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Taking Your Dog Out of Thailand

By Brian S.


If you have successfully imported your family dog into Thailand, or have adopted a Thai dog during your stay in the Land of Smiles, and find you must return to your country of origin there is absolutely no reason why you cannot bring your dog home when the time comes for you to exit the country.


Dog in a suitcaseSince this will likely involve international air travel, it is important you begin your preparations early. To begin with, the Thai government requires you obtain an International Health Certificate, as well as an Animal Export License. Because the rules and regulations that deal with international animal travel can change at a moments notice, it is vital you contact the appropriate authorities in the country of your pets ultimate destination to ensure the existing rules have not changed. Remember, if you lack just one document, or for example, if your pets travel crate is too large, your pet will not be allowed to board the plane. When inquiring, be sure to ask about vaccination requirements, a rabies blood test, whether or not if it is mandatory to have the animal microchipped, and if your pet will be quarantined, or if there is a waiting period before you will be allowed to take your pet home.


Since many European nations now require all dogs to be microchipped for identification purposes, you may need to locate a suitable Thai animal hospital capable of injecting a microchip. Make sure the microchip contains all the data needed by your country. Make sure the animal hospital doing the microchipping, provides you with a correctly filled out microchip card or certificate.


You may also learn that your pet needs to receive up to date booster vaccinations for some or all of the common canine diseases. It is imperative you obtain proof the inoculations were made by a registered veterinarian recognized in the country of import. This proof is usually in the form of a vaccination booklet or certificate. If these documents do not have all of the appropriate signatures and stamps they will not be accepted by the authorities.


Certain nations require confirmation that your pet is free of rabies and other communicable diseases via a blood test. The blood test needs to be made at a laboratory approved by the country of import. Some nations will not accept a blood test made by a foreign lab, and stipulate the bloodwork must be processed in a lab located in their own country.


A properly filled out Pet Import Form, which can be obtained from the country of import’s consulate or embassy, is also a must.


In order to take your pet out of Thailand, you must first apply for export permission from the Thai Department of Livestock Development. At the time you obtain the export document, you will need to have in your possession your passport, all of the international animal import and export documents, as well as the necessary health, microchipping, vaccination, rabies, and veterinarian certificates, if applicable. All of these documents will need to be certified, stamped and signed by a clerk from the Livestock Department in order for your pet to leave the country.


Most of the time a dog will travel as excess baggage, but under certain circumstances a dog may have to travel as cargo. This will dictate how your pet should be packed. When you book a flight for your dog find out about the airline’s specific requirements concerning pet travel crates.


sleepy dogsDon’t forget to consult with each airline and airport your pet will be travelling through. This will ensure your pet will not be delayed for any reason. This is very important because the rules that apply to international animal travel can and do vary from one airline and airport to another. What’s acceptable at one airport may not be acceptable at another.


The key to successful international travel with your pet is to start early and to contact all of the authorities connected to your pet’s journey. To avoid any unpleasant surprises always be prepared, check, double check and confirm every detail well in advance of your scheduled date of travel.


If you decide that you dont want to take your dog out of Thailand, you may prefer to book them into a dog hotel where they will be properly cared for by professionals. Dog hotels typically cost around 350 baht per day plus food and a little bit more if you (or your dog) wants air con.