Hey there fellow pet parents and adventurers! If you’re gearing up for a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) to the beautiful islands of Hawaii with your furry companions, you’re in for a real treat. But let’s be real, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to relocating our beloved pets across the Pacific. Don’t fret though, because we’ve got some helpful tips to make this transition as smooth as possible for both you and your fur babies. 

  • Do Your Homework: Before you even start packing those moving boxes, do some research on Hawaii’s pet import requirements. From microchipping to vaccinations, there’s a checklist you’ll need to follow to ensure your pets can join you in paradise hassle-free. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture website is a great place to start.
  • Start Early: Time is of the essence when it comes to PCSing with pets to Hawaii. Trust me, you don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute trying to meet deadlines. Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to gather all necessary documents and fulfill requirements. 
  • Call your Local Veterinarian: Explain that you’re PCSing and if they are unfamiliar with Hawaii’s requirements encourage them to look at the The Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture website as well. Hawaii is the only rabies-free state and they want to keep it that way. To ensure that your pet is coming over rabies-free free they require pets to be microchipped and complete a FAVN test which basically proves that your pet has received the rabies vaccine. The processing time at the laboratories is longer than usual (1-2 months) and your pet must also fulfill a required waiting period once the lab receives your pet’s blood sample. Communicating with your vet and understanding the process is time sensitive is critical when PCSing to Hawaii. 
  • Find a Pet-Friendly Rental: Housing in Hawaii can be tricky, especially when you have pets in tow. Start searching for pet-friendly rentals well in advance. Many landlords have restrictions on the number and size of pets they’ll allow, so be sure to clarify any pet policies before signing any leases. For immediate accommodations when you arrive on island make your reservations for military hotels well in advance so you can ensure they can provide you with pet friendly rooms.
  • Stay Calm and Patient: PCSing can be a stressful time for everyone involved, including your pets. They pick up on your emotions, so try to stay calm and patient throughout the process. Give them plenty of love and reassurance, and don’t hesitate to reach out for support if you need it.
  • Pack Wisely: When it comes to packing for your furry friends, don’t forget the essentials! Make sure you have more than enough food, water, medications, and familiar items like toys and blankets to keep them comfortable during the journey. If flying your pets through cargo make sure you check with the airlines on crate requirements and what they can/ can’t have while traveling. 
  • Explore Together: Once you’ve settled into your new home in Hawaii, it’s time to start exploring! Take your furry friends on adventures around the island, whether it’s a hike through the lush rainforest or a day at the beach. Hawaii is full of pet-friendly activities just waiting to be discovered!

Remember, PCSing with pets may have its challenges, but with a little planning and preparation, you and your furry companions can make living in Hawaii an unforgettable experience. Soak up the sun, enjoy the aloha spirit, and cherish every moment with your beloved pets in paradise!

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