Are Guinea Pigs Illegal In Hawaii? (A Helpful Travel Guide)

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Speak of sunset, beautiful islands, or vacations, and Hawaii will come to your mind. As a pet parent, you might be planning to take your guinea pigs while traveling to Hawaii.

There’s one little issue – not all animals are permitted in Hawaii. Maybe you’re thinking, are guinea pigs illegal in Hawaii?

No, guinea pigs are not illegal in Hawaii which means you are safe to travel with them. However, you need to collect a permit before taking your cavies along with you to the state.

Traveling to Hawaii with your small pets, without a permit, simply makes the act illegal. And breaking the laws of a state can attract the penalty of a fine or imprisonment.

Now that you know that cavies are legal in Hawaii, you’ll possibly be making plans to take them with you. 

So how exactly do you get your guinea pigs to Hawaii?

Read on to find out the answer and more in this article!

How Do I Get My Guinea Pig In Hawaii?

Simply follow some rules around 6 – 12 months before traveling with your pets and you’re good to go!

Here are the important things to do before taking your guinea pigs along to Hawaii:

  • Reach out to the Department of Agriculture of Hawaii for guidance; it is very important.
  • Get a vet health certificate to prove that your guinea pigs don’t have diseases or parasites within 7 days before traveling.
  • Collect medical evidence that proves your guinea pigs have been vaccinated two times in their lifetime. Preferably, you should do this at least 3 months before your trip.
  • Buy a comfortable guinea pig cage that you can carry easily.
  • Test your cavies for rabies, preferably 4 months before the fixed date for traveling. Get the test results as evidence.
  • Around 10 days before the set date for traveling, forward all important documents to the Animal Quarantine Station for examination.

Taking Your Guinea Pigs To Hawaii (What to Bring)

Two Guinea Pigs In A Guinea Pig Carrier

To prevent having problems with the authorities in Hawaii, be fully prepared before going to the location. 

If you did not meet the state’s requirements, your pet will likely be quarantined for up to 120 days.

Here are the 2 major requirements to take care of before traveling with your guinea pigs to Hawaii:

#1 – Import Permit

For a start, go through the list of requirements (medical tests) for going to Hawaii with your cavies. If you’ve not met all of them, try to do so as early as possible. 

Then, you can request a paper copy of the import permit from the Chief Plant Inspector at Honolulu Hawaii.

Without the permit, you may not be able to take your guinea pigs along to your destination.

#2Certificate of Veterinary Inspection

In addition to the import permit, you’ll need a Certificate of Veterinary inspection which should be written in English. Ensure the certificate is given to you and signed by a veterinarian with a valid license to practice animal medicine. 

Moreover, the collection and signing of the health certificate should be within 7 days before the set date for traveling to Hawaii.

It is important to note that the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection must list and describe your guinea pigs. Also, it must show that the pets do not have any external parasites and are free from infections and diseases.

Take Note!

All guinea pigs are to be transported to Hawaii through Honolulu International Airport. They’ll be taken to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility for inspection.

If you meet all entry requirements, then your guinea pigs will be released after inspection is over. 

Like domestic rats and mice, guinea pigs are on the list of conditionally approved animals. Without a permit, you cannot carry these animals along to Hawaii freely.

However, you can carry some pet animals to Hawaii legally. Here are some of them:

  • Pet rabbits
  • Domestic horses
  • Pet dogs except for wolf-dog crossbreed and hybrids
  • Domestic cats
  • Domestic pigs
  • Salamanders (not all species)
  • Frogs (not all species)
  • Domestic mice and rats
  • Fishes (not all species)
  • Chinchillas
  • Some species of birds
  • Newts (not all species)

What Pets Are Illegal In Hawaii?

While some pets are legal in Hawaii, you should avoid traveling to the state with some animals. Carrying illegal animals to this beautiful location can result in a jail term of 3 years or a fine of $200,000.

Here are some of the illegal pets in Hawaii:

  • Ferrets
  • Savannah cats and Bengals and other undomesticated cats
  • Wild hares and other undomesticated rabbits
  • Mustangs and other undomesticated horses
  • Wolf-dog crossbreed and other undomesticated dogs
  • Snakes
  • Squirrels
  • Flying foxes
  • Sugar gliders
  • Hamsters
  • Gerbils
  • Cuban tree-frogs and poison-dart frogs
  • Crabs and Jellyfishes
  • Snapping turtles
  • Lion fishes and Piranhas
  • Toucans, parakeets and parrots
  • Geckos, and Bearded dragon lizards
  • Some species of Salamanders

Hawaii Laws

Strict laws have been put in place to handle animals carefully in Hawaii. Therefore, disobeying these laws is a criminal offense that attracts punishment from the state.

Below are some of the animal laws in Hawaii:

  • Animals must have access to protection from wind, sun, or rain.
  • A confined area with enough space must be clean and free from waste that can affect the animals’ health.
  • Provide veterinary care to animals when needed to prevent suffering.
  • There must be access to water in large quantities and quality to satisfy animals’.
  • Provide quantity and quality food to ensure growth and maintenance of body weight.
  • Cruelty to animals is a felony.

Can You Buy Guinea Pigs In Hawaii?

Yes, it’s okay to buy guinea pigs in Hawaii because they are not illegal in the state. Therefore as a result of this, some pet stores sell them to both citizens and tourists.

Bear in mind that guinea pigs are friendly animals that make great pets for adults and children. So you can get a few of them while on vacation in Hawaii.

Recommended Reading: Is A Guinea Pigs Easy Take Care Of?

Why Are Hamsters and Gerbils Illegal In Hawaii?

A Hamster In The Wild

Unfortunately, hamsters and gerbils pose a threat to the native plants and animals in Hawaii. These environments have the same climate as both animals’ natural habitats.

If hamsters and gerbils make their way into the wild, they’ll form a group and destroy the plants and animals there.

These two animal species have also been banned in California because they have the same climate as Hawaii.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind the important points in this article before you leave.

It’s legal to travel with your guinea pigs in Hawaii.

Always remember to get an import permit and health certificate issued in English as proof that your small pets are in perfect health.

Do not take illegal pets to Hawaii to prevent paying a huge fine or being sentenced to prison for 3 years or more.

Finally, hamsters and gerbils are not welcomed in Hawaii as they are likely to harm the plants and animals in the wild.

Visit to get more information about traveling with your pets.

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