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

by | Mar 30, 2023

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.

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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.

Key Takeaways for Can You Bring Your Dog to Hawaii

  • 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

Reasons for Quarantine

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.

Length of Quarantine

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).

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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.

Microchipping

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.

Rabies Vaccinations

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 tests, 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.

FAVN Rabies Antibody Test

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.

Health Certificate & Import Permit

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.

Meeting Specific Timeframes

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.

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how to bring your dog to hawaii

Cost of Flying 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.

Airline Fees

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.

Quarantine Fees (if Applicable)

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.

Airlines That Allow Dogs On Flights To Hawaii

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.

Pet Policies

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.

Breed Restrictions

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.

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Tips for a Smooth Trip to Hawaii With Your Dog

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.

Choosing Pet-Friendly Accommodations

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.

Preparing Your Dog For The Flight

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.

Bringing Service Dogs to Hawaii

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

Additional Requirements And Exceptions

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

  1. Puppies and kittens under 10 months old are subject to different requirements than adult dogs, including a special health certificate.
  2. 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.
  3. Certain breeds of dogs, such as pit bulls and rottweilers, are prohibited from entering the state unless they’re considered service animals.
  4. Emotional support animals (ESAs) are not recognized as service animals in Hawaii and must go through the regular quarantine process.
  5. If you’re traveling with more than one dog, each pet will require an individual permit and a separate inspection fee.
  6. 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

Wrap Up

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.

FAQs:

1. Is it possible to bring my dog with me when I travel to Hawaii?

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.

2. What specific steps do I need to take before bringing my dog to Hawaii?

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.

3. Are there any breed restrictions on dogs allowed in Hawaii?

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.

4. Can my dog accompany me everywhere in Hawaii once we arrive?

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.

Bryan Murphy

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.