JASMINE Veterinary Cardiovascular Medical Center

2-7-3 Nakagawa, Tsuzuki,
Yokohama, Kanagawa 224-0001 Japan
TEL: +81-45-532-8451
FAX: +81-45-532-8456 Office Hours 9:00 Am To 5:30 Pm

Jasmine Clinic2.JPG

Mitral Valve Repair Surgery Overview

Traveling to Japan with a dog can be daunting due to strict import requirements.  The biggest concern we hear about is the 180 day quarantine process.  It is important to note that this waiting period can be done in your own home without any restrictions.

This page is intended to provide you with a high-level overview of the import process and highlight important guides and required paperwork for travel.  It is our hope that we can demystify the import process and provide a road map for owners who choose to take their dog to Japan for mitral valve repair surgery.  Key documents to help guide you through this process are:

To help guide you through the process, please use our step-by-step instruction guide on the Japan Pet Import Process page.

Surgical Consultation and Qualification

Contact the JASMINE Clinic for a surgical consultation and qualification and provide as much medical information and history as possible including the most recent echocardiogram. Typical tests requested are:

  • Brief past medical history and known current diseases

  • Physical Examination

  • Blood Pressure (NIBP)

  • ECG

  • Blood Tests – CBC, Biochemistry test, Electrolytes, C-Reactive Protein

  • Chest x-rays (3 views)

  • Echocardiography

  • Abdominal ultrasound

  • SDMA

  • Urinalysis and further kidney tests if indicated

  • Full coagulation profile: (PT, APTT, Fibrinogen, ATIII, FDP, ACT)

  • Blood Type

Please consult with the JASMINE Clinic to confirm the specific tests required for your dog and when they are required to be performed.  The typical test are indicated on this article we drafted, Requirements to become a surgical candidate for japan


Airline Reservation:  Buy your flight tickets if you have not done so already and inform your airline that you will be traveling with a dog.  You will need to also notify the Japanese Quarantine office forty days prior to entering Japan. Please follow the guidelines on our General Travel webpage to have your dog registered as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA).  If your dog is comfortable in a carry-on pet case, that would be best.  Upon arrival in Japan, your dog must be put in an enclosed carrier as there are strict rules about transporting your dog from the airport and to each inspection point.

Hotel Reservation:  This is challenging because hotels in Japan are not known to be pet friendly.  Contact us for recommendations made by previous owners who have gone to Japan for surgery. 

Transportation:  Arrange for a pet-friendly taxi (recommended by the JASMINE Clinic) to transport between airport-hotel-hospital. We highly recommend this pet taxi service,

Yako Doghouse  - Japan Pet Taxi Service

Travel Items:  Buy a pet carrier if you don’t have one.  Even if your pet is a service dog, the Japanese airport officials require that your dog is placed in an enclosed carrier when moving throughout the airport. This also applies to the trains while in Japan.

This packing list is our attempt at helping you think of the things to bring that you may have forgotten, and a little guidance on what you can check through vs. what you need to bring with you on board the plane.

On the Day of Travel

  • Gather and take the following paperwork:

    • Rabies Titer Certificate (FAVN)

    • Certificates of Vaccination (Rabies)

    • Microchip certification (includes number and date of implanting)

    • Completed Japan Pet Import Notification Form

    • Approval of Import Inspection of Animals

    • Modification on Notification of Import Animals (If any changes were made)

    • Completed Health Certificate (Form AC)

  • In preparation for the flight, restrict meals and water where appropriate. As needed on the flight, give water and food to keep your dog hydrated and fed during the flight.

  • Check out PetFriendly Travel for the latest listing of animal relief areas at US airports.

  • Take your dog to a relief area as close to boarding time as possible.

Arrival and Inspection in Japan

Upon arrival in Japan, your dog must be put in an enclosed carrier.  There are strict rules with transporting your dog from the airport and from each inspection point.  Pick up your luggage in baggage claim, and go directly to the Quarantine Office at your arrival airport in Japan. Have your paperwork handy, including Health Certificate (forms A and C), FAVN titer Report, 40-day Notification, Approval Notification, and a personal microchip scanner (if applicable).

Map to Haneda Airport Animal Quarantine Office (click to enlarge)

Map to Narita Airport (Terminal 1) Animal Quarantine Office (click to enlarge)

Map to Narita Airport (Terminal 2) Animal Quarantine Service (click to enlarge)

The Quarantine Veterinarian will verify the paperwork you present to them, compare it to the copies they had received from you prior to your arrival, and make copies of everything. You will go through the information together line-by-line to verify accuracy, then you will both sign off. He/she will perform a quick exam on your dog, Basically (Scan your dogs microchip), and if all goes well, you will be provided with a tag to attach to the carrier in which your dog will be contained in while in the airport and at the customs department (examples below).  Sample tags provided by Quarantine Services to be attached to pet carrier to indicate Quarantine Approval while in the airport and at Customs.

Provided by Haneda Quarantine Service

Provided by Narita Quarantine Service

In addition to the pet carrier tag, an “Import Quarantine Certificate” embossed with an official stamp (Example below, left) will also be provided. If you have not yet completed or submitted an Export Application for your dog, you will be provided one at this time as well (Example below, right). Keep this paperwork safe, as you will need to present it to Quarantine again (along with the other documentation you provided previously), prior to departure. With your luggage in tow and your dog stowed safely in his/her carrier, move on through Customs and leave the airport.

Sample “Import Quarantine Certificate for Dog”

Sample Export Application provided by Quarantine Office after inspection to be submitted at least 7-days prior to departure from Japan.

Departure from Japan

In preparation for your departure from Japan back to the US, the quarantine office requires you to make an appointment and bring your dog to the quarantine office at your departing airport as well as complete and submit the "Application For Export Inspection Of Dog" form at least 7-days prior to your departure date.

“You can fill out this form ahead of time in the US before your arrival into Japan to be proactive in planning your departure from Japan”

Hint: The information is nearly identical to the Import certificate they provided you while you were preparing for your quarantine process in the US, therefore it would be safest to copy the majority of the information from the Import certificate to the export application.

"The export form is attached to this post and will be available in the file section of this group's page"

When first arriving into Japan you will be asked to schedule an appointment with the quarantine office 7 days prior to your departure (between the hours of 8:30 am - 5:00 pm), at least three hours prior to your flights departure. If your flight is very early in the morning or very late at night, you can schedule your appointment the day prior of your departure to make it less stressful for your dog. The appointment is estimated to take less than 20 minutes provided the export form is properly filled out and turned in to the quarantine office when first arriving into Japan. The appointment is similar to your arriving experience.

If you are going to the quarantine office the same day as your departure be sure you head to the quarantine appointment first immediately upon arrival to the airport, even before checking in with the airline, because the airline personnel will need the proper paperwork the quarantine office will provide to you during your appointment. The quarantine office will provide a tag to you that you will attach to your dog’s pet carrier. In addition to your quarantine documentation, keep your ESA documentation handy, as you may be asked about that as well, both at the check-in counter, and as you board your flight. Now you should be all set to check-in with your airline as you normally would any other flight. It would also be wise to print out the airlines ESA procedures just to be on the safe side should they not understand the process. Have a safe flight home.