From Woofs to Konnichiwa: A Guide to Relocating to Japan with Your Dog

Table of Contents

Preparing for the Pawsome Journey

Moving to Japan with your beloved dog is an exciting adventure, but it requires careful planning. Here are some essential steps to ensure a smooth relocation process.

Preparing for the journey to Japan

Research Pet Import Regulations of Japan

Before embarking on your journey, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with Japan’s pet import regulations. Contact the Japanese embassy or visit their official website to understand the specific requirements for bringing your dog into the country. Keep in mind that the rules may vary based on your country of origin and the breed of your pet.

The regulatory body responsible for pet import to Japan is theĀ Animal Quarantine Service (AQS), which is part of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) in Japan. The AQS oversees the import and quarantine procedures for animals, including pets, entering Japan to ensure they meet the country’s health and safety requirements.

Import regulations in Japan

Quarantine Inspection

Dogs and cats being imported into Japan are required to undergo import quarantine inspection.

If these animals meet the import requirements upon their arrival in Japan, the quarantine period will be 12 hours.

However, if the dogs or cats do not meet the import requirements, they will be placed under quarantine at a detention facility for up to 180 days.

Based on the results of the inspection, there is a possibility that the dog or cat may not be allowed to enter Japan.

Quarantine Inspection Fee

There is a quarantine inspection fee that the importer must pay.

Quarantine period


Dogs and cats must be microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785 compliant 15-digit pet microchip. Ensure the microchip is registered with your contact information before traveling.


Health Certificates

A health certificate issued by an accredited veterinarian is required, stating that the animal is free from contagious diseases and fit for travel.

Starting December 1, 2022, the Animal Quarantine Service accepts health certificates obtained through electromagnetic records. Health certificates can be presented in paper format, or the electronic version may be used upon prior arrangements.

Health Certificates

Rabies Vaccination

Dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies, and the vaccination must be up to date. Depending on the country of origin, there may be specific timeframes for the vaccination to be valid before travel.

Tapeworm Treatment

For dogs only, a tapeworm treatment administered by a veterinarian within a specific timeframe before entry into Japan is mandatory.

Vaccination and treatment

Documentation and Notification

You may need to submit various documents, such as an import application, customs declaration, and other relevant paperwork. Additionally, it is crucial to notify the Animal Quarantine Service in advance of your pet’s arrival at the expected airport or seaport.

Please note that import requirements can change over time, so it is essential to check the official website of the Animal Quarantine Service or consult with the Japanese embassy or consulate in your country for the most up-to-date and detailed information before importing your dog or cat in Japan.

Documentation and Notification

Traveling with Assistance Dog to Japan

Japan’s law recognizes the following assistance dogs: guide dogs, service dogs, and hearing dogs.

To ensure a smooth journey, it is essential to make preparations in advance if you plan to bring your assistance dog to Japan. Early contact with the Animal Quarantine Service at the expected airport or seaport of entry is highly recommended. This proactive approach will help you navigate the necessary procedures and ensure a seamless entry for your valued assistance companion.

Traveling to Japan with service dog

Making Travel Arrangements for Your Dog

Choosing the Right Pet Transport Service

Relocating your dog to Japan involves a long journey, so it’s crucial to select a reliable and pet-friendly transport service. With the expertise of Relopet International, you can rest assured that your furry companion will receive the utmost care and attention throughout the trip.

Preparing Your Dog for Travel

Help your dog acclimate to the travel crate by allowing them to spend time inside it before the journey. Ensure they have a comfortable space with familiar bedding, toys, and treats. Additionally, consult your veterinarian to ensure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and obtain a health certificate for the trip.

Preparing your dog to travel

A Wagging Success with Relopet International

Moving to Japan with your dog doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With Relopet International by your side, you can navigate the process smoothly and enjoy every moment of this pawsome journey with your furry friend. From understanding pet import regulations to finding pet-friendly housing and amenities, Relopet International ensures that you and your canine companion feel right at home in the Land of the Rising Sun. So, embark on this adventure with confidence, and create unforgettable memories with your loyal companion by your side.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Moving to Japan with a Dog

Yes, you can move your dog to Japan, but there are specific import requirements and procedures that must be followed. Dogs must undergo import quarantine inspection, meet vaccination and microchipping requirements, and have a health certificate, among other criteria.

Yes, you can import both dogs and cats into Japan, but each species has its own set of import regulations. These regulations include health requirements, vaccinations, microchipping, and quarantine procedures. It’s essential to research and comply with the specific rules for each animal.

Yes, Japan is generally considered a pet-friendly country. Many areas have pet-friendly parks, cafes, and amenities, and the Japanese culture is generally accepting of pets. However, pet policies may vary between different cities, accommodation options, and public spaces, so it’s best to be aware of local rules and etiquette.

The duration for your dog to arrive in Japan depends on various factors, including the country of origin and the specific import procedures. In general, it is advisable to start the planning and preparation process well in advance to allow sufficient time for vaccinations, paperwork, and coordination with the Animal Quarantine Service.

To get a health certificate for your dog or cat, you must visit an accredited veterinarian in your country of origin. The veterinarian will conduct a thorough examination to ensure your pet is in good health and free from contagious diseases. The health certificate should include details such as the animal’s microchip number, vaccination records, and overall health status. This document is crucial for the import process and must be issued within the specified timeframe before your pet’s travel to Japan.

Do you need to move your dog to Japan? Relopet can help you!

Do you need to relocate your pet to Japan? Contact Relopet International

If you need to relocate your pet to Japan and want to ensure a safe and stress-free experience for your furry friend, consider contacting Relopet International. We are a professional pet relocation company that specializes in transporting pets, including big dogs, internationally. We are experienced professionals who can help you with every step of the process, from obtaining the necessary documentation to choosing the right airline and providing personalized care for your dog during transport. With Relopet International, you can have peace of mind knowing that your big dog is in good hands and will arrive at their destination safely and comfortably.

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