Pets in Hawaiii

Hawaii Pet Quarantine on the Big island

Moving to Hawaii with Pets

Hawaii Pet Quarantine Information

Astonishingly, Hawaii remains the only state in the country that is rabies-free. This is a direct result of Hawaii’s stringent pet quarantine guidelines that have been in place for decades. Despite the frustration of many people moving with pets to Hawaii, keep in mind that the rules were not designed for convenience, but rather for the safety of Hawaii’s people and animal population.


The process of moving with pets to Hawaii can be a bit overwhelming and somewhat confusing, especially when your ultimate destination is the Big Island. Oahu is the Port of Entry where quarantine generally begins for your pet, so that can make things a bit trickier.


Just remember, these are your pets – so your efforts will be well worth the hassle.

Moving with Pets to Hawaii

Bringing two (big) dogs from Colorado to Kona was the most challenging part of the move – especially for them. Tiki (shown here), needed to lose 4-lbs within 30-days to meet airline rules. She was not happy about that…


– Penn

Professional Assistance

Kona Pet Relocation Services

Hawaii Pet Quarantine Options

  1. Direct Airport Release (DAR)
  2. The 5-Day-or-Less Program
  3. The 120-day Quarantine.

*Eligibility for DAR and the 5-Day-or-Less Program:

  • You must submit the required paperwork on time
  • The FAVN Rabies Antibody test result is successful
  • The 30-day waiting period has been completed

Be diligent and organized, there is no room for error. Skipping steps or arriving early can mean disqualification, triggering the mandatory 120-quarantine.


Pets who qualify for Direct Airport Release can leave the airport with their owners once they pass an entry inspection.

Hawaii Department of Agriculture Checklists:

  • Complete Checklist 1 if you are flying into Honolulu 
  • Complete Checklist 2 if you are flying into Kona, Kahului or Lihue airports 


This program may become applicable under the following circumstances:

  1. You are unavailable to pick up your pet upon arrival.
  2. A minor issue occurs with the requirements.

Your pet can be released when these issues are resolved, either when you pick up your pet or the minor issue is remedied.  More info about the 5-Day-or-Less program (Brace yourself, there’s a lot of details!)


Do everything possible to avoid this scenario. 4-months is a heck of a long time to be locked up. Animals that enter the state before the 30-day mandatory waiting period, without the proper rabies vaccines or paperwork, or without an OIE-FAVN blood test, will be transferred to the Animal Quarantine Station for a 120-day quarantine period. More Info

Hawaii Pet Quarantine FAQ

  • Can I bring my Pet Cat or Dog to Hawaii?

    Yes. However, there are strict requirements you must follow before traveling to Hawaii with animals, in addition to post-arrival quarantine.

    Hawaii is rabies-free and the 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.

    Hawaii Administration Rules govern the importation of dogs, cats, and other carnivores into Hawaii. This law states that dogs and cats meeting specific pre-and post-arrival requirements may qualify for 5 Day Or Less quarantine program, which has a provision for direct release at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (Honolulu) after inspection.

    Furthermore, the law requires dogs and cats that do not meet all of the specific 5 Day Or Less program requirements to be quarantined for up to 120 days upon arrival in Hawaii. 

    State Quarantine Details

    State Quarantine FAQ

  • How much does Hawaii pet quarantine cost?
    • Direct Airport Release ($185)
    • 5-Day-or-Less program ($244)
    • Neighborhood Island Inspection Permit ($165)
    • Arriving early before eligible for 5-Day-or-Less ($14.30/each day early + $244)
    • 120-Day program ($1,080)

    *Prices can fluctuate and are subject to change

    Pet owners must pay the fee prior to arrival, and there are no discounts for multiple pets.

    Guide dogs for the blind and certified service dogs do not have to pay this fee. Active-duty U.S. military members may also qualify for fee reimbursement from the U.S. Department of Defense.

    >> Learn More About Hawaii Pet Quarantine

  • What happens to my pet upon arrival in Hawaii?

    Once your pet arrives in Hawaii, they will be transported to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility (AAQHF) by airport personnel for inspection.

    They’ll then be relocated into indoor kennels and given fresh water (food is provided at your request).

    If they arrive early enough during the day, they’ll be transferred to the main station in Halawa Valley, where they may be eligible for direct release. Pets arriving in Honolulu after 3:30 p.m. will spend the night at the airport facility and either be ready for release the next morning or taken to the Animal Quarantine Station (for unqualified animals).   

    >> Learn More About Hawaii Pet Quarantine

  • Can my pet be quarantined on the Big Island?

    Yes. There is a satellite quarantine station located on the east side of Hawaii Island in Keaau (Near Hilo), about a 2-hr drive from Kona. It is a privately run business with excellent facilities for your pets.  Both of Penn’s Dogs were quarantined here in 2001 for 30-days.  The 4-lbs 'Tiki' lost prior to travel was quickly regained (and then some) after discovering avocados from the tree located in the quarantine courtyard!

    *You must make arrangements with them directly, well ahead of time.

    Bar-King Dog Kennel
    P.O. Box 1184
    Keaau, HI 96749
    Phone: (808) 966-8733

    If your pet is being quarantined at a satellite kennel, your pet must first go to the Animal Quarantine Station on Oahu for positive identification and examination. Pets usually stay in Honolulu for at least two* days before being transferred. (* Due to a limited number of inter-island flights, pets arriving on Thursday or Friday may not be transferred until the following Monday.)

    Owners must pay fees to the Animal Quarantine Station prior to the pet being transferred to the satellite facility.  In addition, owners are responsible to pay for fees charged by satellite facilities. ($120-day quarantine costs – approximately $136, plus satellite station fees).

    >> Learn More About Hawaii Pet Quarantine

  • FAQ Disclaimer

    The following FAQ’s are some of the questions frequently asked in some, but not all of the areas the author(s) of this content are familiar with. The questions and answers are not intended to be exhaustive and do not constitute legal or tax advice in any such manner. Content is subject to occasional amendments without notice.

    It does not create an agent-client relationship for your particular question, issue, or concern. The questions and answers do not create any agent-client relationship or duty to assist you.

    The information is intended to be helpful and to get you thinking in a more sophisticated manner pertaining to the buying or selling real estate. Moreover, you are encouraged to contact Penn to dialog further on your issues pertaining to matters of real estate.

  • Penn Henderson

    Kona Realtor® (RS-83962)

    Big Island Real Estate - Hawaii

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    Big Island Real Estate - Kona, Hawaii


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    Contact Penn Henderson - Kona Realtor in Hawaii
    Big Island Real Estate - Kona, Hawaii


    I excel at locating ideal Big Island properties specific to your needs and unique lifestyle.

    100% Hustle.

    No Gimmicks. No Hassles. No Fees.

    Just a Few Questions (3-Minutes)