Westward Expansion: Doggie Details

****PLEASE NOTE: these tips although solid and legit, are NOT all-emcompassing! There is a LOT involved in shipping your fuzzball to the island of Hawaii. Please be sure you get the complete ‘checklist for 5-day or less program’  from the military vet (civilian vets seldom have them) and cross check it with the Hawaiian Dept of Agriculture!! I’m jotting stuff down as I remember them in retrospect now, but will try to create a seperate post with a more thorough list later!****


Well, it took me 4 days to drive cross country. I left Florida @ 11 am Monday April 7, and pulled into SanDiego around 5 pm Thursday evening. The way I planned my route was simple: go straight. Stop after 9 hrs. I used a website called TravelMath, to help plot out my stopping points ahead of time. (Remember: I went from VA to FL in March, to be with my family first– so this part of thr trip was FL to CA) This way I was able to be sure I had a pet friendly reservation for every night. Nothing worse than hitting exhaustion point and having nowhere safe to sleep!! Courtesy of such sites as BringFido and PetFriendlyHotels— I had a safe and clean place to crash every night of my journey.

So anyway, I Left The Villages, FL @ 11 am. I had planned on an earlier start, but decided to get my pups pre-flight check /vet appt out of the way. This appointment, must be done within 10 days prior to flight. Now, obviously it is a better idea to leave a few days flex, just in case of flight delays! I had planned on the pups flying with me on the 14th, which put me at 7 days, with 3 to spare. Plans changed though, and they ended up flying out on Friday the 11th ahead of me! (Thank goodness I didn’t wait until San Diego to get that vet appt!! ) ***As a reminder, during this appointment you MUST get a certificate (or even a notation!) of acclimation, in addition to the health certificate and a note from the doctor stating that they applied a flea and tick preventative like Frontline or Advantix 2. Be sure you get seperate certs for EACH animal! The vet I went to tried to give me one cert with both pups info on it. No bueno. Each animal crate MUST have an original AND a copy of the form for each pup carried within the crate. Place the original (BLUE INK) in an envelope or page protector taped to the top of the crate and write on it “for Hawaiian Agriculture Use ONLY! DO NOT REMOVE” and a seperate envelope containing the xerox copy for the airlines. They will keep that copy for their records,so you don’t want them grabbing the wrong one! Be careful! Now, the Letter of Acclimation… That is actually just a line or two from the vet hat specifically states that your pet cannot be left on the Tarmac or in any space for longer than 15 minutes of it doesn’t register between certain temps. (**Actual wording, courtesy of our pet movers: “Pet can be transferred between cargo facility and aircraft for periods not longer than  15 minutes in temperatures between 20 and 85 degrees.”)

The crates also must have a gallon sized Ziplock baggie of food (in case of delays!). This will be taped by the cargo people to the top of the crate. I suggest writing your pets name and what brand/flavor food is contained therein, (esp. if your pup has any wheat allergies!!) as well as amount given. Just in case. Since my pups were being picked up by the pet movers early (again: Island Pet Movers, they are WONDERFUL!) and boarded for a few days (long weekend) I also bought 2 collapsible bowls each, attached them to the outside of the crate door with a carabiner and wrote their names and food instructions on the bottoms. Inside the crates, you need to have an absorbent thing (diaper pad type thing) and for their comfort, I also put in 2 crate pads (like dog beds) underneath the potty pad. I’m not optimistic that the potty pad served it’s purpose (my dogs love to shred paper, so really….expectations are not high). My theory was, if one crate cushion was soiled, it can be tossed and there would be a clean one underneath. I know they aren’t intended to be disposable, but we all know our pets… 😉 They cannot have any toys, but I spoke to the cargo dudes, and they let me tuck a little (no longer stuffed) bee in a Baggie on their crates for them to play with when they get to the boarding facility.

Now,the flight… My pups flew cargo. Believe it or not, there is NO difference between flying as excess baggage and as cargo. None. Same place on the plane! However, by flying them cargo, you check them in ahead of your flight– In a separate building all together. You aren’t stuck with 2 stressed puppies in crates, being dragged/wheeled/carried through a busy airport. I don’t know about your dogs– but mine would be barking and stressed by that. The way this worked out, I brought them to cargo, presented my paperwork, and held each pup as they checked the crates for contraband. Once that was done, they secured the crates with their own zip ties,added some hardware to Oliver’s crate (each crate must have 4 screws down each side!!) and they kept the crates side by side on a flat dolly type mover in their warehouse until flight time. It was relatively dark, cool, and quiet, so the pups both calmed right down! (***or maybe it was the Sentry calming collars the IPM people recommended?! ) Either way, when they were calm, I felt calmer…

Now… Back to my cross country trip


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2 thoughts on “Westward Expansion: Doggie Details

  1. great issues altogether, you just gained a new reader.
    What might you suggest in regards to your publish that you just
    made a few days ago? Any certain?

    • Hi there, sorry I just saw this! I swear I am going to try to be better about blogging… In regard to your question: I would have to say, that since arriving in HI and talking to other transplants, the one big thing I’ve learned is to do whatever you can for your pups EARLY. From what I’ve come to learn, the Animal Quarantine Station here is a NIGHTMARE. A lot of suspected neglect and possible abuse. NOT okay. So, if you have time to take the steps I outlined before- TAKE THEM. Don’t waste a single minute! If you don’t have time (as sometimes happens) then I would encourage either leaving your pet with a trusted family member until their quarantine period is over (and they are then eligible for quick release!) OR looking into placing your pet with an approved vet on island, for the remaining quarantine time. It will be expensive, but – if your pets are your kids- worth it. I hope that helps answer your question! If not, please msg me!

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