I just recently moved back to Japan for the second time. This time I brought my two dogs (weigh about 17 pds each). First let me tell you, I started the whole process of getting them ready 8 months in advance. I wanted to do everything possible to avoid quarantining them. My husband is a DOD civilian, so we did not have access to the military facilities back in the states. If you do, the process should be a little easier on you because you will be working with your local military vet back in the U.S. They gusuallyh know the proper procedure to export dogs to Japan, but they too can make mistakes along the way that could end up costing you. I looked at several sites online to make sure I had the right information on what needed to be done. Please be advised that some sites on the internet are not updated with the correct information. This is probably the best site to visit with the most up to date info: http://www.maff.go.jp/aqs/english/animal/im_index.html
Make sure you read everything carefully and do it in the proper order (ex – microchip prior to rabies shot). It is a lot to sort through, so make sure you read it over and over again or have your spouse read through everything to make sure you didnft miss anything. One little mistake could mean g6 months quarantine.h Even if you do everything right, someone else could make a mistake and cost your dog or cat to be quarantined. This is exactly what happened to us. If you are not military, then you will need to get all your documents stamped by the USDA. I believe there is only one per state, so you may have a drive to get this done. We lived about an hour and a half from the nearest USDA, so it wasnft too bad. But let me tell youcwhen you are getting ready to move overseas, it really is a pain to go and get this done. Well, the USDA person did not stamp every page of our documents, so our dogs got gquarantined.h So, make sure every page is stamped with the raised seal before you leave the USDA office. EVERY page - not just the page where is says to stamp with the raised seal. It cost us a little over $100 to get our documents stamped. Again, if you work with a military vet, you wonft have to worry about this. Expect to pay about $1000 per dog to get them over here. It all adds up with all your vet visits, cost to fly your pet here, and dog boarding once you finally make it. Microchipping can cost anywhere from $25 - $60 on average. Rabies vaccination costs vary greatly, but we paid about $65 per dog. This included all their other shots too. This was at a low cost clinic, so most people can expect to pay quite a bit more through a civilian veterinarian. Remember, you have to get two rabies shots, so youfll have to schedule two vet visits just for their rabies shot. The rabies titer cost about $150 per dog. The health certificate and pet exam prior to departure cost about $150 per dog. Crate costs vary by size. The time you fly can also be a thorn in your side. Once temperatures reach over 85 degrees, airlines can refuse to transport your pets in the cargo area. So, if you have a big dog, try not to travel during the summer months. It cost us $200 per dog to fly ours over here (with UNITED – more for large breeds). Call your airline to make sure you have the proper crate for pet travel. Once you get here, on base kennels run about $16 - $20 per day / per dog. Pets are not allowed in base lodging, so unless you know someone, they will have to be in a kennel. I donft recommend the kennel at all. Try to find someone to watch your dog. We posted an ad on www.yokosuka4sale.com and offered to pay someone $150 per week to watch our dogs. It may seem like a lot, but it was cheaper than the kennel. Plus, the dogs were much better off to be outta puppy prison. If your pet is quarantined, you will need someone who lives on base, and has either a townhome or single family home. If you have family in the states, you may want to consider leaving your pet for a short period of time until you find a home. Then, once you are all settled in, have Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Joe, or your best friend fly your beloved pet over. You will be far less stressed and so will your pet. Unfortunately, we didnft have any family member that could do this. The Japanese are very meticulous. I felt as though they were just looking for ganythingh wrong. It was an all or nothing deal. If they find something wrong, g6 monthsh or until it is fixed. Moving overseas is very stressful, but you can multiply your stress level if you plan on bringing your pet over. It felt like someone punched me in the gut from all the stress this whole process caused me. I thought at the beginning of this whole process, gHey, as long as I do everything that Ifm supposed to, everything will be fine.h Well, that is not the case, because you put your life in other peoplefs hands and they can make an error for you. Ifm glad the whole thing is almost over with. We are still working out the kinks with the quarantine thing, but it should be resolved soon. Good luck to anyone out there that may be getting ready to embark on this journey! Hope this long post helps someone out there!