Can I Move My Pets to Hawaii?

If you are a pet person but need to move to Hawaii because of military duty, we know you also want to carry with you your pets. Moving a pet to Hawaii is not easy but plausible although can be a little tricky. One of the reasons besides the COVID-19 virus which affect also your pet dogs is that Hawaii is the only state in the United States that is free from rabies. This is why they impose a stricter protocol when it comes to your domestic pets, dogs, or cats, from outside the islands. Some pets are even completely restricted.   

The pet rules in Hawaii are different from the rest of the states of America. Because it is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the island is home to several species that are endemic in Hawaii alone. This means that because these species can’t be found or raised outside Hawaii, they need to take extra measures to protect and conserve them. Hence, they have rules and restrictions on certain domesticated pets.   

If there is one thing you cannot find in Hawaii, it is rabies. And because of this, rabies vaccination is not required for pet dogs. With this, one rabies case on the island will potentially lead to catastrophe for both the other homeowners and nature. This possibility led the government to establish a program that quarantines domesticated animals such as cats and dogs, which needs to be paid by the pet owners if they wish to travel or visit Hawaii.   

But wait, despite this program, some pets are not allowed to enter Hawaii is it does not have certain pet qualifications. Before you move your pets to the islands, make sure the pet is eligible. Illegal animals can be fined up to half a million USD with a penalty of up to three years. Dogs and cats shall be subjected to quarantine to enter Hawaii only if they are not cross-bred with a wild animal. For instance, a wolf-dog breed, as well as cats with lynx breed, are prohibited in Hawaii and no such quarantine will be done.   

Kittens and puppies are required to have 5 days or less quarantined. Otherwise, quarantine days shall be lengthened to 120 days. Moreover, old pets that may not be able to handle the Hawaii climate may also be prohibited in the islands.   

Other animals like chinchillas, guinea pigs, and parrots are allowed considering they do not carry any diseases. If you want to check the approved animals and conditions, the Department of Agriculture in Hawaii provides such.   

Additionally, some species of animals are prohibited with no exceptions. The following animals are included:  

  • Geckos  
  • Caribbean hermit crab  
  • Porcupines  
  • Toucans  
  • Snapping turtles  
  • hamsters  
  • Snakes  
  • Pregnant animals   

For more preparation and to also prevent further issues on both sides, you will need to consider and plan the right program for your pets. The programs may include:  

  • 5 Day or Less Quarantine  
  • 4-Month Quarantine (120 days)  

In addition, cats and dogs from certain countries may be allowed like New Zealand, Australia, Guam, and the British Isles. Such countries are free from rabies and may not require an import permit number anymore.