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Update on Vaccinations: Asia

Published on: February 23, 2022  |  Author: Starwood Pet Travel


If you will be relocating to a country in Asia with your pet, one of the most important tasks on your to-do list will be finding out what vaccinations are required for your cat or dog. Even if your pet is a frequent flyer, you’ll want to double-check, because the rules differ by country. And those rules can change. 

Rabies vaccination is an almost-universal requirement, no matter where in the world you travel with your pet. But in the vast majority of cases, it’s not that simple. You don’t want to assume and be wrong or overlook any health-related detail. The consequences can be disastrous if you fail to provide all the proper paperwork. 

For example, Singapore and Japan reserve the right to hold your pet in quarantine, conduct additional health tests, send your pet home or – unimaginable – euthanize your pet. All at your expense. And they aren’t alone. Fortunately, you can avoid these worries by ensuring you know what vaccinations and other documentation you pet will need for your particular destination. 

Keep in mind that the rules for dogs and cats are often different when it comes to immunizations, because some common-but-unwanted diseases are species-specific.    

Here’s the current information for three key countries in Asia. 


Like many other countries, Singapore’s rules depend on your country of origin.  Category A countries include Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, and the UK. The US falls under Category C. 

Coming from a Category A country means your pet won’t even need a rabies vaccination. However, Category C means they will have to have a valid rabies immunization and undergo an RNAT test and waiting period.

In order for your pet to qualify for only 10 days in quarantine, they will need one rabies vaccination at least four (4) months prior to export, a rabies titer blood test completed at least one (1) month after the primary rabies vaccination (and within six (6) months prior to export), AND a second rabies vaccination give after the titer test and at least one (1) month prior to export.

Dogs from Category C countries must receive immunizations for Distemper, Hepatitis & Parvovirus (commonly known as DHPP). Cats need vaccinations for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus & Panleukopenia (commonly known as FVRCP).

Both cats and dogs must be treated for both internal parasites (nematodes and cestodes) and external parasite (fleas and ticks) between 2-7 days prior to export. And all cats and dogs from Category C countries must spend 10 days in quarantine upon arrival. Starwood can take care of obtaining the import permit and quarantine reservation on your behalf.


If you’re relocating to Japan from the US, the requirements are a bit more complicated. 

All pets must have a microchip implanted prior to the required vaccinations and blood testing.  If you want to avoid your pet needing to spend time in quarantine, then you need to make sure they are vaccinated for rabies twice: the primary rabies vaccine given at least 30 days before the second booster vaccine and within the validity period of the primary (first) vaccine.

After the second (booster) rabies vaccine,  your pet will require a rabies titer blood test (FAVN) completed at an approved laboratory

From there, your pet will need to wait 180 days from the rabies titer test before they can travel to Japan without quarantine.

While not mandatory for import to Japan, it is strongly recommended that you vaccinate your dog for Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus (DHPP) and Bordetella (Kennel Cough).  Cats should be vaccinated for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia (FVRCP). It is also recommended that cats and dogs are treated for internal and external parasites at their final exam prior to departure - but this is not mandatory.

Hong Kong

Thankfully, Hong Kong does not have a quarantine requirement for pets, but they still have regulations regarding microchipping and vaccinations.

The USA is considered a Group II country which requires that cats and dogs have a microchip, rabies vaccination administered at least 30 days and less than 1 year prior to export.

Dogs are required to be vaccinated for Canine Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus (aka DHP or DHPP) at least 14 days before but less than 1 year prior to export.  Cats must be vaccinated for Feline Panleukopenia (infectious enteritis) and Feline respiratory disease complex (cat flu) (aka FVRCP) at least 14 days before but less than 1 year prior to export

Hong Kong also requires an import permit which Starwood can assist with.

Be certain – talk to Starwood

The easiest and most reliable way to be sure you have the correct information about required vaccinations for travel is to talk to our pet travel experts here at Starwood. We know the latest rules, no matter where you’re headed in Asia. We can even handle the details on your behalf, saving you time as well as worry.

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