The purpose of quarantine is to ensure rabies is not introduced into the country by an animal traveling from a country known to have rabies (aka non-designated regions). The United States (except for Hawaii) is known as non-designated because – simply put – we have rabies here. Japan has been rabies-free since 1957. In order to ensure continued rabies-free status, Japan has outlined specific steps for dogs entering the country to follow prior to entry. The process involves microchipping, rabies vaccinations, rabies titers, a final veterinary health check prior to departure, and the seal of approval from the USDA. Dogs do not need to be isolated during this process.
For dogs with MVD being considered for surgery in Japan, time is of the essence due to medical instability. Therefore, it is important to expedite the quarantine process, because it will be the determining factor as to when your dog can have surgery. This process requires 180 – 210 days (depending on microchip and rabies status at the time in which you begin this process). This process is optional, enables your dog to enter Japan without an onsite quarantine hold at the airport detention facility upon entry.
Where to begin
If you live in a non-designated country, like the United States (except Hawaii), you may choose from the three following scenarios that match your circumstances to get specific guidelines to follow. If you live in a designated area that is already considered rabies-free, such as Hawaii or Guam, there are different guidelines to follow.
Choose from one of the following scenarios that apply to you:
My dog does not have an ISO certified microchip or has an older microchip that I would like to dual implant with a new chip to avoid confusion in Japan.
My dog has an ISO certified microchip but does not have a current rabies vaccination that will still be valid during the dates of travel to Japan (7 months or more from today's date).
My dog has an ISO certified microchip and has a current rabies vaccination that will still be valid during the dates of travel to Japan (6 months or more from today's date).
If you've submitted the FAVN rabies titer test and are looking for the steps to take during your 180 day waiting period: