet all the above requirements and arrive in Hawaii during normal inspection hours after clearing US Customs. Direct release is available at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole (Big Island), Kahului Airport (Maui), and Lihue Airport (Kauai) .

Before scheduling a flight, confirm the inspection hours and procedures at your destination airport. And remember that it can take up to one hour for the airlines to transport a pet to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility.

If your pet qualifies for direct release, but you’re not able to pick him up by the end of the day, he’ll be transferred to the Animal Quarantine Station the following morning as part of the 5-day-or-less program. You’ll be responsible for the fees for that program, plus daily quarantine costs.

READ MORE ⇒ Keeping Your Dog Safe At The Beach

Honey the golden retriever and Pam wait on the beach at Fort Matanzas. | GoPetFriendly.com

What if Your Pet Doesn’t Qualify for the 5-Day-Or-Less Program?

There are several reason why pets might not qualify for the 5-Day-Or-Less program. For example, puppies and kittens can’t meet all the requirements until they’re about 10 months old. And any pet who arrives before their 30-waiting period has lapsed, hasn’t had two rabies vaccinations, or hasn’t had or has failed the blood test, will be subject to a longer quarantine period.

If your pet doesn’t initially meet the conditions of the 5-Day-Or-Less program when entering Hawaii, but comes into compliance during their quarantine period, they can be released before the 120-days. Pets that are not able to meet the requirements will be quarantined for 120 days.

Hawaiian residents traveling from Hawaii with their pets must meet requirements similar to those for the 5-Day-Or-Less quarantine program. If they don’t, quarantine is required for up to 30 days upon their return.

Visiting Your Pet in Quarantine

While in quarantine, owners can spend time their pets during afternoon visiting hours. And appointments to use the on-site grooming facilities can be scheduled. However, unless they’re being groomed, pets must stay in their kennels.

The quarantine centers handle minor ailments and administer medication, but do not have facilities for major medical problems. In case of emergency, pet owners must select, contact, and register with a state-approved veterinary facility. Most veterinarians require a deposit prior to accepting an animal for evaluation. So contacting several hospitals to obtain deposit and price information could be in your best interest.

Black and white photo of a surfer holding his surf board with a German Shepherd Dog beside him

Additional Information

For additional information on Hawaii’s pet travel policies, contact the Animal Quarantine Station.

Animal Quarantine Station 99-951 Halawa Valley Street Aiea, Hawaii 96701 Phone: (808) 483-7151 Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility Phone: (808) 837-8092 Email:  [email protected]

Website:  http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/aqs/animal-quarantine-information-page/

You can find more general tips on traveling with pets on our  Tips & Resources page.

do these rules apply to dogs and cats alike?

Hi Daniel! Yes, the requirements for pets traveling to Hawaii apply to both cats and dogs.

Is there a way for me to fly into Honolulu with my dog stay overnight at a hotel then fly out the next morning?

Hi Sandy! Flying with a dog to Hawaii requires a lot of advance preparation — perhaps more than it’s worth for an overnight stay. But, if that’s the route you decide to go, you’d need to be sure your dog has completed the protocol and you’ve got all the documentation submitted before your trip. There are airlines that fly to Hawaii and allow dogs. For example, Hawaiian Airlines allows small dogs and cats to fly in the passenger cabin on inter-island flights and on flights arriving/leaving Hawaii. However, the combined weight of the pet and carrier must not exceed 25 pounds. You can find out more about airline pet policies in this blog post >> https://www.gopetfriendly.com/blog/airline-pet-policies/ Good luck and safe travels!

what if you live in Hawaii and want to bring your small dog with you when you travel to the mainland? Do the same rules apply for re-entering the state?

Hi Suz! I believe that the rules are similar for traveling pets that live in Hawaii. Check with your veterinarian and with the airline you’ll be flying, but I think dogs and cats need to be vaccinated for rabies, receive a booster, and then have a blood test confirming the vaccination was effective before they can fly to the mainland. Then there’s no need for testing/quarantine on your return. I hope that helps and that you have a wonderful trip!

This site is very informative. Mahalo.

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Tips for Traveling to Hawaii With Your Dog

Tips for Traveling to Hawaii With Your Dog

John Derrick

Discount Hawaii Car Rentals

Hawaii is one of the most irresistible destinations in the world, and a huge draw to visitors from all corners of the world. It’s also a paradise for dogs, but traveling there with them can get complicated.

Hawaii is a rabies-free state, and it requires dog owners to go through complex procedures that can potentially involve a lengthy quarantine process for their dogs. To avoid this, preparation for the trip has to start months in advance of departure, and a strict checklist has to be followed.

If you’d like to travel to Hawaii with your dog, read on to find out more about this process and how to avoid a long stay in quarantine for your four-legged friend.

— article continued below —

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Why Are There So Many Restrictions?

As an island state, Hawaii has to exert some care in preserving its natural habitat. When it comes to allowing dog owners to bring their pets along for a visit, the main issue is that Hawaii is the only completely rabies-free state. Dog owners who live there don’t need to vaccinate their dogs against the virus, and the restrictions are there to protect them.

It would be easy for a dog contaminated with rabies to bring the disease into Hawaii and pass it on to feral animals. At that point, there would be widespread contagion that would be very difficult to control on the islands. Quarantine for dogs has been in effect since 1912 in Hawaii, and the duration of it only started having shorter options in 1997.

Hawaii has the strictest rules in the United States when allowing entry to pets from abroad. It shares this quality with island nations like Australia or New Zealand. These are territories that are very aware of how little it could take to destroy the environment, and their procedures reflect that awareness.

Preparing to Travel to Hawaii with Your Dog

The most important step of the process required to travel to Hawaii with your dog is to make sure you have plenty of time to accommodate everything you need to do in the timeframe you are supposed to do it in. The preparation stage is essential, and it can mean the difference between a direct release and a four-month quarantine.

Steps to Take Before Travel

While problems could still arise with your paperwork or timeframe, make sure you research exactly what traveling to Hawaii with your dog entails before attempting to do it. It is recommended to start preparing for this matter four to five months before your intended departure, as some of these steps will be time-sensitive.

Microchip Your Dog

Microchips have become essential for dogs everywhere. This chip is a straightforward way to ensure that your dog will be safe and able to be found no matter what happens. You do not need to microchip your dog before taking the rabies vaccine, but you do have to do it before testing for rabies antibodies.

Get them the Rabies Vaccine

If you’ve been a dog owner for a long time, you’ll know that the rabies vaccine will play a huge part in your life and that you will pay a lot of attention to rabies vaccination certificates. 

To qualify for a smooth process when you get to Hawaii, make sure your dog has had two rabies vaccines and that the most recent one is still active and taken more than 30 days before your arrival in Hawaii. You should also make sure to have all your dog’s vaccinations up to date, but this one is the most important.

Test for Rabies Antibodies

This is known as the FAVNE rabies antibody titre test and, as its name suggests, it will determine if your pet is carrying rabies antibodies. This test should be done around a month after the rabies vaccine, and not earlier than three weeks following the vaccine. This will ensure the maximum standard of accuracy.

Gather and Submit Required Documents

You will need to attach several documents to this form :

  • Form AQS-279: This indicates that you wish to travel to Hawaii with a dog (or a cat) and it is also known as the ‘cat and dog import form.’
  • Two vaccine certificates: These should be original copies that have been signed by a vet.
  • Original health certificate: You should send this to the airport’s Animal Quarantine Station in the two weeks that precede your arrival in Hawaii. If this can’t be done, bring the original certificate with you on arrival to prevent your dog from getting quarantined.
  • Proof of tick treatment: Your health certificate should include the full details of tick treatment received in the two weeks before you arrive in Hawaii.
  • Proof of payment: You will have to pay a fee before you can proceed with this application. The fee for ‘5-days or Less’ quarantine is $244. The fee for Direct Airport Release is $185. 

Avoid the Need for Quarantine

While quarantine can’t always be avoided, doing everything in your power to shelter your dog from going through this ordeal can lead to promising results that can help in the long run with this process. First of all, you should be certain of the timing. This stage can be grueling and leave little time for anything else, so research is an unbeatable ally.

Meeting all the requirements set out for entering Hawaii is doubly important, as it will allow you to reach your destination while avoiding the hassle of a potential 120-day quarantine. Make sure you check the guidelines shown on the Hawaii Department of Agriculture website , as they will be the most detailed and up-to-date.  

There are several exceptions to the travel preparation process discussed thus far:

  • People who are normally residents in Hawaii.
  • Some travel areas are designated as safe when it comes to dog travel, especially when it comes to similarly regulated island nations. Examples include New Zealand, Guam, the British Isles, and Australia.

Options for Entering the State with Your Dog

Most travelers choose Honolulu Airport as their safe bet and access point to Hawaii because it is the most straightforward one to navigate. You can also fly to other Hawaiian Islands like Kona, Kahului, and Lihue, but other restrictions will apply to the situation.

You will have three options to proceed after you land in Hawaii: 

5 Days or Less

This is the option you’ll be aiming for throughout the process. Apart from the requirements listed above, this outcome also requires an exact thirty-day waiting period between a dog’s second rabies vaccine and arrival in Hawaii.

Direct Airport Release

A direct airport release is part of the 5 Days or Less program. It can be achieved upon arrival if every criterion has been met and if you arrive at specific airports with enough time to clear customs within normal inspection times. These are usually before 4:30 pm and one to two hours after your flight landing. 

The eligible airports are Kahului Airport in Maui, Lihue Airport in Kauai, Ellison Onizuka Kona International on the Big Island, and Daniel K. Inouye International in Honolulu.

This is the four-month quarantine that your pet has to go through if something has gone wrong with the application or if documentation hasn’t been received in time. However, if the issue can be resolved earlier than the duration of the quarantine period, your dog can leave containment at any stage. 

Traveling to Hawaii with a dog can be a complicated process that requires a lot of time and patience. This process has become more straightforward recently, and it is now easier to bring your pet along to this island nation paradise.

The key to ensuring an effortless arrival in Hawaii with your dog is to have enough time to spend on the application, and on following the criteria to the letter.

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Traveling With Dogs to Hawaii: What to Know Before You Go

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Updated on Jan 15, 2024

pomeranian dog on board in a plane with owner

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If you’re someone who doesn’t like leaving home without your canine companion, you may be wary when it comes to going to faraway places, such as Hawaii. After all, you must travel over the ocean, which is thousands of miles no matter what side of the Pacific you’re coming from. Is it worth traveling with a dog to Hawaii? Are there any special rules or regulations that must be followed? How do dogs travel to and from the state? Where can dogs stay and go there? Here’s what you should know.

Hawaii Doesn’t Have Rabies, So There Are Rules About It

The state of Hawaii has so far succeeded in keeping rabies at bay due to the quarantine rules and regulations that have been put into place. You can’t just travel to Hawaii with your dog like you can to any other state in the country. There are steps that you must take and rules that you must follow to get your dog into the state legally. Importing your pup illegally is virtually impossible unless you can book a charter plane and somehow figure out how to avoid customs.

Hawaii’s Regulations for Importing a Dog Into the State

There is a quarantine process that everyone bringing a dog into Hawaii must follow, whether they are moving to the state or just visiting. The state provides a checklist guide for those who are looking to bring their dog from out of state to Oahu or the other islands within the state network. The guidelines for Oahu are different from those for neighboring islands. Here’s the lowdown.

  • Your dog must be microchipped before rabies testing takes place, which is required before arrival.
  • Your dog must have been vaccinated for rabies at least twice before arrival.
  • The most recent rabies vaccine must have been administered at least 30 days before arrival.
  • Your dog must get an FAVN rabies antibody test with negative results before arrival.
  • The FAVN test results must be dated no less than 30 days and no more than 36 months before arrival.
  • After you receive negative FAVN rabies test results, there is a mandatory 30-day waiting period before your dog can arrive on Oahu.
  • Documents that prove rabies vaccinations and FAVN rabies test results must be submitted to the state at least 10 days prior to arrival.

Arriving on Oahu With Your Dog From Out of State

For specific requirement details and more information about getting all your paperwork and plans in order, check out the state’s official checklist here .

If you fail to meet any of the requirements set forth by the state, you run the risk of being turned away and having to fly back to where you came from or putting your pup in a quarantine center that might end up being longer than your vacation time overall. So, if you don’t want to or cannot meet the requirements, it’s best to kennel your pup or find a babysitter for them at home rather than bring them along to Hawaii.

Arriving on Oahu’s Neighboring Islands With Your Dog From Out of State

  • All requirements for arriving on Oahu must be met.
  • You must find a veterinarian on the island you’ll be arriving on who is able and willing to do an inspection.
  • A health certificate dated within the last 14 days must be presented to the inspecting veterinarian.
  • The veterinarian must treat your dog for ticks upon arrival.
  • It is your responsibility to schedule a veterinarian inspection to happen upon arrival or your dog might end up in quarantine.

Veterinarians in Hawaii are extremely familiar with the important process, so they can address all your questions and concerns and ensure that you take all necessary steps before your arrival. You can find more information here .

What Happens If Your Paperwork Isn’t Submitted in Time

If you don’t get your paperwork submitted to the state of Hawaii in time, even if you bring the paperwork with you, your dog will be quarantined for 5 days (sometimes less) while everything gets verified. If you don’t turn your paperwork in at all, your dog will be quarantined for at least 14 days. There is a daily quarantine charge that you’ll be responsible for, which can put a damper on your overall trip. The cost of quarantine can vary, but you can determine the specific expenses that you’d be responsible for by emailing [email protected] .

The Cost of Importing Your Dog to Hawaii

The state of Hawaii does charge a fee for accepting your pup into paradise, as it helps offset the costs of managing a rabies-free place. If your dog qualifies for direct release from the airport (all rules and requirements have been met), you’ll pay about $185 per dog that’s arriving in Hawaii with you. If for some reason your pup ends up in the 5-day or less quarantine program (not all rules or regulations have been met), you’ll pay about $244 per pup .

Don’t Let the Rules and Regulations Overwhelm You

While Hawaii’s regulations for bringing a dog to the state might seem overwhelming at first glance, the truth is that working with a vet should make the process easy. There are just a few steps that you must do, such as have rabies vaccines administered and get a rabies test to gain entry into the state with your pup. There are time limits to consider, but everything can be easily streamlined.

The most important thing that you can do is start planning early. Give yourself a year to plan, prepare, and execute your travel plans. Don’t hesitate to contact the state of Hawaii ( [email protected] ) with any questions and concerns that you have, and you’ll be pointed in the right direction.

Flying With Your Dog to Hawaii

All airline companies have their own specific rules and regulations when it comes to flying with dogs. Some don’t allow dogs in their cabins or cargo spaces at all. Others only allow cargo travel, while some only welcome dogs small enough to fly in the cabin. The cost of transporting your dog on a plane will vary depending on what airline you fly with. It is important to contact the airline’s customer service directly to find out its policies for flying with your dog to the state of Hawaii. The service workers understand the state’s laws and can help guide you through the travel experience.

If you’re only visiting Hawaii for a couple of weeks or less, it may not be worth going through all the trouble of bringing your dog with you unless it’s for a special reason. If you plan to visit for any longer, the process and costs associated with traveling to Hawaii with your dog(s) shouldn’t put too much of a damper on your travel plans.

Featured Image Credit: nadisja, Shutterstock

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  • Can You Bring Your Dog to Hawaii?: What to Know About Flying a Dog to Hawaii

by Bryan Murphy | Mar 30, 2023

can you bring your dog to hawaii

  • Can You Bring Your Dog to Hawaii?

The answer is yes, you can bring your dog with you to Hawaii. However, there are certain requirements and procedures you’ll need to follow before soaking up the sun with your pup by your side.

  • Planning Your Trip? Use Our Favorite Resources! 

Key Takeaways for Can You Bring Your Dog to Hawaii

  • Hawaii's Strict Animal Quarantine Laws

Reasons for Quarantine

Length of quarantine, avoiding quarantine: steps to bring your dog to hawaii, microchipping, rabies vaccinations, favn rabies antibody test, health certificate & import permit, meeting specific timeframes, cost of flying your dog to hawaii, airline fees, quarantine fees (if applicable), airlines that allow dogs on flights to hawaii, pet policies, breed restrictions, tips for a smooth trip to hawaii with your dog, choosing pet-friendly accommodations, preparing your dog for the flight.

  • Ensuring Your Dog's Comfort And Safety During Travel

Bringing Service Dogs to Hawaii

Additional requirements and exceptions, 1. is it possible to bring my dog with me when i travel to hawaii, 2. what specific steps do i need to take before bringing my dog to hawaii, 3. are there any breed restrictions on dogs allowed in hawaii, 4. can my dog accompany me everywhere in hawaii once we arrive, related posts.

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Planning a vacation or move to Hawaii and wondering if you can bring your furry best friend along? 

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through   Hawaii’s strict animal quarantine laws ,   airline policies for transporting pets , and tips for   making the process as smooth as possible .

  • Bringing a dog to Hawaii is possible, but it requires following strict animal quarantine laws to prevent the spread of rabies and other diseases.
  • To avoid an extended quarantine period, pet owners must microchip their dogs, provide proof of up-to-date rabies vaccinations and pass the FAVN antibody test, obtain a health certificate and import permit from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, and meet specific timeframes.
  • Pet owners should factor in potential airline fees for transporting their dogs to Hawaii.  Only Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines allow pets in the cabin  on flights to Hawaii based on size restrictions and other factors. Breed restrictions also apply.
  • Planning ahead is crucial when bringing your dog along on your trip to paradise. It may be worth it in exchange for an unforgettable experience with your furry best friend by your side.

Hawaii’s Strict Animal Quarantine Laws

The   Hawaii Department of Agriculture   requires that all dogs entering the state be quarantined for a minimum of 120 days to prevent the spread of rabies, which is not found in Hawaii.

can you bring your dog to hawaii 2023

Hawaii is unique for its beautiful landscapes, pristine beaches, and vibrant culture. But did you know it’s also the only US state that remains rabies-free? This status is something that local authorities take great pride in and work tirelessly to maintain.

The primary reason for enforcing quarantine measures on pets entering the islands is to prevent the introduction of rabies into Hawaii’s ecosystem.

If this deadly virus were ever to make its way into this paradise-like environment, it could have devastating consequences for local pets, indigenous wildlife populations, and even humans who come in contact with infected animals.

In addition, Hawaii aims to protect its flora and fauna from other potential diseases or invasive species that may hitchhike on our beloved canine companions.

In the past, bringing your dog to Hawaii meant they had to endure a   lengthy quarantine of up to 120 days . This rule was enacted to protect native wildlife and residents from the rabies virus, which has never been reported in the state.

Hawaii offers a   “5 Day or Less” program for dogs   that meet all   pre-arrival requirements . If you follow each step carefully and complete all necessary paperwork, your furry friend can potentially be released within hours after arrival at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport – skipping long-term confinement altogether!

However, keep in mind that any misstep during this process could result in an extended stay for your pooch at the Animal Quarantine Station (AQS).

To avoid a lengthy quarantine period, follow these steps: microchip your dog, get two rabies vaccinations at least 30 days apart, complete an   FAVN rabies antibody test , obtain a health certificate and import permit from the   Hawaii Department of Agriculture , and meet specific timeframes.

One essential step in bringing your furry companion to Hawaii is   microchipping . This tiny device, about the size of a grain of rice, is implanted under your pet’s skin and carries a   unique identification number   that animal officials can easily scan.

Before bringing your dog to Hawaii, ensuring they are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations is essential. Hawaii has   strict requirements for importing dogs; one of those is ensuring  your pup has the necessary vaccines.

The   most recent rabies vaccine must be active   before arriving in Hawaii, with enough antibodies in the bloodstream. Blood samples will be sent to a lab for   FAVN rabies antibody test s, which can take several weeks to process.

If the test results come back negative or low, you may have to wait 30 days and re-test after another vaccination.

One of the most important requirements for bringing your dog to Hawaii is passing the FAVN (Fluorescent Antibody Virus Neutralization) rabies antibody test.

This blood test measures the level of rabies antibodies in your dog’s system. It must be completed at a lab approved by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, such as Kansas State University or DOD Food Analysis and Diagnostic Laboratory in Texas.

The FAVN test   must be done no more than 36 months and no less than 30 days before entering Hawaii .

To bring your dog to Hawaii, a   health certificate   and   import permit   are required. A   licensed veterinarian   must complete the Health Certificate for Hawaii, which confirms that your dog is healthy and has received all   necessary vaccinations .

This certificate needs to be sent to the Animal Quarantine Branch at least 10 days before arrival in Hawaii. The import permit is obtained from the   Department of Agriculture’s Animal Industry Division   website or by calling their office directly.

Having both documents in order is essential as they will be checked during the   inspection process   upon arrival at the airport.

Planning ahead is essential when bringing your dog to Hawaii. Pet owners need to follow   specific timeframes   to ensure they meet all the requirements for entering Hawaii without undergoing a six-month quarantine period.

For example, dogs need to have their   rabies antibody test   done at least four months before traveling to Hawaii, with results sent directly from the lab to the Department of Agriculture in Hawaii.

Another critical timeframe is booking flights with airlines that participate in   direct airport release programs   such as Alaska Airlines or Hawaiian Airlines.

Pet owners should book flights early enough to get a seat on these participating airlines and ensure their pet meets flight-specific regulations like carrier size limits and health clearances.

how to bring your dog to hawaii

Flying your dog to Hawaii can be expensive, with airline fees and quarantine fees potentially adding up to over $500; however, with proper planning and research into pet-friendly airlines and accommodations, you can ensure a smooth trip for both you and your furry friend.

As you plan your trip to Hawaii with your furry friend, it’s important to factor in the   cost of airline fees . These fees can vary widely between airlines and may depend on factors such as the   size and weight of your dog and  whether they will be   traveling in the cabin or cargo hold .

For example, Alaska Airlines charges $100 for dogs traveling in the cabin and $200 for dogs traveling in cargo. Hawaiian Airlines charges $35-$225 depending on the size of your pet and the length of the flight.

It’s also worth noting that some airlines may require additional documentation or health certificates from your veterinarian prior to allowing your dog on board. This can add additional costs for   pre-flight veterinary appointments   and paperwork processing.

It’s important to note that there may be   quarantine fees   associated with bringing your dog to Hawaii, depending on the situation. If your dog does not meet all entry requirements and is required to undergo quarantine upon arrival, you’ll need to pay for their stay at the Animal Quarantine Station.

The cost can vary depending on how long your dog needs to stay in quarantine. However, if your pup meets all requirements and can participate in the   5-day or less program , there are no additional quarantine fees beyond what is included in the permit application process.

Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines are the only airlines that allow dogs in the cabin on flights to Hawaii, but there are restrictions based on breed, size, and number of pets per flight.

If you’re planning to bring your furry friend on a Hawaii vacation, knowing each airline’s pet policy is important. Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines are among the airlines that allow pets in the cabin, but they have different   weight limits and fees   for pets.

For example, Alaska Airlines allows dogs and cats up to 150 pounds plus carrier while Hawaiian Airlines allows dogs or cats up to 70 pounds including carrier. Additionally, some airlines may restrict certain dog breeds due to safety concerns such as American Pit Bull Terriers or Rottweilers.

It’s important to note that not all dog breeds are allowed on flights to Hawaii. Airlines like Hawaiian and Alaska have strict policies and may ban certain breeds deemed aggressive or inhumane.

Breeds like   Mastiffs, Bulldogs, and Pit Bulls may be prohibited altogether   due to safety concerns. Additionally,   snub-nosed breeds like Pugs are banned from flights   due to their potential health risks during air travel.

If you’re planning a trip with your furry friend, research the airline’s pet policy beforehand, as it can vary by carrier.

Choose pet-friendly accommodations and research their policies, prepare your dog for the flight by acclimating them to their carrier beforehand, and ensure their comfort during travel by providing familiar blankets/toys and feeding them a light meal before departure.

As a dog owner traveling to Hawaii, finding accommodations that welcome furry friends is important. Some hotels and resorts in Hawaii offer pet-friendly rooms, but they may come at an   additional cost .

Alternatively, there are vacation rentals available specifically for travelers with pets.

When choosing   pet-friendly accommodations   in Hawaii, consider the location and amenities available for your pup. For example, look for places near dog-friendly beaches such as Baldwin Beach or Keawakapu beach on Maui where your pooch can run around off-leash.

Before flying to Hawaii with your dog, you must ensure they are prepared for the journey. One vital step is choosing a   comfortable and safe pet carrier   that meets   airline regulations   and provides enough space for your furry friend to move around.

Additionally, you should avoid feeding your dog any heavy meals right before the trip as this can cause stomach discomfort during travel. It’s also a good idea to bring along some familiar items from home, such as their favorite toy or blanket, to provide comfort and reduce stress levels.

Finally,   consult with your veterinarian   about any   necessary vaccinations or medications   that may be needed when traveling with pets.

Ensuring Your Dog’s Comfort And Safety During Travel

As a dog owner, ensuring your furry friend’s comfort and safety is crucial during travel to Hawaii. Before the flight, preparing your dog mentally and physically is essential.

Familiarize them with their crate or carrier by letting them spend time in it at home.

During the journey, make sure your pet has   access to water and food   while adhering to airline regulations. Additionally, consider adding familiar items like toys or blankets to their carrier for security.

Upon arrival in Hawaii, be mindful of hot temperatures that can cause overheating and discomfort for pets.

Taking these necessary steps before traveling with your pet to Hawaii’ll help ensure their comfort and safety throughout the journey.

Service dogs are allowed in Hawaii, but there are additional requirements and exceptions that owners must be aware of.

Before bringing your dog to Hawaii, it’s important to know about any additional requirements and exceptions that may apply.

  • Puppies and kittens under 10 months old are subject to different requirements than adult dogs, including a special health certificate.
  • Dogs or cats that have been living outside the United States for at least six months before arriving in Hawaii may be exempt from quarantine if they meet certain pre-arrival requirements.
  • Certain breeds of dogs, such as pit bulls and rottweilers, are prohibited from entering the state unless they’re considered service animals.
  • Emotional support animals (ESAs) are not recognized as service animals in Hawaii and must go through the regular quarantine process.
  • If you’re traveling with more than one dog, each pet will require an individual permit and a separate inspection fee.
  • Dogs that don’t meet all pre-arrival requirements may be subject to longer quarantine periods or denial of entry altogether.

Knowing these additional requirements and exceptions can help you avoid issues when bringing your furry friend on your Hawaiian adventure.

can i bring my dog to hawaii

Bringing your furry friend to Hawaii is possible with the right preparation and planning. The   strict animal quarantine laws   in Hawaii aim to   protect the state’s fragile ecosystem   from diseases that can harm native plants and animals.

Adhering to these regulations can be a bit of a hassle, but it’s worth it. Once you   obtain an import permit ,   microchip your dog , and follow all necessary health requirements, you should be set to paradise with your four-legged companion.

Yes, you can bring your dog to Hawaii with strict adherence to regulations and specific requirements that must be met beforehand. The rules apply to all dogs entering the state regardless of their purpose or length of stay.

There are a variety of steps required before traveling with your pet, such as obtaining an import permit from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, ensuring that vaccinations are up-to-date, having your pet undergo a blood test for rabies antibodies at least 120 days prior, completing a veterinary health certification form within 14 days prior, and following proper transportation guidelines.

No breeds are restricted in terms of entrance into the state, but they may require additional tests, such as brucellosis testing, depending upon where they have been previously living.

Not always – specific areas might prohibit dogs because they are considered sacred sites or natural reserves, which is why it’s important to check ahead before assuming access is granted since every area has its own set of rules regarding non-human visitors. Additionally, pets under quarantine may not be able to explore public spaces until this period ends.

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Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy, owner of Hawaii’s Best Travel, is a certified Hawaii destination expert from the Hawaii Visitors Bureau. He actively participates in the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau as a member and has a strong educational background focused on local culture and sustainability. As the host of “Hawaii’s Best Travel,” a top-30 US travel podcast, Bryan combines his years of experience with valuable insights. He connects with a broad online community, reaching nearly half a million people, and offers a richer, more responsible way to experience Hawaii.

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Aloha, we're Bryan Murphy and Ali Murphy, a family of five that loves exploring Hawaii. Through Hawaii's Best, we share our top places to visit, stay, and responsible travel. Learn Hawaiian culture and how to support local. With years of experience, we're known experts in responsible Hawaii travel. Listen to our top-rated podcast, " Hawaii’s Best Travel ," and join our free online community of Hawaii lovers. Learn More ->

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  • Special assistance

Carry on or transport your pet

Depending on animal breed and size, they can travel as a carry-on or be transported through American Airlines Cargo. Carry-on pets are limited to cats and dogs that meet the size, age and destination requirements.

We only accept checked pets at the ticket counter for active-duty U.S. Military and U.S. State Department Foreign Service personnel traveling on official orders. Fees and restrictions apply.

Fully-trained service dogs may fly in the cabin at no charge if they meet the requirements.

Service animals

Which destinations allow travel with pets?

You can travel with a pet on most flights up to 12 hours or flights to / from select locations:

  • Within the 48 contiguous United States
  • The U.S. and Canada*
  • Puerto Rico

*Additional special restrictions may apply when traveling with pets to / from these destinations.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a temporary suspension of dogs (carry-on or checked), including fully trained service dogs, traveling to the United States (U.S.) from a country considered high-risk for dog rabies.

Only service dogs traveling to the U.S. from high-risk countries with an approved CDC Dog Import Permit, or that meet CDC U.S. vaccination and microchip requirements may fly on American. Contact Special Assistance to request travel with a cat or dog in cabin from a high-risk country.

CDC notice of temporary suspension Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines

Dogs traveling to the U.S. from countries affected by ‘screwworm’ must meet specific requirements from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services (USDA APHIS VS), including fully trained service dogs.

USDA APHIS VS import requirements Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines

The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources does not accept applications to import assistance or service animals of any species other than dogs.

An assistance or service dog which is accredited by an Australian State or Territory Government will also qualify. In most cases these animals are returning to Australia.

Australian requirements for assistance and service dogs Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines

You’ll be responsible for fulfilling all entry requirements and must notify the department of the dog’s intended arrival at least 3 working days before export.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a suspension on the import of commercial dogs from countries at high-risk for dog rabies.

Commercial dogs will not be permitted to enter Canada from the identified high-risk countries.

CFIA notice of suspension Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines

Carry-on pets

You cannot travel with a carry-on pet when traveling to Jamaica.

Additional restrictions

When traveling with a pet to Trinidad and Tobago (POS), you cannot arrive on a flight before 8 a.m. or after 4 p.m.

Continental U.S.

Within the u.s..

Pets traveling within the U.S. and Puerto Rico must be at least 8 weeks old.

To the U.S.

All dogs (carry-on and checked) traveling to the U.S. must meet government regulations on vaccinations.

Requirements Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines.

You cannot travel with a carry-on pet when traveling to / from Hawaii.

Checked pets

You can travel with your pet to Hawaii as a checked pet if you:

  • Only connect via Honolulu (HNL)*
  • Follow Hawaii’s quarantine rules

Animal quarantine rules in Hawaii Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines.

*No pets are accepted on departures out of Honolulu prior to 8 a.m. HT between March 5 and November 1.

You cannot travel with your pet to Hawaii:

  • On nonstop flights to Maui, the Big Island of Hawaii or Kauai
  • If your pet is pregnant and past 45 days gestation

All pets traveling to Mexico must meet government regulations on vaccinations.

Government regulations and vaccinations in Mexico Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines.

South America

You cannot travel with a carry-on pet when traveling to / from:

Transatlantic

You cannot travel with a carry-on pet on transatlantic trips.

When traveling to the European Union (EU) with a checked pet, you’ll be responsible for completing all entry requirements. Your pet must have a tattoo or implanted microchip that matches the ID number on their vaccination card.

Apart from service animals, you can't travel with a checked pet to the U.K. or Ireland, but you can transport dogs and cats to London (LHR) and Manchester (MAN) with American Airlines Cargo.

Transport your pet with American Airlines Cargo Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines.

Transpacific

You cannot travel with a carry-on pet on transpacific trips.

Japan exceptions

Although you can travel with a checked pet from Japan to Los Angeles (LAX) or Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), pets are not allowed as checked bags to Japan. According to USDA restrictions, animals should be offered water every 12 hours, so for travel with a checked pet to LAX or DFW, you must book a flight 12 hours or less.

If you’re traveling with a checked pet for travel from Japan, you’ll need to:

  • Make sure your pet has a microchip and documents required by the country you are traveling to
  • Notify the Japanese Animal Quarantine Service at least 7 days prior to departure to arrange an inspection

Japanese animal quarantine service Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines.

On flights with American you can bring one pet carrier as a carry-on if:

  • You pay the carry-on pet fee
  • Your pet stays in the pet carrier and under the seat in front of you the entire flight

You can bring only one additional item on board with your pet:

  • A personal item like a purse or small handbag; or
  • A carry-on bag that meets requirements and fits in the overhead bin

Carry-on bags

Remember, you can only bring one with your pet carrier, not both.

Pet strollers must be checked at the ticket counter, and all checked bag fees apply.

To add a carry-on pet to your trip, follow these steps:

  • Find your trip on aa.com or the American app
  • In the Special Services section, select ‘Add carry-on pets’
  • Review and agree to the carry-on pet requirements
  • Select the flights that you want your pet to travel on
  • Confirm your carry-on pet to complete the changes

Find your trip

At the airport, go to the American ticket counter to pay the fee and ensure your pet and kennel meet the requirements.

We assume no liability for the health or well-being of carry-on pets. These rules are enforced:

  • Pets must be small enough to fit comfortably inside the closed / zipped carrier.
  • Non-collapsible kennels can’t exceed the under-seat dimensions of any aircraft included in your journey. Please contact Reservations to verify maximum dimensions.
  • Soft-sided collapsible kennels are recommended and can be slightly larger but still need to fit under the seat without having to excessively collapse the kennel. They must be secure, padded, made of water-repellant material and have nylon mesh ventilation on 3 or more sides.

Carry-on kennel dimensions

Hard-sided kennel.

  • Mainline flights on American: 19 x 13 x 9 inches / 48 x 33 x 22 centimeters (length + width + height)
  • Regional flights on American Eagle: 16 x 12 x 8 inches / 40 x 30 x 20 centimeters (length + width + height)

Soft-sided kennel (recommended)

18 x 11 x 11 inches / 46 x 28 x 28 centimeters (length + width + height)

Contact Reservations to verify maximum dimensions.

Reservations and ticket changes

Flying in First / Business on an A321T?

  • Pets must stay in their kennel during your flight and will need to be placed in a dedicated animal friendly compartment at the front of the plane during taxi, take-off, landing and turbulence
  • The combined weight of the carrier and your pet can’t exceed 20 lbs. / 9.07 kgs., weighed at check-in

We can only accept:

  • 7 kennels on American flights, excluding service animals
  • 5 kennels on American Eagle flights; 1 in First

Due to the lack of underseat storage space, carry-on pets are not permitted in First or Business on:

As recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), we don’t accept pets that have been sedated or tranquilized. Pets that have been given sedatives or tranquilizers are at a higher risk of respiratory and cardiovascular problems at high altitudes.

If your pet is too large to fly in the cabin, it must travel with American Airlines Cargo. Keep in mind, we only accept checked pets for active-duty U.S. Military and U.S. State Department Foreign Service personnel traveling on official orders, and the pet carrier must meet all kennel guidelines for checked-pets. If you don’t meet these requirements, your pet may not travel. Fees and restrictions apply.

Kennel guidelines for checked pets

We only accept checked pets for active-duty U.S. military and U.S. State Department Foreign Service personnel traveling on official orders. Up to 2 pets may be checked and they must meet the minimum age and health requirements of the destination. Since capacity is limited, we accept checked pets on a first-come basis.

When checking a pet, you need to:

  • Contact Reservations at least 48 hours prior to travel
  • Check in at the ticket counter with your official orders
  • Allow extra check-in time (at least 2 hours and no more than 4 hours before your flight)
  • Complete a checklist with an agent
  • Provide a health certificate

To ensure the health and safety of your pet, the health certificate you provide must be issued by a vet within:

  • 10 days of your travel
  • 60 days of your return (travel on the same ticket)
  • 10 days of your return (travel on a separate ticket)

All USDA health requirements Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines.

American PetEmbark™

American Airlines Cargo offers the American PetEmbark™ service for pets that don’t qualify to travel as carry-on or checked pets.

Ship your pet through American PetEmbark™ Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines.

When checking in your pet, there are specific requirements for their kennel:

  • Large enough for your pet to stand, turn, sit and lie down in a natural position (without touching any side or the top of the container)
  • Must not exceed maximum size requirements of the aircraft you're traveling on
  • Must not exceed maximum weight (combined pet and kennel) of 100 lbs. / 45 kgs.
  • Be made of wood, metal, plastic or similar materials
  • Have a door made of welded or cast metal
  • Secured at the top and bottom with bolts or screws
  • Secured by yourself with release cable ties on all 4 corners (we’ll provide complimentary ties)
  • Be rigid and secure enough so the animal cannot escape through gaps or poke any body part through the container
  • Be leak and escape proof with a secure fastened door
  • Have ventilation on at least 3 sides for domestic U.S. travel and 4 sides for international travel
  • Have separate food and watering dishes attached securely inside the kennel
  • Have a small bag of food for a 24-hour period attached to the top
  • Be clean and have absorbent material (no straw, hay or wood shavings)

If you travel with 2 of your pets in the same kennel, they must be:

  • The same species (2 cats or 2 dogs)
  • A similar size and weigh less than 20 lbs. / 9.07 kgs. each
  • Between 8 weeks and 6 months old

Aircraft restrictions and acceptable kennels

Checked pets cannot travel on:

  • A321, A321H, A321neo, A321S

Cat restrictions

We don’t accept brachycephalic cats of any 'mix' as checked pets, such as:

  • Exotic Shorthair

Cats must be at least 8 weeks old when traveling within the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Dog restrictions

We don’t accept brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs of any 'mix' as checked pets, such as:

  • Affenpinscher
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer (all breeds)
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Bulldog (all breeds)
  • Dogue De Bordeaux
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • Japanese Chin
  • Mastiff (all breeds)
  • Presa Canario
  • Pug (all breeds)
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Tibetan Spaniel

Dogs must be at least 8 weeks old when traveling within the U.S. and Puerto Rico. If you're traveling into the U.S., your dog's age and vaccine requirements depend on the risk of dog rabies where your trip starts. Dogs arriving from high-risk countries need to be at least 16 weeks old and have their rabies shots before traveling into the U.S.

Check if your trip starts in a high-risk country.

Flights with connections

If you’re traveling on a connecting flight, checked pets will only be able to connect through these cities:

  • Charlotte, NC (CLT)
  • Chicago O'Hare, IL (ORD)
  • Dallas / Fort Worth, TX (DFW)
  • Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
  • New York Kennedy, NY (JFK)
  • New York LaGuardia, NY (LGA)
  • Miami, FL (MIA)
  • Philadelphia, PA (PHL)
  • Phoenix, AZ (PHX)
  • Washington Reagan, DC (DCA)

Food and water

Due to Federal Regulations, you’ll need to provide written certification that:

  • Your pet has been fed and offered water within 4 hours (with the specific time noted) before you deliver them to the airplane
  • Is securely and visibly attached to the outside of the kennel
  • Has your signature with the date and time you signed it

You’ll also need to provide feeding and watering instructions for a 24-hour period. Unless specified by a vet, you cannot leave instructions saying 'no food or water.'

If you’re flying with American Airlines, you can pay your pet travel fee at the airport or at a travel center with a credit card or paper voucher (where accepted). We don’t accept cash or checks for payment.

We don’t collect pet fees for other operating airlines on your trip (even if it has an American flight number). You’ll need to check in with each airline and pay your fees at check-in. To find out if you're on a partner airline, look for the words, "Operated by" on your ticket.

What's a codeshare?

*Fees shown apply for each destination without a voluntary stopover / connection of 4 hours or more. If your trip includes a voluntary stopover / connection of more than 4 hours, fees apply for each connection segment. All pet fees are non-refundable and apply per kennel, each way. Fees for transporting your pet with American Airlines Cargo may vary depending on the trip details and size of the animal and kennel.

**For tickets issued on / before February 19, 2024, the carry-on pet fee per kennel is $125 and for tickets issued on / after February 20, 2024, the fee is $150.

Flights departing Canada

Find out how much you'll pay for pet and other fees on roundtrip and one-way flights departing Canada, displayed in CAD.

Pet and other fees - Canada

Temperature restrictions

We have temperature restrictions to make sure checked pets and pets traveling with American Airlines Cargo aren’t exposed to extreme heat or cold:

  • In the animal holding areas
  • At terminal facilities
  • When moving the animals between terminal and the plane
  • On a plane awaiting departure

You cannot travel with a pet if the current or forecasted temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 degrees C) at any location on the itinerary.

Pets not traveling in cabin cannot travel to / through / from Phoenix (PHX), Tucson (TUS), Las Vegas (LAS) or Palm Springs (PSP) May 1 – September 30.

You cannot travel with a pet if the ground temperature is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 degrees C) at any location on the itinerary.

We may waive the cold temperature restrictions if you have a written letter from a licensed vet that includes:

  • Your name and address
  • Your pet’s name
  • Your vet’s name and signature
  • Your vet’s accreditation date and number
  • The temperature your pet is acclimated to

The letter must be dated:

  • Within 10 days of the first flight your pet will be on
  • Within 30 days of any other trips in the same itinerary

You may need an additional letter for lengthy trips. If the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.6 degrees C), your pet cannot be checked even with a letter from your vet.

Flying on a partner airline?

Find helpful information if your trip includes 1 or more flights with our partner airlines.

  • British Airways
  • Japan Airlines
  • Qatar Airways

Travelling to the United States with your dog? Here's what you need to know

New regulations in effect aug. 1 for dogs entering the u.s. from canada.

travel to hawaii with a dog

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The U.S. is implementing new rules for dogs entering the country, which means dog owners planning to cross the border from Canada will have some additional work to do.

Among other requirements, all dogs entering the U.S. — service dogs included — will need to be microchipped, at least six months old and accompanied by a new import form.

  • New U.S. border rules for dogs starting Aug. 1 have health minister concerned
  • Disagreement over new U.S. border rules for dogs could halt canine travel

The  rules are set to take effect on Aug. 1, although a grace period is being sought for Canadian travellers.

Health Minister Mark Holland said on Wednesday that he secured some concessions on the new rules being imposed by the United States.

However, the Canadian government is asking to be exempted from the new rules entirely, arguing that Canada and the U.S. are both free from dog rabies and the restrictions will hurt business and be taxing on people who live near the border. 

For now, here is what you need to know about the new rules being implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC).

Import form

Anyone bringing a dog over the border must complete a  CDC Dog Import Form , which can be filled out and submitted online.

The form requires basic information about the dog as well as "a clear photograph of the dog showing its face and body," according to the CDC website.

The website adds that dogs younger than one year should have the photograph taken within 10 days of arriving at the border. 

Other documents

Dog owners must have a  Documentation of Canadian-Issued Rabies Vaccination , issued and signed by a Canadian licensed veterinarian, which includes vaccination and microchip information and certifies that the dog has been vaccinated for rabies. 

Also, dogs must have received their vaccination after having a microchip implanted, or on the same date that it was implanted — otherwise, that vaccination will not be considered valid by U.S. authorities.

"Rabies vaccinations received prior to the implantation of a microchip are considered invalid," the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) told CBC News via email.

While it was previously announced that Canadian dogs would need certification of rabies vaccination within 30 days of travelling to the U.S., Holland said the U.S. will introduce a specific form for Canada that will allow a dog to enter and re-enter the U.S. for as long as their rabies vaccination is valid — either one or three years — as long as the vaccination was administered in a "rabies-free or low-risk" country.

  • N.B. dog owners prepare to be hounded by new U.S. border requirements
  • Manitoba dog lovers unhappy with new U.S. border crossing regulations

Canada is on the list of countries that the CDC considers to be rabies-free or low-risk. Dogs coming from countries considered  high risk  by the CDC face more stringent requirements.

Canadian dogs that have visited a high-risk country in the last six months will be denied entry.

  • New U.S. border rules for dogs could be 'cumbersome' for owners
  • Guide-dog owners say new U.S. rules complicate border crossings

The CDC has dropped several requirements that were initially introduced, including endorsement by an official Canadian Food Inspection Agency vet and a specific International Organization for Standardization (ISO) microchip.

Any universally readable microchip will be accepted for dogs coming from Canada.

What if you don't meet the requirements?

If you do not meet the requirements, your dog will not be allowed to enter the U.S. and will be sent back at your expense.

According to the CFIA  website , there is an option to request an exemption ahead of time, which the CDC will address on a case-by-case basis. 

If your dog appears unhealthy on arrival, it may be isolated and subjected to a veterinary exam and additional testing at your expense to determine whether the dog has a contagious disease.

What if your dog is from the U.S. and heading home?

The CFIA said via email that the CDC "has specific requirements in place for U.S. dogs that will be returning to the U.S."

It's up to people to undertake "any necessary arrangements for returning their dog to the U.S.," the CFIA said.

Furthermore, dogs that were vaccinated for rabies in the U.S. must get export documentation from U.S. authorities to return home.

Canadian veterinarians cannot issue such documentation for dogs vaccinated in the U.S., "unless the dog is re-vaccinated against rabies in Canada and waits six months in Canada prior to re-entering the U.S," the CFIA said.

  • What questions do you have about the new entry requirements for dogs travelling from Canada to the U.S.? Tell us in an email to [email protected].

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

travel to hawaii with a dog

Digital Writer

Kevin Maimann is a senior writer for CBC News based in Edmonton. He has covered a wide range of topics for publications including VICE, the Toronto Star, Xtra Magazine and the Edmonton Journal. You can reach Kevin by email at [email protected].

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Hawaii’s Most Loveable Dog Still Can’t Find a Home After 365 Days

A t just five years old, big boy Baloo has already been through so much. He’s recovered from extensive, life-altering injuries and rebuilt his confidence with the help of his rescuers, but he’s ready to find a home of his very own. Fortunately, his friends at Hawaii Island Humane Society are committed to his Happily Ever After, and they’ve taken to TikTok to help his potential owner come his way.

What a beautiful boy! Baloo’s name may have been inspired by Disney ‘s The Jungle Book , but it’s safe to say that this fun-loving dog will be writing his own tale of adventure in no time at all. He’s so hopeful and trusting for a dog who’s suffered so much at the hands of humans, and he deserves every good thing that life brings him–including that Pup Cup!

Sadly, things weren’t always so jolly for this 75-pound mixed-breed boy. He suffered massive injuries and trauma from an incident in late 2022, which took surgeries, therapy, and lots of love to heal from. While his rescuers can only share a small part of his story due to sensitivity and privacy concerns, they did disclose that “it took a team of people to save his life.” He spent several months recovering before becoming officially adoptable on Hawaii’s Big Island.

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After recovering physically from his accident, it was time for Baloo to heal emotionally, too. His loving foster family has given him all the patience and stability he needs to become a confident dog, though being food-motivated sure doesn’t hurt. In fact, it’s made his obedience training even easier! After a year of being officially in rescue, Baloo has gone through an epic transformation.

It’s just like the Hawaii Island Humane Society writes, “Baloo, like his namesake from The Jungle Book, has seemingly forgotten all about his worries and his strife.” That’s wonderful to hear! This resilient dog doesn’t take the little things for granted, but he sure would love to settle down in a forever home with a family who’s just as loving as he is. He’ll require plenty of snacks and lots of company, but all of the adjustments will be worth it to see this big, brave boy living as part of a family.

If you live on the Big Island and want to meet Baloo, start by clicking the ‘apply to adopt’ button on his profile , then fill out the adoption application so the Humane Society can learn more about you. Baloo just might be your perfect pup!

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Hawaii’s Most Loveable Dog Still Can’t Find a Home After 365 Days

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Dogs travelling to the United States

Notice: Information on this page is subject to change. Please revisit this page frequently for updated guidance as more information becomes available.

On this page

Dogs travelling before august 1, 2024, general requirements, dogs that do not meet the cdc's requirements, instructions for owners/exporters, instructions for canadian licensed veterinarians (authorized veterinarians), export documents, related links.

All the information for dogs entering the U.S. is available on the following websites:

  • United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Dogs entering the U.S. may also be subject to requirements from other federal agencies and State authorities. It is the owner/exporter's responsibility to ensure that animals comply with all federal and State requirements.

Any required documentation (for example, vaccination certificate, veterinary health certificate) must be completed and issued by a Canadian licensed veterinarian. Endorsement (i.e. stamp and signature) by an official veterinarian of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is not required and the CFIA does not play a role in U.S. State level requirements.

If you have questions about travelling with/exporting a dog to the U.S., please contact the appropriate federal and/or State authorities in the U.S. for assistance.

Dogs travelling on or after August 1, 2024

General federal and state authority requirements.

Dogs entering the U.S are subject to requirements from multiple federal agencies and State authorities. It is the owner/exporter's responsibility to ensure that animals comply with all federal and State requirements. The CFIA does not play a role in U.S. State level requirements.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requirements

The United States (U.S.) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced upcoming changes to the import requirements for dogs entering the U.S .

These changes will come into effect on August 1, 2024 and will impact all dogs entering the U.S.

As of August 1, 2024, all dogs entering the U.S. from Canada will be required to meet the following CDC requirements:

  • be at least 6 months of age
  • the National Companion Animal Coalition publishes a list of microchip companies and distributors with recognised ISO-compliant microchips
  • some microchips that are not ISO-compliant can still be detected by a universal microchip scanner
  • if the dog has a microchip that is not ISO-compliant, it is the owner's/exporter's responsibility to ensure that the microchip can be scanned by a universal microchip scanner
  • if you are unsure if the dog's microchip is ISO-compliant or universally readable, contact the microchip manufacturer, or purchase and provide your own microchip scanner when entering the U.S.
  • if the microchip cannot be scanned on arrival, the dog may be denied entry and returned to the country of departure at the importer's expense
  • must be submitted through the CDC website
  • a receipt is required for each dog and for every entry into the U.S.
  • appear healthy upon arrival
  • all dogs entering the U.S. from Canada will also need to be accompanied by additional documentation which varies depending on where the dog was vaccinated against rabies and where the dog has been in the past 6 months before entering the U.S.

If the dog does not meet the CDC's requirements, the dog may not be allowed to enter the U.S.

The CDC will address these situations on a case-by-case basis. You must contact the CDC at (800) 232-4636 or [email protected] and request an official, written derogation for your situation. It is at the CDC's discretion to issue a derogation. If a derogation is not granted your dog may not be eligible to enter the U.S. In some situations, only derogations for veterinary needs or emergency veterinary care may be considered.

Dogs that do not meet the U.S. import requirements may be subject to additional testing or requirements at the owner's/importer's expense, may be denied entry and returned to the country of departure at the owner's/importer's expense, or other enforcement actions.

Owners/exporters are responsible for:

  • all Canadian licensed veterinarians (Authorized Veterinarians), who maintain a valid license to practice veterinary medicine in Canada, are authorized to complete, sign and issue export documents for dogs entering the U.S. Endorsement (i.e., stamp and signature) by an official veterinarian of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is not required
  • please refer to the Export documents section below to find the export document and supporting information you need for your situation before travelling with/exporting a dog to the U.S.
  • working with their Canadian licensed veterinarian (Authorized Veterinarian) to ensure the dog meets all the conditions outlined in the export document

Thoroughly read and follow all the information included in export documents, including the footnotes and Notes section. The guidance below is for additional information purposes only and does not replace the instructions provided in the export documents.

In Canada, all licensed veterinarians are authorized to complete, sign and issue export documents for dogs entering the U.S. Endorsement (i.e., stamp and signature) by an official veterinarian of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is not required. The export documents have been approved by the CDC as meeting the criteria for a Foreign Export Certificate from a dog rabies-free or low-risk country.

General information

  • dogs must meet the conditions as outlined in the export document to be eligible for entry into the U.S.
  • all sections must be completely and accurately filled out
  • the document must be completed in English
  • where necessary, corrections can be made by crossing out and initialing the change
  • if at all possible, it is preferable to re-print the document and fill it out again
  • the export document must be printed on letter sized paper (8.5 x 11 in)
  • the date format indicated in the certificate must follow (mm/dd/yyyy)
  • all 3 pages of the document must be completed and issued for the form to be valid.
  • in order to be considered valid, the document must be accompanied by the necessary veterinary record(s) as indicated in the document

Part 1: Details of dispatched consignment

Indicate the consignor and consignee information in the designated location on the form.

  • the consignor is the person responsible for the dog in Canada (this is typically the owner/exporter of the dog) and their Canadian location
  • the consignee is the person responsible for the dog in the U.S. and their U.S. address (or the address they will be visiting in the U.S.)
  • the name listed as the consignee can be the same as the consignor

Accurately complete the identification/description of the dog.

  • The identification/description of the dog must match exactly with what is recorded in the dog's veterinary record

Part 2: Certification

The Canadian licensed veterinarian (Authorized Veterinarian) must:

  • indicate the province/territory in which they are licensed to practice veterinary medicine
  • if any of the statements cannot be attested to, then the document should not be issued
  • select the option that applies for the most recent rabies vaccination that was administered to the dog being exported, as per the veterinary records, and include the vaccination details in the document
  • ensure that all information included in the document aligns with the information recorded in the dog's veterinary records (including, but not limited to, the description of the dog, microchip number, rabies vaccination details, etc.)

Each dog must be accompanied by a completed Documentation of Canadian-Issued Rabies Vaccination - PDF (46.2 kb) (which meets the CDC's Foreign Export Certificate option for documentation requirements) that has been issued and signed by a Canadian licensed veterinarian (Authorized Veterinarian).

At this time, dogs that were vaccinated against rabies in Canada and have been in a country at high-risk for dog rabies during the 6 months before travelling are not eligible to enter the U.S. directly from Canada.

At this time, the dog must wait 6 months in Canada prior to entering the U.S. or enter the U.S. directly from the country at high-risk for dog rabies .

The CFIA is working with the CDC to develop a process and documents needed for this situation. Further guidance will be provided on this page when it becomes available.

At this time, dogs that were vaccinated against rabies in a dog rabies-free or low-risk country, other than Canada, are not eligible to enter the U.S. directly from Canada.

In this situation, the dog must either be re-vaccinated against rabies in Canada and wait 6 months in Canada prior to entering the U.S. or enter the U.S. directly from the country where they were vaccinated against rabies.

Dogs that were vaccinated against rabies in the U.S. must obtain their export documentation from U.S. Authorities before leaving the U.S. to be eligible to return to the U.S. The CDC's requirements do not allow Canadian licensed veterinarians (Authorized Veterinarians) to issue export documentation for dogs that have been vaccinated against rabies in the U.S. unless the dog is re-vaccinated against rabies in Canada and waits 6 months in Canada prior to re-entering the U.S.

If you have questions on returning to the U.S. please contact the CDC at (800) 232-4636 or [email protected]

Dogs that were vaccinated against rabies in a country at high-risk for dog rabies are not eligible to enter the U.S. directly from Canada.

In this situation, the dog must be re-vaccinated against rabies in Canada and wait 6 months or enter the U.S. directly from the country at high-risk for dog rabies .

If you have questions about travelling with/exporting a dog to the U.S., please contact the CFIA  Animal Health Office  in your area.

  • Statement by Minister Holland on the new CDC requirements for dogs entering the U.S. from Canada
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Best Yoga Retreat Center (2024) July 10, 2024

Beyond deepening one's yoga practice, yoga retreat centers empower guests to disconnect from technology, detox, and surround themselves with positive energy.

Often nestled in breathtaking landscapes, from serene beaches to majestic mountains, these 10 retreats — selected by an expert panel and voted by readers as the best in the U.S. — provide expert guidance, holistic wellness activities, and a chance to connect with a community of like-minded people.

Arctic Hive

No. 10: Arctic Hive - Wiseman, Alaska

If finding your "true north" means to gain insight by following your internal compass, straighten your path at Arctic Hive, 63 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The wilderness retreat center in Alaska's Brooks Range creates unforgettable yoga retreats under the northern lights. Guests dedicate a week to tuning in with themselves via mornings in the yoga dome, coffee and a plant-based breakfast in the igloo, and outdoor adventures and cultural immersions. There's cabin lodging with mountain views, crafts, dog-sledding, and a tour crossing the Arctic Circle and the Yukon River.

Kripalu Center For Yoga & Health

No. 9: Kripalu Center For Yoga & Health - Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in the Berkshire Mountains has a roster of nourishing retreats — full of yoga for all levels — which include nutritious meals and peaceful accommodations. The Kripalu R&R experience is the signature retreat which allows guests to choose exactly what they need — a full schedule of yoga classes, more meditation, some dance or sound healing, or guided outdoor adventures. This Massachusetts facility has been training yoga teachers for more than a half-century.

Yogaville

No. 8: Yogaville - Buckingham, Virginia

Virginia's Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville sits upon on 750 rural acres and encompasses a teaching academy, organic farm, monastery, guest accommodations, and sacred sites for prayer and meditation. Pack up your blocks and mat and sign up for one of the many diverse yoga retreats, silent retreats, or a personal retreat. Partake in the daily schedule of vegetarian meals, group meditation, hatha yoga classes, hiking trails, and evening programs.

Retreat In the Pines

No. 7: Retreat In the Pines - Mineola, Texas

Beginner-friendly and open to all women, Retreat in the Pines is a serene sanctuary offering all-inclusive weekend retreats in the Piney Woods of East Texas. You'll practice yoga both indoors and out, enjoy fresh meals, meditate, and relax. You might return for a "Strength & Healing" retreat that incorporates even more yoga practices than the facility's other programs.

The Pearl Laguna

No. 6: The Pearl Laguna - Laguna Beach, California

Cleanse, get fit, and feel utterly renewed through yoga, organic vegetarian meals, sunset hikes along the beach, and meditation at this intimate wellness retreat located in Laguna Beach, California. The program, which attracts an international guest list, is built on four pillars: Natural Exercise, Natural Food, Rest, and Positive Loving Thoughts. The appealing menu during a weeklong retreat includes morning hikes through coastal canyons, two daily yoga classes, daily therapeutic massage and relaxation in a private room.

Big Sky Yoga Retreats

No. 5: Big Sky Yoga Retreats - Bozeman, Montana

Yoginis who have a yearning for wide open spaces may want to consider an experience at Big Sky Yoga Retreats. Choose retreats such as "Dude Ranch Cowgirl Yoga" that deepens yoga practice and explores the horse-human connection for a "yeehaw meets namaste" retreat. Yoga classes accommodate all levels. The company also creates yoga getaways to places like the French Alps, Patagonia, and Sicily.

Soul Farm Retreats

No. 4: Soul Farm Retreats - Amboy, Illinois

A two-hour drive west of Chicago, Soul Farm Retreats offer one- and two-night retreats oriented around yoga practice and meditation, as well as healthy meals served outdoors with plenty of locally-grown produce. Guests can book a massage or an equine experience, as well as walk any of the paths on the 80-acre site. Spend the night sleeping comfortably in a glamping tent, or friends can reserve together to buddy up in a bunkhouse that accommodates up to eight.

Mount Madonna Center

No. 3: Mount Madonna Center - Watsonville, California

At Mount Madonna Center, there's something for yoga practitioners of all levels at retreats that include daily sunrise and sunset ceremony of lights events at the mountaintop temple, group mediation and asana classes, dancing, and devotional celebrations. Get what you need from a personal retreat: daily yoga classes, vegetarian meals, or walking redwood forest trails.

Sewall House

No. 2: Sewall House - Island Falls, Maine

A retreat at Sewall House may focus on Kundalini yoga, women's mental health, or the intersection of writing and yoga, with events that are open to beginners as well as experienced practitioners. Retreats are small and personalized, inclusive of meals that are vegetarian, mostly organic, and prepared on-site and accommodations in an historic rural New England home, located 30 miles from the Canadian border.

Himalayan Institute

No. 1: Himalayan Institute - Honesdale, Pennsylvania

For more than 50 years, the Retreat Center at the Himalayan Institute in the rolling hills of the Poconos has been a magnet for those seeking balance. Yoga retreats can address specific issues such as grief or they can combine yoga, Ayurveda, and hiking to nourish mind and body on the 400-acre campus. You'll experience restorative asana, pranayama, and yoga nidra, which is a powerful relaxation practice with guided meditation. Lodge in simple and comfortable accommodations conducive to a peaceful stay and enjoy hearty vegetarian or vegan meals daily.

About 10Best Readers' Choice Awards

Nominees are submitted by a panel of experts. 10Best editors narrow the field to select the final set of nominees for the Readers’ Choice Awards. Readers can vote once per category, per day. For any questions or comments, please read the FAQ or email USA TODAY 10Best .

The Experts

Christopher parr.

Christopher Parr

Christopher Parr is the Founder and...   Read More

Christopher Parr is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of  Pursuitist , one of the world’s most influential luxury lifestyle and travel guides.  Named a "Top 10 Luxury Travel Blogger” by USA Today 10Best, Parr has also been selected as the official winner in Luxury Lifestyle Awards’ 2023 list of the “Top 50 Best Luxury Influencers and Bloggers in the World.” In addition to Pursuitist, Christopher is a contributor to numerous travel and luxury publications and TV shows, including being the host of Travel Tuesday on CBS. Follow along on  Twitter.

Christopher Parr

Jamie Davis Smith

Jamie Davis Smith

Jamie is an attorney, writer and photographer. She...   Read More

Jamie is an attorney, writer and photographer. She was born with deeply ingrained wanderlust and has visited 45 countries and counting. She often brings her children along for the adventure and is passing her love of travel on to the next generation. Jamie has written for   Insider,   Fodor's Travel ,   Yahoo ,  the Huffington Post , the  Washington Post,   Viator  and  Reviewed  among many other publications. Jamie is from Philadelphia and now lives in Washington, DC, where she takes advantage of everything the region has to offer.    Jamie can be reached at  [email protected]  and can be found on  Twitter ,  Instagram  and  TikTok .

Jamie Davis Smith

Jean Chen Smith

Jean Chen Smith

Jean Chen Smith is a freelance journalist who has...   Read More

Jean Chen Smith is a freelance journalist who has been producing content for over 15 years. With a love of travel and storytelling, her intention is to create content to inspire and connect people to places, things, and experiences. Her articles have appeared in AARP, Travel and Leisure, 1859 magazine, Insider Travel, USA Today, Family Vacationist, The Oregonian, SFGATE, weekand.com, and more. When not writing or teaching Pilates at her studio, she enjoys trail running, spending time with her pups Tonka and Paisley, and reading suspense novels.

Jean Chen Smith

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith, Expert and Award Eligibility...   Read More

Catherine Smith, Expert and Award Eligibility Coordinator for the USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice Awards, has a special interest in health and wellness, family travel, women's solo travel and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Catherine is the founder of  Her Bags Were Packed  where she focuses on helping  women release emotional baggage through solo travel and self-discovery.

Catherine Smith

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

USA TODAY 10Best provides users with original,...   Read More

USA TODAY 10Best provides users with original, unbiased and experiential travel coverage of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world.

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IMAGES

  1. How to Travel With Your Dog to Hawaii

    travel to hawaii with a dog

  2. Traveling With A Dog to Hawaii

    travel to hawaii with a dog

  3. Traveling With A Dog to Hawaii

    travel to hawaii with a dog

  4. How to Fly to Hawaii with a Dog & Skip Quarantine

    travel to hawaii with a dog

  5. Guide to Moving to Hawaii with Pets

    travel to hawaii with a dog

  6. FAQ: Traveling with your Pet to Hawaii

    travel to hawaii with a dog

COMMENTS

  1. Animal Industry Division

    Hawaii is rabies-free. Hawaii's quarantine law is designed to protect residents and pets from potentially serious health problems associated with the introduction and spread of rabies. All dogs and cats, regardless of age (puppies and kittens included) or purpose, must comply with Hawaii's dog and cat import requirements.

  2. How to Fly to Hawaii with a Dog & Skip Quarantine

    Hawaiian Airlines flies pets both in the cabin and as checked baggage. Pets are permitted to fly in the cabin on flights both to and from Hawaii, except for flights from or to JFK (New York City), BOS (Boston), AUS (Austin) airports and international destinations. A maximum weight of 25 pounds (11.3kg) applies.

  3. Flying a Dog to Hawaii [ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW]

    The requirements to fly a dog to Hawaii are as follows: Microchipping - all dogs must be microchipped. Vaccinations - at minimum, your dog must be vaccinated against rabies. Rabies Titer Test / Rabies Blood Test - your dog must pass a rabies titer test to prove the rabies vaccination was successful.

  4. Bringing Pets to Hawaii

    Animals should have passed a blood serum test, with results e-mailed to Hawaii officials by the testing lab. Pets cannot enter the state till 120 days after the blood sample is received by the state. Hawaii officials must receive a health certificate from the pet's veterinarian at least 10 days before the animal's arrival, with all test ...

  5. Animal Industry Division

    To import a dog or cat from these specific rabies-free areas to Hawaii, an import permit number is not required. However, if the exporting country requires an import permit number before they export a pet to Hawaii, call the Animal Quarantine Station at (808) 483-7151 or e-mail a message to: [email protected]. 7.

  6. Traveling to Hawaii With a Dog: Vet-Verified Checklist for a Smooth

    The 9 Steps for Traveling With a Dog to Hawaii 1. Begin Preparing Months in Advance. Every dog that will be entering the state of Hawaii must be vaccinated for rabies and have an FAVN antibody ...

  7. Traveling with Pets to O'ahu

    Traveling to O'ahu with your guide dog, service dog, or family pet takes planning because Hawai'i is strict about animal travel to the state. Almost every state in the U.S. requires domesticated dogs and cats to be vaccinated against rabies except Hawai'i because rabies does not exist here. Because Hawai'i is rabies-free, the state ...

  8. Animal Industry Division

    All pets arriving before the eligible date of entry will be quarantined and assessed $14.30 each day in addition to applicable program fees (usually $244). Providing all other requirements for the 5 Day Or Less program are met, the pet will be able to qualify for release under the 5 Day Or Less program on the date the pet completes the 30-day ...

  9. How to Take Your Dog to Hawaii: A Complete Guide to Traveling with Your

    Learn how to take your dog on a vacation to Hawaii. This guide covers the health certificate and paperwork requirements, quarantine restrictions, and tips for making the trip stress-free for you and your pet. We'll discuss the steps to prepare your dog months in advance and what you need to do upon arrival to ensure a successful and legal visit to the islands with your furry companion.

  10. How to Fly to Hawaii with Your Cat or Dog: A Guide to Bringing Pets on

    All pets must travel in FAA-approved carriers that fit completely under the seat in front of you. The carrier should be escape-proof,leak-proof, and allow your pet to stand up and turn around comfortably. ... Seriously though, motionsickness in dogs is pretty common on Hawaii's curvy roads. Ask your vet about prescription meds you can give ...

  11. Daniel K. Inouye International Airport

    Hawaii has strict animal quarantine rules. For more information, please visit the HDOA's Animal Quaratine page. You may also e-mail, call or write to the Animal Quarantine Station, 99-951 Halawa Valley Street, Aiea, Hawaii 96701-3246. Telephone (808) 483-7151 Fax (808) 483-7161. E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected].

  12. Bringing Pets to Hawaii [Pet Passport 2023 Guide]

    When bringing pets to Hawaii, your pet must be microchipped with an ISO 11784 pet microchip that is a 15 digit and non-encrypted. This only applies to dogs and cats. Not only is a microchip a requirement for pets to travel to most countries, it is also in your best interest to have your dog or cat microchipped.

  13. Traveling With a Pet to Hawaii

    Minimum waiting period after most recent rabies vaccination before arriving in Hawaii was 90 days and now it is 30 days. The fee for a Direct Airport Release was $165 and is now $185. A fee of $244 for each dog or cat released at the airport will apply when documents are not received 10 days or more before arrival.

  14. Can You Bring Your Dog to Hawaii? This is How to Avoid Pet Quarantine

    Table of Contents. How to take your dog to Hawaii without quarantine. Step 1: Ensure your dog has a working microchip. Step 2: Get your dog two rabies vaccinations. Step 3: Get the FAVN antibody test. Step 4: Apply for a permit. Step 5: Receive your neighbor island inspection permit. Step 6: Get a health check.

  15. Hawaii's Pet Travel Requirements

    The 5-Day-Or-Less quarantine requires meeting ALL of the following conditions: Pets must have received at least two rabies vaccinations in their lifetime, and 30 days must pass between the two vaccinations. Thirty days must pass between the most recent vaccination and the pet's arrival in Hawaii. But not more than twelve months can pass for a ...

  16. How to Travel with your Dog to Hawaiʻi

    Here are a few key points you should know about on how to travel with your dog to Hawaiʻi. 1. Microchipping. Before you do anything on this checklist, make sure that your dog is microchipped. Any pet that can not be identified using its microchip—so make sure that number is working—will be subject to quarantine and will not be able to ...

  17. Tips for Traveling to Hawaii With Your Dog

    Proof of tick treatment: Your health certificate should include the full details of tick treatment received in the two weeks before you arrive in Hawaii. Proof of payment: You will have to pay a fee before you can proceed with this application. The fee for '5-days or Less' quarantine is $244. The fee for Direct Airport Release is $185.

  18. Traveling With Dogs to Hawaii: What to Know Before You Go

    The Cost of Importing Your Dog to Hawaii. The state of Hawaii does charge a fee for accepting your pup into paradise, as it helps offset the costs of managing a rabies-free place. If your dog qualifies for direct release from the airport (all rules and requirements have been met), you'll pay about $185 per dog that's arriving in Hawaii with ...

  19. Traveling with Animals

    Traveling with Animals. We transport dogs, cats and household birds, but there are conditions and restrictions that apply whether you are traveling with your pet or trained service animal. We advise you to read and understand the conditions and restrictions thoroughly prior to traveling with an animal. Traveling with Your Pet.

  20. Hawaii Pet Travel

    Alaska Airlines is not responsible for any costs incurred should you arrive in Hawaii without the proper health documentation. Space for pets traveling in the cabin or in the cargo compartment is subject to availability. For travel on Alaska Airlines, please contact Alaska Airlines reservations at 1-800-252-7522.

  21. Can You Bring Your Dog To Hawaii?: What To Know About Flying A Dog To

    Avoiding Quarantine: Steps to Bring Your Dog to Hawaii. To avoid a lengthy quarantine period, follow these steps: microchip your dog, get two rabies vaccinations at least 30 days apart, complete an FAVN rabies antibody test, obtain a health certificate and import permit from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, and meet specific timeframes. ...

  22. Pets − Travel information − American Airlines

    All pet fees are non-refundable and apply per kennel, each way. Fees for transporting your pet with American Airlines Cargo may vary depending on the trip details and size of the animal and kennel. **For tickets issued on / before February 19, 2024, the carry-on pet fee per kennel is $125 and for tickets issued on / after February 20, 2024, the ...

  23. Travelling to the United States with your dog? Here's what you need to

    The U.S. is implementing new rules for dogs entering the country on Aug. 1. All dogs entering the U.S. from Canada will need to be microchipped, at least six months old, and accompanied by a new ...

  24. Hawaii's Most Loveable Dog Still Can't Find a Home After 365 Days

    Sadly, things weren't always so jolly for this 75-pound mixed-breed boy. He suffered massive injuries and trauma from an incident in late 2022, which took surgeries, therapy, and lots of love to ...

  25. Animal Industry Division

    99-951 Halawa Valley Street. Aiea, Hawaii 96701-5602. Telephone (808) 483-7151 (Due to the heavy volume of calls, e-mail questions to the office for faster response) FAX (808) 483-7161. E-mail: [email protected]. Updated December 7, 2020 *NOTE: Effective January 1, 2019, It is a violation of state law to misrepresent an animal as a service ...

  26. 'If you're going to do this hike, you need a stick': Hawaiʻi hikes

    HONOLULU (KHON2) — On Wednesday, July 10, KHON2.com's Unfit Adventurer decided to take a trek on the Makiki Valley Loop Trail. The Makiki Valley Loop Trail is a fun and exciting hiking trail ...

  27. Dogs travelling to the United States

    The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has no role in the export of dogs and cats to the United States of America (USA),including Hawaii.; Learn how to travel with your dog (export) from Canada to the United States, including the required paperwork and health checks needed for your pet to enter the U.S.

  28. 10 best yoga retreat centers in the US for all skill levels

    There's cabin lodging with mountain views, crafts, dog-sledding, and a tour crossing the Arctic Circle and the Yukon River. Photo courtesy of GlobalStock // Getty Images. No. 9: Kripalu Center For Yoga & Health - Stockbridge, Massachusetts. ... Named a "Top 10 Luxury Travel Blogger" by USA Today 10Best, Parr has also been selected as the ...

  29. KTIK LIVE: Bob Behler and B.J. Rains join KTIK from Stadium ...

    John Mallory and Mike Prater are joined by Voice of the Broncos Bob Behler and Bronco Nation News publisher B.J. Rains to discuss Boise State football...