How to Bring a Thai Dog to America, the Story of Dino

How to Bring a Thai Dog to America, the Story of Dino

This is Dino, a Thai dog we adopted from the streets of Bangkok. He spent most of his time roaming around with a pack of stray dogs, and often slept at the shophouse of a larb gai vendor. The vendor fed him and looked after him on the streets each day. Dino still loves to eat leftover jasmine rice topped with fish sauce, and chicken livers. As street dogs have a relatively short life due to excessive fleas and ticks, and the danger of being hit by automobiles, she was pleased to help us with the adoption so that Dino could start a new life in America.

If you are considering the adoption of a Thai dog, the first thing you need to get is a rabies vaccination. There are many good vets in Thailand who can administer it for a low cost, and they will give you a nice booklet in English and Thai which shows the medicine given and date. Our vet gave Dino "Defensor A 473764" for rabies, and "Vanguard HTLP 5/CV-L" as another vaccine, and this was completely satisfactory with the American authorities on arrival in Seattle. As with anything, you should check with your local authorities before planning, so take this information as general advice but not a statement of official policy. In our case, we got great advice from Inspector Lerner at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Animal Quarrantine Station (phone 206-553-4519) before we embarked on the mission to adopt Dino.

After the vaccination is done, you must wait at least 30 days. We were told this is to ensure that the dog does not have a bad reaction to the medication, thus not suitable to fly. The last thing anyone wants is an animal to be put on a long flight without being in good health.

After 30 days has passed, it's time to get the dog a passport. Yes, you read right, your dog will need an official passport which is prepared by the Thai government. We were very impressed with this system overall, as the people were extremely kind and considerate to both the animals and the owners. The official agency we dealt with in 2006 (old airport) was:

How to Bring a Thai Dog to America, the Story of Dino

Bangkok Airport Animal Quarantine Station
Cargo Building 2, 3rd Floor, Room 308
Donmuang Airport, Bangkok 10210
Phone 02-535-1546 or 02-535-1210

There is a new international airport in Thailand now and we were advised that the new location is here:

Suvarnabhumi Airport
Animal Quarantine Office.
Free Zone Area, CE-1 Building, 1st Floor
Phone 02-1340731, Fax 02-1340732

Dino was inspected by Dr Prapas Pinyocheep, DVM, and for the nominal fee of 50 baht (less than $2) we were given a formal document in both English and Thai which granted permission for Dino to go overseas. This document also states that the dog must leave within 10 days, otherwise it is invalid.

After you have the relevant paperwork, you must have a kennel for the dog. The airlines are very strict. They will not allow your dog to fly unless it's in an airline-approved kennel. We had a difficult time (very difficult, and time-consuming) locating an airline-approved kennel in Bangkok. We finally found a beautiful Thai/American lady who speaks perfect English (California girl) who owns a modern pet shop in the Sathorn area. They had the PetMate Vari Kennel which was all we needed. We also got some pet food for Dino, which the airlines require. The pet shop information, for your convenience:

ShamuShamu Pet Supplies
722/31 North-South Road, Sathorn, Bangkok
Phone 02-212-9172, 01-311-2002, 02-992-9531

Make sure you call the airline well in advance to let them know of your intentions. We understand that during certain times of the year, airlines may not allow pets to fly if the outside temperatures are above a certain level. There is also a fee to transport your dog. In our case it was approximately $250.

Finally, make sure you keep all paperwork handy. On arrival in America the dog will be inspected, your paperwork reviewed, and in our case all of this took less than 30 minutes.

Dino is a very loyal dog who is not comfortable being indoors. He loves to roam around, is a very good jumper (strong legs), and sleeps under cover on our back porch every night. As any good dog should, Dino barks very loudly when a strange person comes to visit. We installed a "Freedom Fence" made by Miltronics in New Hampshire. This works very well in terms of keeping him on our property.


November 26th, 2012
11:49 PM
Luck Dino!
November 28th, 2012
8:41 AM
what was the weight limit for carry on in the cabin... I live in thailand right now and I bought a small dog here, we are going home to the USA in feb and I wanted to make sure all my paperwork was in order to take her home with us and to bring her back to thailand with a round trip....
December 11th, 2012
7:01 AM
Theresa - we brought our small dog to Italy last year and found it is entirely up to the airlines. They all have different requirements! So check with all the airlines, especially if you must use more than one. Ie, we could bring her in the cabin on Lufthansa, but not Continental, and so we had to ship her the whole way via cargo. Good luck! And thank you Thai Imports for such a comprehensive description!
April 18th, 2013
12:29 AM
I have been searching forever for information on how to bring my dog from Thailand to Seattle and I've never come across anything as useful as this! Wow, thank you so so so much for posting. The list of phone numbers saved me a lot of headache. You have such a beautiful heart ;)
June 11th, 2013
5:55 PM
I have 2 shih Tze, is there a limit on how many dogs you can bring??
August 10th, 2013
7:49 PM
I lived in Udon Thani many years ago and we had Thai dogs. These guys always looked worried. You know what I mean, a little nervous, the furrowed brow and curled tail etc. One day a six week old pup disappeared, and my Lao neighbor explained that somebody was having a great meal, with my puppy being the centerpiece. Woh. Then I understood why these guys always looked worried.

Since you explained the procedure, I am planning to get a Thai dog here in the USA. And probably nobody will use one of my puppies for a meal centerpiece.
November 13th, 2013
1:47 AM
the only info you have shared that i didnt already have understnding of is the passport. can you give more details on this flying to the states in one month
May 17th, 2014
7:05 PM
Thank you so much for this wonderful information. There is a dog meat trade in countries like Thailand where dogs are killed and boiled alive to be eaten. It is so kind of you to adopt this beautiful pup. SOI dog foundation is doing great things in Thailand to help stay dogs, please support them.
Zoe Chong
December 5th, 2014
7:20 PM
Hi, we are about to do the same thing of shipping my family dog back to USA permanently, I had the rabies vaccination, health certificate ready, and had our dog checked for screwworm. The only thing that still worries me is if I had to make any appointment to have my dog inspect at the port of entry? Because we are arriving US at night, I'm not sure if they have veterinarian there at the time we arrive. And do you need any import permit from US, or just get all the paperwork ready and that's it? Thanks a lot for your help
December 10th, 2014
2:05 AM
Thank you for sharing such useful information. I've been thinking of bringing my Thai dog to live with me in California this upcoming trip. I have to fly him with me from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, then Bangkok to Los Angeles, then Los Angeles to San Francisco. There seems to be too many flights for a dog who has never gone anywhere. What do I need to do with all the airlines and the layovers? Is it a good idea to do it at all?
May 9th, 2015
4:11 PM
all the dogs are cute i am looking to get a german shephard and i already have a rottweiller
January 17th, 2016
1:32 PM
How much is it to acquire a passport for a pet?
February 26th, 2016
5:41 PM
I cannot wait to start being a regular customer with you guys!
March 4th, 2016
12:42 AM
I have been away from my dog now for a whole year. I am going back to get her in October and bringing her back to Michigan with me. It's a bit of a weather change, but proper love is the most important, and I would never leave her out in weather I'm not willing to stand in. Thank you so much for posting this. The number have made everything much easier!
June 19th, 2016
9:35 AM
Sunday 19, 2016
I just need your advice how to ship 2 small poodles from Bangkok, Thailand to XNA Airport in Bentonville, Arkansas. My mother wants to bring both of them to US. I have shipped my 2 dogs to Thailand before which was 18 years ago and I forgot about process. I don't know anything about shipping pets from Thailand to US. Can these 2 travel with my mother? My mother wants to be back home in US but she just adopted these 2 dogs. Dogs has been treated by a VET since they were adopted last week.
Please give me advice on these.

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