Step 8: Health Certificate
Pets From Guam, Australia, New Zealand, or the British Isles
If your dog or cat will be coming to Hawaii from Guam, Australia, New Zealand, or the British Isles, it will need a health certificate issued within 14 days of your pet’s transport to Hawaii. (NOTE: Some airlines require your pet’s health certificate to be issued within 10 days of arrival. Check if that’s the case with the airline you’ll be using.) The health certificate must:
- Be issued and signed by a veterinarian holding an appointment as an officer of the government of your country of origin. (NOTE: If your pet is coming from Guam, the certificate should be issued by a veterinarian and countersigned by a veterinarian holding an appointment as an officer of the government of Guam.)
- Certify that your pet is free of external parasites and signs of transmissible disease.
- Accompany your pet to Hawaii (do not submit the health certificate ahead of time to Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture).
Please ignore the rest of the instructions below, as they do not pertain to pets coming from exempt countries.
Pets From All Other Countries
Within 14 days of your pet’s arrival in Hawaii, you need to take your cat or dog to your local veterinanarian one last time to get a health certificate and tick treatment. (NOTE: Some airlines require your pet’s health certificate to be issued within 10 days of arrival. Check if that’s the case with the airline you’ll be using.)
As mentioned in Step 7, if you’ve postponed submitting your paperwork until you get your pet’s health certificate so you can mail it along with the rest of the paperwork, you must bring your pet to the veterinarian exactly 12-13 days before your pet’s arrival in Hawaii. This is because the Department of Agriculture requires that the health certificate be issued within 14 days of arrival. (I’m not sure if “14 days before” is technically the same as “within 14 days,” so I wouldn’t do it more than 13 days before, just to be safe.)
However, if you’re planning to submit your paperwork beforehand (without the health certificate) and bring the health certificate with you on the flight to Hawaii, then you can visit the veterinarian anytime within 14 days of your arrival in Hawaii.
When you call to schedule the veterinarian appointment, you may also want to ask if you can take a copy of your pet’s medical file home with you after the appointment, since it will probably be the last time your pet visits that veterinary office.
On the day of your veterinarian appointment, bring with you:
- Health form (1 copy for each pet): For some reason, the Department of Agriculture wants your veterinarian to fill out and sign this form, in addition to writing up a health certificate. (Seems redundant, I know.) The truth is, you can probably fill out most of the form yourself, except for the signature/date at the bottom. If you’re unsure about any of the vaccination information, just leave that part blank for the veterinarian to fill in. If your pet is a guide dog or service dog, you need to fill out the information for your dog’s most recent vaccination only. (However, if you know the info for your dog’s previous vaccination, I’d fill out that part, too.)
- Vaccination certificates (2 for each pet, except for guide dogs and service dogs, which need only 1): You should have gotten these certificates during Step 2. Bringing them along will ensure that your veterinarian fills out the health form and writes up the health certificate with the correct information.
During your veterinarian appointment:
- Have your veterinarian administer a tick treatment containing fipronil or an equivalent product for each of your pets. (Revolution is not acceptable.)
- Have you vet fill out and sign a health form (mentioned above) for each of your pets.
- Have your vet create a health certificate (one for each pet) that includes:
- Microchip number
- Veterinary identifying info (including vet’s original ink signature)
- Animal identifying info (breed, color/markings)
- Name of product used in tick treatment
- Date of tick treatment
- Info from your pet’s rabies vaccination certificate(s):
- Product or manufacturer name
- Date administered
- Route administered (subcutaneous or intramuscular)
- Serial or lot number
- Lot’s expiration date
- Booster interval (e.g., 1-year, 3-year, etc.)
- Have your veterinarian clip your pet’s nails (as a safety precaution for your pet’s upcoming air travel).
- Discuss any pet-anxiety concerns you have with your veterinarian. Most airlines and the Humane Society of the United States do not recommend tranquilizing pets during air travel. But if you feel your pet may be a special case, now is the time to talk it over with your veterinarian, in case you need to get a prescription before moving day.
- Pick up a copy of your pet’s medical file (if you made previous arrangements to do so).
After your veterinarian appointment:
- Make a photocopy of the completed health form and health certificate for your records.
- If you postponed submitting your paperwork until you got your pet’s health certificate:
- In Part I of the Dog & Cat Import Form, under “DOCUMENTS SUBMITTING,” check off the “HEALTH CERT.” box.
- Immediately follow these directions.