Our pets truly are members of the family. They provide companionship and comfort when we need it most, so the idea of moving away without them just doesn’t seem possible. But relocating a pet to another country comes with its own set of protocols. What steps do you have to follow when bringing your pet to Japan?
Just as you make the arrangements for relocating yourself, spouse and children to Japan (visas, medical examinations, etc.), similar steps must be taken for your pet. In the case of cats and dogs, you must follow some or all of these steps before bringing your pet to Japan:
- A microchip must be implanted for easy tracking of your pet.
- They need be vaccinated for rabies at least twice.
- A rabies antibody test will be performed, proving an adequate amount of antibodies are present.
- To guarantee your pet remains in good health, a waiting period may be required of at least 180 days before you’re able to bring the pet to Japan.
- Once they’ve been cleared for the move, advance notice must be given to the Japanese government at least 40 days before your scheduled date of arrival with your pet.
- A clinical inspection is performed just before departure to check your pet’s health once more.
- Your local government issues a certificate as a testament to your pet’s good health prior to departure.
- A quarantine inspection is conducted upon arrival to check for any clear signs of illness or disease, which could be harmful to other animals or humans. According to the Japanese Animal Quarantine Service (AQS), this inspection is up to 12 hours upon arrival into the country.
Now, depending on the country you’re coming from, you may not have to follow all of these steps. The waiting period for cats and dogs, for example, isn’t required for all countries (Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji Islands, Hawaii, and Guam are exempt). There may also be additional requirements for vaccinations. The type of animal you’re bringing into the country will also impact importation guidelines. Small birds, like parakeets, don’t have to undergo a quarantine inspection, but a rabbit will have to remain in quarantine for one day.
If your pet doesn’t meet the requirements for importation upon arrival, they may be required to stay at a designated quarantine facility in Japan for up to 180 days. Following this period, you’ll either be granted or denied importation access for your pet.
The best way to get started is to contact your country’s embassy in Japan. They can provide you with the proper protocol to follow to ensure your family pet is able to make the move with you and the local organizations you should reach out to to complete the process. Once you know the steps you have to take, work with your trusted veterinarian to make sure your furry friend is in the best health possible, especially if they currently take any medications.
If your pet is prone to suffering from stress and anxiety during long-distance journeys, it may be worth investing in CBD products for pets. An upcoming trend, CBD pet products have been shown to help alleviate stress and could improve the travel experience for your pet.
Home wouldn’t be home without our pets, no matter where home is. Don’t let these requirements overwhelm and deter you from bringing your pet to Japan — the country is home to many loving pet owners and your best friend can adjust easily now that its favorite natural pet food is available in Japan too.