Moving to Oahu with Dogs

Navigation:/, Moving to Oahu/Moving to Oahu with Dogs

View from Manoa Trail on Oahu, island of Hawaii.

Here is a note from a woman in her early twenties that is considering moving to Oahu, Hawaii with her husband and their dogs and she has some other questions.

* * *

Hi Vern!

I came across your website while ‘googling’ Hawaii. I’ve been offered a position to work at the VA in Honolulu. My husband and I are in our early 20’s with no kids and we think it would be an adventure to move from our Midwestern state of Iowa! Our biggest concern is our dogs. We wouldn’t make it a permanent move, and I was wondering if it would be worth it to bring them both with us. I understand all of the quarantine laws, and the 4 month period prior. I wanted to know if dogs are a common occurrence in Honolulu? And most of the rentals don’t allow dogs! :(. Are there dog parks, and places for us to walk our dogs outside?

Also we’ve never been to Hawaii, and don’t want to spend $$ to travel there, we’d like to save it all for the move. Where are the places to avoid renting in Honolulu? I’d like to be close enough to the VA to not have to buy a car, but in Iowa and other states, it’s common that the bad neighborhoods surround VAs.

Last but not least, since I will not be visiting prior to moving, should I take a week and spend it in a hotel to meet with landlords and actually look at the apartments? Is it common to falsely advertise apartments and rip people off?

We’re very nervous, and anxious and excited about this move, but we want to make sure once we get there all of our ducks will be in a row :)

Thank you so much for taking the time to read!

Sally Hanlon

* * *

Hi Sally,

Sounds like an amazing opportunity – I do hope you go ahead and make the move to Oahu. It must be scary considering all that is unknown.

I definitely recommend you go yourself to find an apartment and see what life might be like on the island. Oahu is a busy place, like any big city, and yet you are surrounded by natural beauty that is probably unparalleled anywhere else in the world. It’s a shame we all have to work so hard to remain here!

Buying a car might be easier than you think. There are many people that sell their vehicles cheap because they must leave the island and don’t have time to hold out for the best price. Check that too while you’re there on Oahu looking for a rental unit. You might also bicycle, though it is a bit dangerous in my own opinion, to be on Honolulu streets – and I’ve commuted from Queens to downtown Manhattan on my bike for over a year.

Here is a link to the Google map for the area –

There are many places around, not so many within walking distance unless you’re really a walker, but when you go there you can walk the area. You might be wise to use a real estate agent, but you’re going to pay a fee for their help equal to a month’s rent. It may or may not be worth it to you.

You said, “Is it common to falsely advertise apartments and rip people off?”

No, it isn’t, but it’s always better to go check things out for yourself. Don’t send money to someone based on what they say about the place. What if you’re next to major construction going on and hear machinery all day on the weekends? What if it is a bad area? Go look and see!

Personally, I wouldn’t take my dogs to Oahu. Right, there are few places that allow dogs. There are few places for dogs. And waiting for them in quarantine is a major pain for you and them. Find a friend they can stay with temporarily and pay them to keep them healthy and happy for you when you return.

OK, hope that helps. Do let me know how it goes for you and whether you made the move!


Peter Kay

[Photo by jdnx at]

About the Author:

I’ve lived Hawaii since the mid ‘80s when I moved here at the age of 21. I arrived site-unseen in Honolulu with zero contacts and about $5k in savings. I worked from nearly zero and today Hawaii has given me the greatest gifts in the world in all aspects: spiritually, financially, romantically (married since early ‘90s w/ 2 children), and most important, peace. My goal with this site is to share the magic of this Land of Aloha and help others who are on a similar quest.


  1. Cheryl 08/15/2013 at 5:50 am - Reply

    Sally, deciding to make such a bold move is scary. My family and I went through the same processes you are and ultimately decided to move last year. Fortunately, everything fell in place and we’re very happy living in paradise.
    That said, I’d rethink bringing a car. Matson will ship it from California (we drove from Michigan to Long Beach) for a little over $1K. The Bus runs everywhere, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. At least one parking stall is usually included in condo rentals.
    Real estate agents (I’m one) don’t charge fees to the buyers. The seller pays all the commissions. If you’re working with a rental agent, they should not charge, either. One good thing about Hawaii is you only have to pay one month + one month deposit. Run the other way if you’re asked for more.
    As for your dogs, there is a 5 day or less quarantine period. You can check the specifics here:
    I hope you do decide to move here. It’s so worth it.

    • Vern 08/15/2013 at 7:27 am - Reply

      Great comment, thanks Cheryl. The only reason I brought cars to the islands from the mainland is because I just loved my vehicles. There are always cheap options available in Hawaii because when some people move, they need to move fast so they can cut down on expenses. Many people have friends sell their vehicles, which always results in significant savings for the buyer because the sellers are desperate.

Join the conversation! What do you think?