Guidelines for Pet (Dog/Cat) Export from Bangkok, Thailand to USA
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Requirements for Export from Thailand when Traveling with your Pet
- All pets must be vaccinated for rabies at least 30 days, but not more than one year, prior to export. You must have the original vaccination record including the veterinarian’s phone number and signature. (All other vaccinations are not mandatory for export, however; SCAD strongly recommends that all dogs be vaccinated for distemper, parvo, etc.)
- All pets must be examined by the government veterinarian at the Customs and Animal Quarantine Office 3-7 days prior to departure (the vet certificate is valid for 10 days from date of issue).
- The following documents are required by this office:
- Original rabies vaccination record and one copy of the rabies vaccination and the veterinarian’s contact information with phone number. (The veterinarian’s contact information must be legible!)
- Copy of the owner’s passport (with signature)
- Pet’s microchip number, if applicable
- Completed export application request form (Form No 1/1). Blank forms are available from the quarantine office . You can also download them here.
- After the vet examines the pet (takes temperature and a photo) the quarantine office will issue a health certificate (in English) and an export license (in Thai)
- The fee for these documents is 50 Baht per pet (as of August 2007).
- The process takes anywhere from 1-4 hours depending on how busy the office is. We recommend that you go in the morning and avoid 12-2 pm. Parking is available.
- The Animal Quarantine Office is located at the Bangkok airport:
Customs & Animal Quarantine Office
Customs Free Zone
Suvarnabhumi International Airport
Tel +66 (0) 2134 0731
(They speak very little English!)
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Making the Airline Booking/Checking-In
- Check with the airline you plan to use as sometimes they have specific procedures for taking pets as excess baggage either in the cabin or in the luggage compartment. The following are general guidelines based on SCAD’s experience and the experiences of our volunteers.
- If you have a small pet and would like to take the pet in the cabin you will need to contact the airline in advance to confirm their policy for pets in the cabin. Most airlines only accept very small pets in the cabin and the crate must fit under the seat. Typically the pet + crate must be less than 4-7 kg depending on the airline.
- If taking a pet as excess baggage you need to notify the airline in advance of the flight and book your pet against your itinerary (same reservation number as your ticket). You can either do this when you make your reservation or at a later date, but please note that airlines do have limitations on the number of pets they can take in the luggage compartment so it is best to book far in advance.
- You will need to provide the weight of the pet + kennel when making the reservation request and the kennel dimensions.
- You must use an airline approved pet carrier
- At this time, the airline should provide you with a per kg charge for excess baggage costs.
- Make sure you have confirmation from the airline that they will accept your pet as excess baggage prior to your departure date. This can usually be given at the time of booking your pet against your itinerary, however, some airlines will need to confirm with their cargo offices before they can confirm available space for the kennel. They should be able to confirm within a day or 2.
- Upon check-in, the kennel (with pet inside) is weighed and you pay the excess baggage fee.
- The check-in staff will attach the export license to the outside of the kennel for inspection by customs prior to loading the pet on the airplane.
- Some airlines will also require the health certificate.
- The kennel with pet inside will be taken to the oversize baggage area to be transported to the plane.
- You should carry extra copies of all documentation with you.
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Extra Tips for Crating Your Dog
These are general tips and suggestions; please check with your airline for specific kennel/crate requirements, etc.
- Start crate training (including using a water feeder) as early as possible. We can provide crate training advice should that be required.
- The dog must be able to stand erect in the crate without touching the roof and also be able to completely turn around and lie down comfortably. Many airlines have special crate requirements for snub nosed breeds.
- Do not leave a leash or muzzle on the dog when in the crate.
- Clearly label the top of the crate with the dog’s name, your name, your flight details and your destination contact details. Also label that ‘water is required throughout flight – please check water level’.
- Some airlines attach the health certificate to the crate.
- Using double-sided tape, line the bottom of the crate with newspaper and/or absorbent puppy pads. Do not use straw or other grassy materials as the importation of plant material is prohibited.
- Shred some additional newspaper and push that to the back of the crate.
- Cut up one of your old t-shirts (preferably unwashed) and leave a piece in the crate. Your scent will provide some comfort to the dog.
- Ensure a water feeder and small bowl to catch the drips are attached to the crate. An additional bowl for food should also be attached. Check with airline for specific requirements.
- Do not attach wheels to the bottom of the crate.
- Ensure your dog is well exercised prior to travel and keep its last feeding small and well before the flight to minimize mess in the crate.
- Puppies should have food available en-route. A small package of food can be attached to the top of the crate along with feeding instructions (i.e. at what stop you want the pup fed). Adult dogs don’t require food en-route. Check with your airline as some are not able to feed animals during layover stops.
- SCAD does not recommend giving the dog sedatives or tranquilizers prior to the flight. If the dog is fully aware of his/her surroundings he/she will adjust much easier to the flight. Sedatives and tranquilizers tend to wear off during the trip. As a result, the dog may become disoriented and stressed when he/she becomes fully alert in a strange place with strange noises. Additionally, sedatives may have unpredictable results at high altitudes. If you have a dog that you feel is very hyper and would not do well traveling in an airplane, please consult your veterinarian for recommendations regarding administering drugs prior to flying. Please be aware that airlines will not take a dog that appears to be physically distressed or over tranquilized.
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Requirements for Import into USA
- US customs will need to see the original rabies vaccination record. A health certificate is not required for import, but it is advised to have it with you anyway as this also provides evidence of the rabies vaccination. (Cats are not required to have a rabies vaccination by the Centers for Disease Control or Customs, but many states require rabies vaccinations.)
- The pet will be inspected for evidence of any illness or disease.
- There is no quarantine requirement in the US (except for Hawaii and the US Territory of Guam which have strict import requirements).
- Additional references:
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Airline Information for Traveling with Pets
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