Tips for Traveling to Japan With Your Dog
Last week: Tips for Flying with a Short-Snouted Dog
When you are traveling internationally with your pooch, it’s always best to research the country you are visiting to save time and stress for both of you. If you are traveling to Japan, be aware that it has a very strict policy for visiting dogs, so make sure that you can check off all the items on our list before you head out.
Like several other countries, Japan requires all dogs to undergo import quarantine for a set period of time to screen out rabies and leptospirosis.
Japan’s Animal Quarantine Service (AQS) has different requirements for dogs arriving from 11 “designated regions” (Taiwan; Iceland; Ireland; Sweden; Norway; Great Britain; Northern Ireland; Australia; New Zealand; Fiji; Hawaii; and Guam) and dogs arriving from other regions.
If you’re traveling from one of the designated regions, here are tips from AQS to ensure your dog will be in quarantine for less than 12 hours:
Advance notification – At least 40 days prior to arrival, inform the AQS that you will be traveling with your dog and provide the information they request.
Required documentation – Be sure your dog is microchipped; there is no record of rabies in your region; your dog is kept in your region for at least 180 days before you travel; and your dog does not have rabies upon departure.
Health – Your dog must be in good health to travel.
Quarantine upon arrival in Japan – Submit the application for import inspection to the AQS and have your dog inspected by an AQS officer. Failure to do so can result in your dog being quarantined for 180 days.
If you’re traveling from a region that is not designated – including North America (except Hawaii) – the process will take much longer and includes these additional steps:
Individual identification by microchip – If your dog does not have an ISO compliant (11784 and 11785) microchip, bring a microchip reader with you.
Rabies vaccination – Your dog must be immunized against rabies with inactivated or recombinant vaccines at least twice after his microchip is implanted.
Blood Test – After the second rabies vaccination, a blood sample must be taken from your dog and sent to a lab to be tested for rabies. At least 180 days must pass between the date your dog’s blood sample is taken and the date he can arrive in Japan, so plan accordingly.
Certificate of export country – Obtain a government certificate stating that your dog is free of rabies.
Feeding arrangements during the quarantine period – It is your responsibility to take care of your dog’s needs while he is quarantined.
Be sure to read up on all AQS requirements and take enough time to submit everything well in advance of your trip to Japan. The last thing you want is to have your dog get quarantined because you didn’t process your paperwork in time.
Next week: Tips for Traveling to Europe With Your Dog
PHOTO: leis bell