Avoid Quarantine When Moving to Japan with Your Dog

In an effort to contain the spread of rabies, Japan has a six month quarantine period for dogs brought into the country. Just the mere thought of our poor...
moving to japan with a dog

In an effort to contain the spread of rabies, Japan has a six month quarantine period for dogs brought into the country. Just the mere thought of our poor little doggy in some government quarantine facility for six months is enough to make most would be expats change their mind about moving.

I’m here to tell you a little secret.

You can avoid it.

You see Japan allows you to do a home quarantine in your country before you leave and then bypass the long quarantine period after landing in Japan and have your dog within 12 hours of landing.

Now a home quarantine is not exactly what you think and it’s actually a lot easier than it sounds.

Here are the requirements for bringing your dog into Japan and avoiding a long quarantine period. You need to start this process seven and a half months before travel.

  1. Your dog must be micro chipped with an ISO compliant (11784 and 11785) microchip.
  2. You must give your dog a rabies vaccine. Yes, even if he already has one it must be after the microchip and within one year of travel.
  3. After at least 31 days, your dog will need an additional rabies booster. (Dogs must be vaccinated twice after the implantation of the microchip and within one year of travel)
  4. Sometime after the second rabies vaccination, your dog must get a rabies titer test. The results of the blood test shall be equal to or greater than 0.5 IU/ml.
  5. Find a vet in your area experienced working with international health certificates for all of these tests and be sure they are able to obtain USDA approval.
  6. After sending the sample to relevant authorities in Japan, you must wait 180 days in your home country. This is the home quarantine and yes, you can still take your dog outside and do all the regular activities you normally would.
  7. 40 to 50 days before travel notify the Japanese Animal Quarantine Service if your intent to import your dog into their country and the date of your planned arrival. They will want copies of all your paperwork.
  8. 10 days before travel have your vet examine your dog and fill out an International Health Certificate then have it stamped at the USDA office nearest you.

There are additional details to each of these rules that you can find by visiting Japan’s Official Animal Quarantine Service website.

That’s it. You’re ready to go and your dog can now avoid any lengthy stay in some government quarantine facility.

If you’re interested in learning more about making your dog comfortable when traveling internationally you can read ___________________ or for more on the best airline to use when flying with your dog to Japan read _________________.

Brett Dvoretz

A long time traveler and recent expat, Brett wandered through over 25 countries before he decided to settle in the little beach town of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. After struggling through the process of setting up a new life abroad, he decided to start Expats and Aliens to help other expats find the info they need before making the leap.

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