Moving to Hawaii is a dream come true for many of us two-legged mammals. At one point or another, we all dream of sitting on the beach with our toes in the sand and a tropical beverage in hand. But for those of us who would never leave our four-legged family members behind, how can you make sure your pets can legally and safely enter the state when you’re ready to make the move? It is true that bringing a pet to Hawaii can be a daunting, somewhat complex process. But here are five tips that should make it much easier for you and your furry friend:

1. Keep your pet’s records up to date 

If you think you’re interested in moving to Hawaii, the process will be much easier if you’ve kept a record of all your pets’ vaccinations. Next time you head to the vet for a checkup, ask them if there are any standard shots your pet is missing and which records the vet’s office has on file. You’ll need all original vaccination records signed by the veterinarian’s office so give yourself some time to track down these documents.

2. Know before you go

Hawaii is a rabies-free state and works hard to make sure animals entering the island are in good health. While there are no longer mandatory quarantine laws, there are certain requirements that you as a pet-owner must fulfil in order for your animal to qualify for release. Here is a complete checklist you can use to help you make sure your pet can join you in your new home quickly. Your animal may need a microchip, vaccinations, or a blood test so be sure to read carefully and prepare everything ahead of time so there are no surprises come move-in day.

3. Arrive before 3:30pm

When booking your flight to the Big Island, make sure you and your animal arrive at the airport (either Kona or Hilo) before 3:30pm. The Airport Animal Quarantine Facility will need to check all your paperwork and any animal that arrives at the facility after 4:30pm will not be allowed to leave that day. Err on the side of caution. Give you and your animal plenty of time to get checked in and go through the process so you can be sure that everyone gets to arrive at your new home together.

4. Find a vet

Moving overseas can be a bit stressful for your animals. If something should happen and you need to have your pet checked out by a professional soon after arrival, you’ll want to know who your best resources are. Check out a few local veterinary offices and get in touch with the staff. You’ll be happy to know that you’ve got a plan in place just in case.

5. Show them around

If your pet is the type of four-legged critter who might enjoy a stroll on the beach as much as you, do some research about where you can take them! We’re sure your dog doesn’t want to be cooped up in the house all day so take them on a seaside adventure and show them all the things you love about your new home. Here is a list of dog-friendly beaches. Just be sure to pick up after your pet!

Looking for pet-friendly housing on the Big Island? Use our search tool and click “pets allowed” under the features list. We’d be happy to show you a place both you and your pet can call home.  Feel free to send us an email if you have any questions! Have more tips for moving to Hawaii with pets? Leave us a comment in the box below!

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