Moving with Pets to Thailand

Moving to Thailand? Here’s Your Pet Travel Guide

Moving with any sort of pet to a foreign country can be an intimidating process, and when it comes to moving with our beloved fur babies all the way across the world to Thailand, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we’ll be talking through everything you need to know about moving your furry family members along with you on your big adventure.

From necessary documents and vaccinations for entry into Thailand, finding the perfect accommodation that welcomes pets, and even fun ideas once you arrive in your new home abroad – we’ll get into every detail so that both you and your pet can have a stress-free move overseas! Let’s dive right in!

In order to obtain an export license, all pets need to undergo an inspection 48 hours before they leave. The health certificate and export license will be provided after the inspection and a copy will be sent to the owner prior to departure.

Key Takeaways

  • Thoroughly understanding Thailand’s pet import regulations, such as obtaining the necessary permits and following vaccination requirements, is vital for a smooth relocation process.
  • Preparation is key when moving pets internationally. From choosing a pet-friendly airline to packing necessary supplies, these steps are crucial to your pet’s well-being.
  • Once in Thailand, helping your pet adjust to new surroundings and climate, finding a reliable vet, and discovering pet-friendly places are all important steps to ensure your pet’s comfort in the new home.
Moving with Pets to Thailand

Why Thailand

Thailand has rapidly emerged as a pet-friendly haven for individuals who wish to live, work, and play with their furry companions. This welcoming attitude towards pets can be attributed to a variety of factors, making Thailand a remarkable destination for pet owners.

First and foremost, the cultural ethos of Thailand is inherently nurturing and accepting, a trait that extends to its attitude towards animals as well. The predominant religion, Buddhism, promotes compassion towards all living beings, fostering an environment where pets are cherished and respected. This national sentiment permeates every aspect of life, and it’s not unusual to see locals sharing food with stray animals or participating in animal rescue activities.

The cities of Thailand, most notably Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket, are home to numerous pet-friendly establishments such as restaurants, cafes, and hotels that warmly welcome four-legged visitors. For instance, TrueLove @ Neverland in Bangkok is a popular husky café where customers can enjoy a cup of coffee while mingling with friendly huskies. Dog in Town in Ekkamai, Bangkok, is another delightful dog café that encourages pet owners to bring their furry friends for a fun day out.

Moreover, Thailand boasts an impressive number of dog parks, beach areas, and trails where pets can roam freely and socialize with other animals. The beaches in Phuket, such as Nai Harn Beach, Kata Beach, and Surin Beach, are known for their dog-friendly policies. The cities also offer pet-friendly shopping centers and open-air markets where dogs on leashes are a common sight.

Furthermore, Thailand has an excellent array of veterinary services and pet hospitals, many with English-speaking staff. The pet healthcare sector in Thailand is advanced and affordable, offering a range of services including vaccinations, grooming, pet rehabilitation, and even pet health insurance. This makes it an easier and more comfortable experience for expats to take care of their pets’ health needs.

The accommodation options in Thailand also contribute to its pet-friendly nature. Many condos, serviced apartments, and houses for rent are pet-friendly, and it’s not uncommon to find properties with dedicated pet areas and amenities. For instance, Noble Ploenchit, a high-end condominium in Bangkok, is known for its pet-friendly policy and even includes a private garden designed specifically for pets.

In addition, Thailand has an active community of pet owners and animal lovers. Social media platforms and online groups provide a way for pet owners to connect, share advice, and organize meet-ups. This sense of community offers support and guidance for new pet owners or those who have just moved to the country with their pets.

Finally, the pet industry in Thailand is robust and growing. From pet grooming salons and pet-friendly taxis to pet boutiques selling everything from gourmet pet food to chic pet clothing and accessories, the country is well-equipped to cater to the needs of all pet owners.

The combination of Thailand’s culture of compassion, numerous pet-friendly amenities and establishments, advanced veterinary services, pet-friendly housing options, supportive pet-owner community, and thriving pet industry all contribute to making Thailand an ideal place for pet owners. So whether you’re planning to move to Thailand with your pet or considering adopting one, you can expect a society that warmly embraces the companionship of animals.

Thailand’s Pet Import Regulations

Import Permits

Usually, pets entering Thailand require an import permit from the Department of Livestock Development (DLD). An application should be made well before the pet’s scheduled arrival date and must include the following:

  • Information about the owner (name, address, etc.)
  • A detailed description of the pet (species, breed, age, etc.)
  • A health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian in the country of origin (because some might have feline cat flu)
  • Proof of vaccinations/Import license

Quarantine Requirements

Thailand requires a quarantine period for incoming pets, they have a animal quarantine station but the length of quarantine can vary. Factors that affect the duration include the type of animal, its health status, and the country of origin. It’s crucial to ensure your pet is healthy and has all the required vaccinations to minimize quarantine time.

Pet Passport

A pet passport is a document that records all of the identification and vaccination information of a pet. It’s not a passport in the traditional human sense, but rather a booklet that contains vital information about your pet. For Thailand, it would generally include:

  • Microchip details: Thailand recognizes the ISO 11784/11785 pet microchip, and it’s usually the first step in preparing a pet passport.
  • Vaccinations: Especially rabies vaccination, it should be administered between 21 days and 12 months before entering Thailand.
  • Vet health certificate: This document, issued by a licensed veterinarian in the country of origin, attests to the pet’s health status. It’s typically valid for a limited time, so it needs to be dated close to the travel date.

Vaccination Requirements

Pets, especially dogs and cats, must have up-to-date vaccinations to enter Thailand. The most critical vaccine is for rabies, but other recommended or required vaccines may include distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, and parvovirus for dogs, and feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia (FVRCP) for cats. These requirements can vary, so please verify with the Thai authorities.

Remember, the information may have been updated or changed since my last training, and you should confirm the details with the appropriate Thai authorities or professional pet relocation services. The regulations can vary depending on the pet species you are planning to import.

Pet Travel Preparation

Preparing your pet for a long flight involves more than simply buying a pet carrier and booking a flight. To ensure a smooth experience for both you and your pet, careful planning and thoughtful preparation are paramount. Here are some tips to help make your pet’s journey as comfortable and stress-free as possible:

Consult with Your Vet: Before anything else, schedule a check-up with your vet to ensure that your pet is healthy and fit to travel. The vet can provide health certificates needed by airlines and may suggest ways to manage your pet’s anxiety or motion sickness during the flight.

Familiarize Your Pet with the Carrier: If your pet is not accustomed to being in a carrier, start introducing it well before your flight. Leave the carrier in a place where your pet often spends time, so they can sniff, explore, and acclimate to it. Gradually increase the time your pet spends in the carrier until they seem comfortable.

Plan for In-Flight Comfort: Think about what will make your pet comfortable during the flight. This could include their favorite blanket or toy, a pee pad, or a water bottle that can be secured to the carrier. Remember, though, that each airline has specific regulations about what can be included in a pet carrier, so check these beforehand.

Make sure to take some time out of your busy schedule to read this captivating and informative article about Your Thai Phrasebook: An Expat’s Survival Guide. This engaging piece is packed with valuable insights and practical tips that will undoubtedly enhance your experience as an expat living in Thailand.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to equip yourself with the essential communication tools and cultural knowledge that will facilitate seamless integration into the vibrant Thai community. Dive deep into this enlightening read and unlock a world of possibilities that awaits you in the Land of Smiles!

Choosing a Pet-Friendly Airline

Not all airlines have the same pet policies, so research your options carefully. Here are some factors to consider:

Pet Policy: Read the airline’s pet policy carefully. Some airlines allow pets in the cabin, while others transport pets in the cargo area. Check the maximum pet carrier size allowed, and make sure your pet’s carrier meets these specifications.

Fees and Restrictions: Look into the airline’s fees for pet travel. Some airlines charge a flat fee, while others base the cost on the pet’s weight and the length of the flight. Some airlines have breed restrictions, so ensure your pet’s breed is allowed.

Pet Amenities: Some airlines offer pet amenities like dedicated pet relief areas in terminals, or even a pet check-in service. These amenities can make the journey less stressful for both you and your pet.

Packing for Your Pet

When packing for your pet, consider what they will need during the journey and once you arrive at your destination.

Pet Carrier: Besides the carrier, remember to pack a leash and harness. You’ll need these for any pet relief breaks during your journey.

Food and Water: Bring a small amount of food and water for your pet. Pack collapsible food and water dishes, which take up less space. However, remember that feeding your pet right before the flight may not be ideal as it might cause motion sickness. Consult with your vet about the best feeding schedule.

Comfort Items: As mentioned earlier, familiar items like a favorite toy or blanket can provide comfort to your pet during the flight. However, avoid overstuffing the carrier as too many items can limit your pet’s space and cause discomfort.

Health Essentials: Include a basic pet first-aid kit and any medication your pet may need. Also, remember to bring a copy of your pet’s vaccination records and health certificate.

Waste Management: Don’t forget to pack waste bags and pet wipes for clean-up, especially for long flights.

Preparing for a long flight with your pet can be a daunting task, but with careful planning, you can ensure a safe and comfortable journey for your furry friend.

Settling in Thailand

Relocating to a new country is a significant transition, especially when you have a pet in tow. If you’re planning to settle in Thailand with your furry friend, it can be quite an exciting and unique experience. As Thailand is known for its friendly and accommodating culture, you’ll find many pet-friendly places and services to ease your move.

Pet-Friendly Places in Thailand

Parks: Several parks in Thailand are welcoming to pets. Benjakitti Park and Lumpini Park in Bangkok, for example, offer expansive green spaces for your pet to play and exercise.

Pet-Friendly Accommodations: Numerous hotels and serviced apartments, especially in major cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket, are pet-friendly. Some examples include the W Bangkok, Fraser Suites Sukhumvit, and Nimman Mai Design Hotel in Chiang Mai. Always remember to confirm pet policies before booking.

Beaches: Pets are often allowed on many of Thailand’s beautiful beaches, provided they’re supervised and cleaned up after. Some pet-friendly beaches include Kata Beach in Phuket and Bang Saray Beach near Pattaya.

Cafes and Restaurants: Many eateries in Thailand allow pets, such as the Big Dog Cafe and TrueLove at Neverland in Bangkok, both of which are actually designed around the love of animals.

Helping Your Pet Adjust to New Surroundings

Maintain Routines: Keep your pet’s feeding, sleeping, and exercise routines consistent to provide them with a sense of security during the transition.

Familiar Objects: Bring your pet’s favorite toys, bed, or blanket from home. The familiar smells can be comforting to your pet in a new environment.

Gradual Introduction: Allow your pet to explore their new surroundings at their own pace. Don’t force interactions with new people or animals, and make sure they have a safe place to retreat if they feel overwhelmed.

Positive Reinforcement: Reward your pet for positive behavior in their new environment. This can help them associate the change with good experiences.

Finding a Local Vet and Pet Services

Vets: Many international and local vet clinics in Thailand offer high-quality healthcare for pets. Examples include the Thonglor Pet Hospital and iVET International Veterinary Hospital in Bangkok.

Pet Grooming and Boarding Services: Services such as pet grooming, daycare, and boarding are widely available in most cities. A few well-reviewed options include Bangkok Pet Spa & Hotel and Doggy Daycare in Chiang Mai.

Pet Supplies Stores: For daily supplies, numerous pet shops such as Pet City and Pet Express, as well as online retailers like Lazada and Shopee, offer a wide range of products.

Local Pet Groups and Communities: Joining local pet communities can be very helpful. They can provide recommendations based on personal experiences and often organize events or meetups, offering socialization opportunities for you and your pet.

Remember, moving to a new country can be stressful for a pet, so be patient and offer lots of love and support during the transition period.

Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Moving to a new country, especially one as culturally unique as Thailand, can come with its own set of challenges, but it also opens the door to a plethora of new experiences. Here are some common issues you might face, and ways to overcome them:

Health Challenges

Different Diseases: Thailand has a tropical climate, and there may be a higher risk of diseases such as leptospirosis or tick-borne diseases in pets. Ensure that your pet is up-to-date with all necessary vaccinations and preventative treatments.

Heat and Humidity: The warm climate can cause overheating in pets, especially for breeds accustomed to colder climates. Ensure your pet has access to shade and fresh water at all times. Regular grooming can also help keep your pet cool.

Climate and Lifestyle Changes

Adjusting to the Weather: The tropical climate might be a major shift for you and your pet. To acclimate, increase outdoor activity gradually and choose cooler times of the day for walks or play.

Urban vs. Rural: The urban lifestyle in cities like Bangkok might be a big change if you’re coming from a rural area. Help your pet adjust by gradually introducing them to the sights, sounds, and smells of the city.

Language and Cultural Barriers

Language Differences: Not everyone in Thailand speaks English, and communication can be a challenge. You could take language classes, use a translation app, or carry a phrasebook to help navigate the language barrier.

Cultural Differences: Thailand has a different cultural context and norms. Understanding and respecting these is key to integrating smoothly. Read up on Thai customs, observe, and when in doubt, ask.

Tips on How to Handle Potential Health, Climate, and Lifestyle Changes

Preventative Care: Regular check-ups with a local vet will help monitor your pet’s health and catch any potential issues early.

Hydration and Rest: Make sure your pet has plenty of water and rest, particularly important in the warmer months.

Be Observant: Watch for signs of distress or discomfort in your pet due to climate change. Rapid breathing, excessive panting, lethargy could indicate that your pet is struggling with the heat.

Suggestions on How to Deal with Language and Cultural Barriers

Learn Basic Thai Phrases: Learning basic pet-related phrases in Thai can help communicate with vets, pet service providers, and locals. For example, “Mee satǎa rai?” means “What is the problem?” and “K̄ĥxbkhuṇ,” which means “Thank you.”

Respect Local Customs: For instance, Thai people consider the head sacred and don’t generally appreciate even friendly patting of their heads, a practice often used to show affection to pets in other cultures. Always respect these customs when interacting with locals and their pets.

Use a Translator App: Modern translation apps can be a lifesaver in daily interactions, and some even offer real-time conversation translation.

Moving to a new country with your pet requires preparation, but with patience and the right knowledge, it can be a seamless transition. Enjoy the journey and the experiences it brings for both you and your pet!

Moving with Pets to Thailand

Moving with Pets to Thailand FAQs

How can I help my pet adjust to new surroundings in Thailand?

The best way to help your pet adjust is to maintain their existing routines, bring familiar objects from home, introduce them to new surroundings gradually, and reward positive behavior.

Where can I find a reliable vet in Thailand?

There are numerous vet clinics in Thailand that offer high-quality healthcare for pets, such as the Thonglor Pet Hospital and iVET International Veterinary Hospital in Bangkok.

What potential health concerns should I be aware of for my pet in Thailand?

Thailand’s tropical climate can pose a higher risk of diseases such as leptospirosis or tick-borne illnesses in pets. Ensure that your pet is up-to-date with all necessary vaccinations and preventative treatments. Additionally, watch for signs of distress or discomfort due to the heat. Rapid breathing, excessive panting, lethargy could indicate that your pet is struggling with the climate.

How can I overcome language barriers when seeking pet services in Thailand?

Learning basic pet-related phrases in Thai can help communicate with vets, pet service providers, and locals. For example, “Mee satǎa rai?” means “What is the problem?” and “K̄ĥxbkhuṇ,” which means “Thank you.” Additionally, modern translation apps can be a lifesaver in daily interactions.

What are some pet-friendly places in Thailand?

Chiang Mai, a city in Thailand, is well-known for being pet-friendly, particularly for dogs. Many people residing in this city have pets, primarily cats and dogs. Some people even keep unique animals such as snakes, turtles, pocket squirrels, and even monkeys as their pets.


Moving to another country with a pet can be stressful and overwhelming. Though the process may take some time, following Thailand’s rules for importing pets is key to successfully moving your pet abroad. By taking the necessary steps ahead of time, such as obtaining proper paperwork and selecting an airline that meets your pet’s needs, you can ensure that your furry friend has a safe journey to their new home in Thailand.

At the same time, living in Thailand is much easier when you are well informed about the environment and culture. Remember to ask people who have already made the move for tips on how to make the transition go smoothly. Let them guide you through this next chapter of life so that you and your pet can settle into a new and exciting routine! To learn more about moving with pets to Thailand subscribe to our newsletter today!

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