Bringing Your Dog Into Thailand
If you are a foreigner considering relocating either permanently or for an extended period of time to Thailand, you may find yourself asking, “is it possible to bring the family dog along?” The short answer is yes.
Because Thailand is a pet friendly nation, the Thai government understands your beloved Beagle or cherished Chihuahua is just as much a part of an expatriate family as a parent or a sibling. Therefore, it will allow foreign nationals to bring the family dog with them.
However, certain rules must be strictly adhered to. If you are planning to move to Thailand and wish to bring Fido or Spot along you must obtain an Identity and Health Certificate. You can download the International health certificate (USDA) which is required by most airlines from:
This document should contain all of your dog’s pertinent details, such as age, breed, sex, distinct markings, name, and address of the owner or kennel where the animal lived or was kept prior to the journey. This information must be compiled, and signed by a registered Veterinarian from the country of the animal’s origin. According to the Thai Agricultural Regulatory Division and the Department of Livestock Development, this form must be completed before arriving in Bangkok. For further information contact the Thai Department of Livestock Development at:
Besides the health certificate, proof that your dog has been properly inoculated, in the form of a vaccination booklet (with the signature(s) of the registered veterinarian(s) and a microchip card, if applicable) may also be required.
The dog will also need to receive a booster shot for rabies no less than fifteen days before departure; Leptospirosis, Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus, no less than twenty-one days before departure; and for Kennel cough, if the dog has been living in a dog kennel or dog hotel at any time since it was certified.
All necessary documents must be presented upon arrival in Thailand. Thai regulations also stipulate that any dog brought into the country must be kept in quarantine for a minimum of thirty days for observation before being released back into your care.
Before planning any international pet travel, it is best to double check with your veterinarian and the appropriate embassy(s) to ensure it is possible to import your pet to or through that nation, and the existing regulations regarding the import of foreign pets have not been amended.
The most important thing you can do is start the preparations early. Because after microchipping and Rabies vaccination there is often a waiting period before a pet can travel, so start early!
Most of the time dogs travel as excess baggage with the owner. When you contact the airline to book a flight for a dog, you will be asked the: breed of dog, the dimensions of the transportation crate, and the combined weight of the crate and dog.
Many airlines and/or airports have their own regulations regarding how pets may travel. For example, in Hong Kong a pet can travel only as cargo, not as excess baggage. There fore, you must contact the authorities at every airport and in each country where you will change planes to ensure your pet can continue with you on the journey.
The essentials to transport your pet safely should include a travel crate that meets IATA requirements, an airline approved water feeder, and some absorbent puppy/baby pads. The size of the travel crate should be selected based on the size of your dog. Remember that some of the sizes, especially the larger ones may have to be specially ordered, so don’t wait until the last minute.
You should start training your dog well in advance of the date of travel to familiarize it with being inside the crate. Start by placing the dog’s favourite blanket and toy, along with some treats inside. This way the dog will enter of his own free will. Then close the door, and repeat daily, increasing the length of time your pet remains inside.
Bathe and groom your dog prior to travel. On the day of travel keep your pet’s final feeding small. Place a puppy pad, the dog’s blanket and one of your unwashed T-shirts inside. The scent from your shirt will provide some additional comfort during the journey. Then leave a small amount of food and a rawhide chew toy and your pet will be good to go.