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Pet vaccinations for international pet travel to Japan

Japan is a beautiful country where dogs and cats are popular pets. You can travel with your pet cat or dog to Japan only if your pet fulfils all pet import conditions laid by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Since Japan is a rabies-free country, strict bio-security laws are in place to prevent the introduction and spread of rabies in the country.

If you are travelling to Japan with your pet dog or cat, here’s the pet vaccination schedule for international pet travel to the island nation.

Why are pet vaccinations necessary before international travel?

Pet vaccinations protect your pet from dangerous, life-threatening diseases. When your pet travels from one country to another, they must be fully vaccinated against most animal diseases prevalent in their origin and destination country. This ensures they are safe and protected from diseases, and therefore, will not carry dangerous diseases from one country to the other.

Pet vaccination schedule for Japan

Japanese pet import rules state that all pets entering the country must be fully vaccinated against rabies and other common pet diseases. Here’s the vaccination schedule for pet transport to Japan:

  • All pets travelling to Japan from non-designated countries have to be vaccinated against rabies twice. Non-designated countries are all countries except Iceland, Australia, Fiji Islands, Hawaii, New Zealand and Guam.
  • Inactivated virus vaccine or the recombinant modified vaccine must be used; live rabies virus vaccine will not be accepted.
  • The pet must be at least 91 days old when they receive the first vaccine. The second dose must be given after 30 days of the first dose and before the validity of the first dose expires. If the validity has expired, your pet will need a third dose before flying to Japan.
  • Your pet has to undergo a rabies titre test (RNATT) before travelling to Japan. The sample for the test must be sent to an authorised laboratory for analysis.

Other vaccinations for pet dogs and cats are:

  • Dogs - Distemper, Hepatitis, and Parvovirus.
  • Cats - Rhinotracheitis, Panleukopenia, and Calicivirus.

Pets flying from non-designated countries must wait for 180 days from the date of the rabies titre test to travel to Japan. You must time the pet travel such that the pet enters Japan when both the rabies vaccine and the rabies titre test are still valid. Pets that travel to Japan before waiting for 180 days will be placed in quarantine for the remainder of the waiting period.

Pet transport to Japan

International pet transport is not always straightforward; different countries have different pet import criteria. All the rules must be followed accurately, or your pet will be sent back or placed into extended quarantine. Therefore, it is advisable to partner with an IPATA-accredited pet transport agency to assist with the relocation. An experienced pet travel agent will ensure all the pet import criteria are met, and your pet has a safe and stress-free journey.

If you plan to travel to Japan with your pet dog or cat, reach out to Petraveller for more information on pet import to Japan and a free pet travel quote.