Hawaii is an island that is rabies free, meaning they have never had a reported case of rabies. For this reason, taking your pet to Hawaii is far more difficult than just flying from one state to the next within the U.S. First, because requirements can always change without notice, it is important to look up the rules and regulations well in advance of planning your trip. In some cases, you will need to start planning your trip to Hawaii with your pets 6 months to a year in advance to make sure your pet meets all of the requirements.
Here is the link to Hawaii’s pet travel instructions:
Every cat and dog imported into Hawaii will need to be inspected and quarantined. The preparations you do in advance of your flight can shorten the quarantine time pending approval, but the standard quarantine time is 120 days. Any flight to Hawaii will need to arrive by 3:30pm so there is enough time to do the inspection and transfer the pet to the quarantine facility before they close for the day. Pets that arrive after 3:30pm will be held at the airport quarantine facility overnight.
There is a “5-day-or-less” program to get your pet released from quarantine early. Here is the link to the checklist for this program:
There are a lot of details to follow for this program, so it is a great idea to print this out and plan out a schedule with your veterinarian so you can meet all the deadlines. The first thing you will need is to be sure your pet has is an internationally approved microchip. This has to be placed before doing any rabies blood titers and must be on the rabies certificate as well as the health certificate the veterinarian will fill out within 10 days of departure. The rabies blood titer test has to be done within 36 months and 120 days before departure in order for your pet to qualify for the program, and this blood sample has to be sent to a federally-approved laboratory. The veterinarian also has to apply a flea and tick medication on the pet 14 days before departure that has a main ingredient of fipronil (Frontline). This seems like it will be difficult, but with the right preparation and your veterinarian’s help, it can all go without a hitch!