Traveling with a pet? VCA Hawaii lists what you need to know before the big trip

Tips to keep your pet comfortable

Sponsored by VCA Hawaii

Although the summertime can be a busy travel season, it doesn’t mean you have to leave your pet behind! HI Now host Kanoe Gibson is getting tips from VCA Hawaii about how to keep them safe and comfortable while traveling.

Traveling to the mainland with your dog or cat is often straightforward, but returning can be tricky if you don’t plan accordingly. There are specific requirements for dogs and cats returning to the state:

– Have a microchip placed
– Two sets of rabies vaccines
– Special blood test that measures the amount of rabies antibodies
– Health certificate signed by an accredited veterinarian

In addition, these need to be done according to a specific timeline to avoid having your pet spend time in animal quarantine. You can find a checklist from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture that outlines the details of what you need and when it needs to be done. An accredited veterinarian can also help you through the process.

International travel is often more complicated that traveling to the mainland. In addition to what you need for your pet to return to Hawaii, every country has its own rules for importing dogs and cats, and sometimes it can take many months of planning to have these requirements met. You may also need to schedule an appointment with not just an accredited veterinarian, but also a USDA veterinarian prior to travel. If you plan to travel internationally with your pet, let your veterinarian know as soon as possible.

It’s also important to ask your airline about their pet travel requirements. Every airline has their own rules regarding pet travel and may require you or your veterinarian to sign additional documents specific to them.

Another helpful tip: Get your dog or cat accustomed to their airline crate or carrier ahead of time. You can try feeding them in the crate or giving them tasty treats in it so that they associate it with a positive experience. That way when they finally do need to be inside for their flight, it will hopefully decrease their anxiety. Your vet may also have some helpful tips for your pet specifically.

About VCA Hawaii:
VCA Hawaii strives to provide the very best in medical care, and the hospitals provide a full range of general, surgical and specialized care. This is how VCA Hawaii veterinarians would treat their own pets, and it offers nothing less than that to you and your pet. VCA Hawaii understands your pets are a big part of your family and will be there for you every step of the way when it comes to your pets’ health.

For more information:,