For many people, pets are family, and it’s impossible to conceive of a move that doesn’t allow for bringing the family dog or cat. If you’re in this camp—and you’re relocating to Guam—you should know that Guam is a rabies-free island. As such, you will need to do some planning to 1) make sure that your dog or cat can make the trip with you and 2) that they’ll spend the least amount of time possible in quarantine.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the entire process of moving your pet to Guam so you’ll know exactly what to expect. We’ll also provide you with the resources you need to get the process rolling. Ideally, you should get started no fewer than 120 days prior to arrival to minimize your pet’s time in quarantine.
In some circumstances, your pet can be released within 24 hours. However, if you don’t complete the correct paperwork ahead of time, you could be looking at up to a 120-day stay in quarantine. In other words, careful preparation on your part can go a long way.
You should also make sure that your pet is physically prepared to make the move. Very old pets, ones with chronic illnesses and those who struggle in hot, humid weather may not deal well with the change. Make sure you evaluate your pets accordingly.
One more item to note: When you’re moving to Guam, one of the first things you’ll need to understand is if you’re moving from an exempt area or a non-exempt area:
- Exempt areas include rabies-free areas such as the British Isles, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Hawaii. Pets on direct flights to Guam who have been in an exempt country for more than 120 days may be exempt from quarantine requirements after meeting shipping and veterinary examination requirements.
- Non-exempt areas refer to all other locations globally that are not considered rabies-free. Pets from these areas need to go through the procedures outlined by Guam’s Department of Agriculture to determine their quarantine status. More on that in a moment.
- Your veterinarian will be invaluable for assistance with the proper vaccinations and testing, and he or she can also assist with assembling your paperwork.
- You’ll also want to review the Guam Department of Agriculture’s brochure to get all of the nitty-gritty details on the program.
- If you have any questions, you can contact the DAG directly:
163 Dairy Road, Mangilao, Guam 96923
Phone: (671) 300-7965/6/
Fax: (671) 734-6569
Let’s get started with a short overview of the process, courtesy of the Department of Agriculture.
Moving Your Pet to Guam from a Non-Exempt Area: The Short Version
Use this overview as a road map to guide you through bringing your pet to Guam from an area that hasn’t been declared rabies-free:
- If you’re arriving from a non-exempt area, make sure that your pet has two rabies vaccination certificates that follow the Guam Department of Agriculture’s (DAG) requirements. If your pet has the initial rabies vaccination at 12 weeks, wait 30 days to get another rabies vaccination, and then wait 10 days to do the FAVN. If your pet has had only one rabies shot within the past couple of months, you may obtain another rabies shot, so long as it has passed the 30-day mark. Then, 10 days later do the FAVN test.
- Send into DAG: the rabies vaccination certificates, current immunizations and parasitic information for review. Call the Department of Agriculture to follow up.
- Once you get clearance from DAG, make your flight and kennel reservations and forward that information to the Department of Agriculture.
- When your flight and kennel reservations have been made, you are now able to obtain and send to DAG a copy of your pet’s health certificate. Health certificates expire 10 days from the date of issue.
- DAG will then, in turn, send by email, an Animal Entry Permit(s) that you will attach to your pet’s kennel(s). Permits are $60.00 each per pet, plus $5 per year for a pet license.
- Check with your airline on their requirements for transporting pets to make sure you’re all set! Any changes to the flight itinerary MUST be cleared through DAG and the commercial quarantine facility.
- When your pet arrives on Guam from a non-exempt area, the licensed commercial kennel quarantine facility that you have registered with will pick your pet up from the airport. A licensed veterinarian will administer a post-arrival examination of your pet to determine release. You are responsible for making contact with the facility to make arrangements.
- When your pet has cleared the post-arrival examination, you can proceed to DAG to obtain a copy of the release and register/obtain a pet license.
Now that you’ve got a good overview of the process, let’s walk through all the details.
The Four Options for Moving Your Pet to Guam
When you decide to move your cat or dog to Guam, there are four main programs for entry:
Program #1: Full 120-Day Commercial Quarantine
If your pet is 1) not arriving from an exempt area and 2) if your pet fails to pass/complete the FAVN testing and other requirements, then your pet will have to complete 120 days of commercial quarantine on Guam. There are no exceptions.
Program #2: Calculated Quarantine
If your pet has completed all of the requirements and has a rabies FAVN titer of at least 0.5 IU to 0.99 IU, then your pet will have to spend only as many days in commercial quarantine as required to reach 120 total days since the FAVN blood sample reached the laboratory.
Program #3: Five Days or Less with Home Quarantine on Guam
This option is available to animals originating on the mainland United States for 120 days or more and military personnel located on military installations. Under this program, your pet still requires vaccinations, microchip, FAVN test, etc. But if the FAVN titer meets or exceeds 1.0 IU, after the five days or less of commercial quarantine, your pet can be transferred to home quarantine for the remainder of the 120 days of total quarantine.
Program #4: Exempt From Quarantine
If you’re coming from an exempt area, there’s normally no commercial quarantine required on Guam. The entry requirements can be completed prior to arrival and your pet may be allowed to leave the airport with you. However, owners with pets arriving from exempt areas must contact Guam Customs and Quarantine prior to arrival to schedule for clearance at the port of entry at 671-642-8071.
Regardless of which program your pet qualifies for, there are a number of steps that all pets have to go through before arriving on Guam.
General Requirements for All Pets Moving to Guam
Requirement #1: Entry Permit
You’ll need an entry permit to bring your pet to Guam. You’ll need to submit a non-refundable fee of $60 per permit, plus $5 per pet license, per licensed year. Money orders or certified checks should be made payable to the “Treasurer of Guam.” If you’re coming from an exempt area, you must submit an affidavit for export. This affidavit certifies that your pet was not outside the area of origin during the 4-month period immediately preceding your move, nor was your pet vaccinated with a modified live rabies virus vaccine during that time.
Requirement #2: Vaccinations
Your dog or cat must have been vaccinated for rabies at least twice in its lifetime. Additionally, both dogs and cats who are moving to Guam must be vaccinated against several additional viruses. See page 5 of the DAG brochure for the full details.
You may find it helpful to print the DAG brochure and bring it to your veterinarian so you can go through the requirements together. For calculated and home quarantines (Programs #2 and #3 above) your pet will also require:
- A Microchip: If you want to qualify your pet for something other than the full 120-day commercial quarantine program, your pet is required to have an implanted electronic microchip.
- A Health Certificate: A health certificate issued within 10 days prior to arrival is required. Your airline may also have other requirements regarding health certificates, so be sure to check with them before arriving at the airport for your flight.
- A Quarantine Reservation: Along with your Entry Permit packet, you’ll need to attach evidence of confirmed reservations at a government-approved quarantine facility. It’s the pet owner’s responsibility to make these reservations. Currently, there are two approved facilities on Guam:
- Harper Valley Kennels
- Andersen Quarantine Facility – available only to military personnel
Once you meet these requirements—and transmit your paperwork to the Department of Agriculture—you’ll receive your Animal Entry Permit, and your pet will be officially cleared for your move to Guam! You’ll be able to complete the rest of your moving preparations with the confidence that all of your family members will make the relocation with you.
Do You Still Have Questions About Moving Your Pet to Guam?
It’s understandable. The process can be confusing—and we know you want to get it right so your dog or cat spends the least amount of time possible in quarantine.
If you have questions that this article and the DAG brochure didn’t answer, start with your vet. He or she likely has experience in helping animals meet pre-move requirements. And you can always contact the Guam Department of Agriculture at (671) 300-7965/6 or email@example.com for questions and assistance during the process.
At the end of the day, it’s better to ask any questions upfront to ensure a safe and smooth transition for you and the four-legged members of your family!
If you have more questions about moving to Guam, we’d also be happy to help! We’ve been helping families move to, from and around the island for almost 40 years. Just get in touch with us, and we’ll get you the answers you need to make an easy transition to Guam.