Ask A Travel Nurse: Avoid Pet Quarantine in Hawaii · The Gypsy Nurse

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By The Gypsy Nurse

August 6, 2013



Ask A Travel Nurse: How do I avoid Pet Quarantine in Hawaii?


What does it take for a travel nurse to take a pet to Hawaii?  I’ve heard so many different stories, I don’t know what to believe? Can I avoid the pet quarantine in Hawaii?


Taking a pet to Hawaii requires some pre-planning but it isn’t impossible. Many believe that “The dog will probably have to be quarantined for a month before he can live with you.” There is some truth to this statement and the quarantine can actually be as long as 120 days!. Don’t despair, there are ways to get around the ‘mandatory’ pet quarantine in Hawaii.

Because Hawaii is a rabies-free Island, they have strict rules governing the import of pets in order to maintain the Island(s) as rabies-free.  You can’t blame them for wanting to protect the island from this disease!

So….how do you avoid the mandatory quarantine?

Hawaii has procedures in place for a “5-day-or-less quarantine”  This reduced quarantine does enable you to potentially take your pet ‘home’ once it’s cleared by the Animal Quarantine Holding Facility if all of the requirements are met and verified. 

  • The pet must have been vaccinated at least two times for rabies in its lifetime.
  • These rabies vaccines were administered more than 30 days apart.
  • 90 Days must have elapsed after the last rabies vaccine before your pet arrives in Hawaii
  • The dates and type of vaccine must be listed on the pets Health Certificate

Our Facebook Network Group member Amanda just successfully arrived in Hawaii with her furry friend and avoided the Pet Quarantine (May 2017)

Amanda recommends:

“As far as the original rabies vacation papers go they require an original ink signature, the vaccines name, lot or serial number, booster interval, vaccines date and lot expiration date. My vet had to call the vaccine company because they did not put the lot expiration date on the paperwork. So people need to make sure that the paperwork has all the needed information.”

Read More: Amanda Delaney‎Travel Nurse Network – The Gypsy Nurse

  • The pet must be microchiped. This must be done before the OIE-FAVN (see below) is drawn.
  • Microchip must be able to be verified. (Have your vet check)
  • The pet must have blood drawn for a OIE-Flourescent Antibody Serum Neutralization Test (OIE-FAVN).
    • This test assesses for the adequate response to the rabies vaccine. The test takes 120 days to process. Your pet must complete the required 120 waiting period from the day after the approved facility receives the sample before it can enter Hawaii in order to be eligible for the reduced quarantine.
    • There are only 2 approved facilities for this test in the US. Kansas State University or the DOD Food Analysis and Diagnostic Laboratory in Texas. If you are not near one of these facilities, your local lab will have to send the sample to one of these facilities.
    • The day after the approved facility (above) receives your pets sample must be at least 120 day and not more than 36 months from the date of the pets arrival in Hawaii.
    • NOTE: The waiting period begins the day after KSU or DOD received the blood sample for the OIE-FAVN test.
  • Original copies of all documents, including:
    • Completed and Notarized Import Form AQS-278
    • Both recent rabies vaccines (originals)
    • Health Certificate (completed within 14 days of arrival in Hawaii)
    • Veterinarian treatment for ticks within 14 days of arrival in Hawaii

Hawaii Animal Quarantine Information FAQ

5 Day or Less Quarantine – Checklist

The rules are quite specific.  The above is simply a summary of the process. I would recommend that you print the guidelines and checklist and take them with you to your Vet to help the process move a little smoother.

As you can see from the above summary, getting your pet to Hawaii is a long enduring process.  It’s also quite expensive.  You may want to consider finding a responsible friend or loved one to care for your pet for you while you enjoy a 3-month working vacation in Hawaii. 

TIP: The quarantine center is only open till 4:30. If you want to take your dog home the same day you need to get in earlier otherwise the animal has to stay overnight. – Amanda

I love hearing the opinions of my readers.  Your opinion could be the perfect solution for someone.  Please share your thoughts below in the comments.  Do you have a question?  Feel free to contact us.

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