Thursday, February 20, 2014

How to Travel with your Dog from Thailand to the Philippines

by Regin Reyno

Owning a dog requires great responsibility. They deserve our utmost love and care. Like humans, they too have emotions and are great at reading their owner’s emotions. They’re one of the loveliest creatures created by God.

As a traveler, one of the most difficult parts of my travels is leaving my dog either at home or at a pet hotel. Seeing him having that look as I leave crushes my heart. So when I decided to go to the Philippines, I brought my dog with me.
My teacup shih tzu arriving in Manila International Airport

These are the needed documents in order for your dog to be successfully transported from Thailand to the Philippines.

  1. Import Permit
  2. Export Permit
Basically, these are just the two documents that you need to worry about. It’s that simple.

Fill out this form and email it to They’ll mail you back your import permit. Print it.

The form is valid only for 2 months.

Price: 350 Php. You’ll pay this in the Philippines

Export permit can be obtained in Suvarnabhumi airport in the cargo area. It’s in building no. 20. Make sure you have enough time prior to your departure in getting your export permit. It can take hours in getting it especially if the queue is long. Their advice is to get 3-7 days before your departure. But you can get in the day of your departure as long as you’re sure you have all the requirements and you have enough time prior to your flight.

  1. Vaccination card with complete vaccination record according to the Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry which are vaccines against:
1.      Rabies
2.      Canine distemper
3.      Infectious hepatitis
4.   Leptospisrosi
5.   Canine parvovirus

and proof that the animal has been treated for external and internal parasites.

  1. Health certificate/letter from your veterinarian stating that your pet is healthy to travel.
Fee: 50 THB

  1. Import permit

Dogs don’t need an airline ticket but they are considered excess baggage in terms of payment. They will weigh your dog including his/her crate and that will be considered an excess baggage even if you haven’t exceeded your free baggage allowance. Philippine Airlines, the airlines which I took has a rate of 385 baht per excess baggage. My dog with his crate weighs 7 kgs. So I paid 2,696 baht.

Some airlines allow dogs below 10 kg. to be in the cabin. But unfortunately as of this writing, no airlines traveling from Bangkok to the Philippines allow pet to be in the cabin. Thai Airways which previously allows-changed their policy in August 2013-so all pets traveling now in their airlines must be in the pressurized cargo hold.

Before booking a ticket, call the airlines first and check if their particular plane or flight that you’re planning to book has a pressurized cargo hold. Pets cannot breathe in a non-pressurized cargo hold so make sure of this. They’re also going to ask the dimension of your crate so make sure to know this information.

My recommended airlines: Thai Airways and Philippine Airlines
 Cebu Pathetic and SEAIR don’t have pressurized cargo holds. 

Buy a crate which is IATA approved. And it must be large enough for your dog to stand, lie down, and turn around. And also, it must be sturdy.

Traveling can be very, very stressful for your dog. Change of environment, separation anxiety, change in atmospheric pressure, noise, and fear of the unknown-all of these can be too much for a dog, especially if your dog is not used to traveling. So do all what you can to minimize the stress.

- Acclimate your dog to his crate.

-Take short trips around your area for him/her to be used to traveling and movement.

-Take your dog for a walk before your flight to drain his energy.

-No food 5 hours before the flight and withhold water 2 hours before the flight, to avoid possible vomiting and aspiration.

-Have an early check in but put your dog in the cargo hold a few minutes before boarding time. Spend time with him/her first. You don’t want your dog to be in the tarmac or cargo hold for a long period of time. Ask the attendant at the counter about this.

-Keep calm and pray. This is also a stressful time for you but just keep calm. Your dog can sense if you’re worried and panicking and he/she will also panic.

-Take flights in the early morning or at night. A lot of dogs die in the cargo hold because of too much heat-especially snub-nosed dogs.

-Ask the attendant at the check-in counter to inform the captain that your dog will be in the cargo hold. Remind again the attendant at the boarding area that your dog is in the cargo hold. Upon entering the plane, tell the attendant-the one greeting the passengers at the entrance- to inform the captain that your dog is in the cargo hold. If possible, talk to the captain. And as you are relaxing on your seat, tell again the flight attendant to remind the captain that your dog is in the cargo hold. You don’t want your dog to be in a place without oxygen.
-Be early in the baggage carousel in the Philippine airport and get your dog immediately. Check for possible injuries and offer water immediately.

After flying from Bangkok to Manila, we took a ferry from Manila to Cagayan de Oro which took 1 day and two nights.

These are the basic requirements on how to take a dog in the Philippines. 

As I’m writing this, my dog is relaxing in this old American-style house in Mountain View College, Philippines. I’m so happy that he’s here with me. The transportation may be hard, inconvenient, challenging, and costly, but it’s worth it-if you really love your dog.
enjoying the mountian 

Import permit: 350 Php (7.85 USD)
Export permit: 50 THB (1.53 USD)
Philippine Airlines excess baggage fee: 2,695 THB (385 THB x 7 kg.) (82.71 USD)
2GO Ferry pet fee: 150 Php (3.36 USD)
TOTAL: 95.45 USD

Questions? Write it in the comment box below.


  1. Very informative. Thanks a lot, a big help.

  2. That is such a sweet post. I repeatedly say to anyone that i wish i had a pet but i feel like i am too irresponsible and that the people i live with are allergic with the fur. :(

  3. Great information! I also have my pomerinian and travelling with dog is more exciting, ESP in a beach

    1. That's right Jonathan. Poms are cute dogs.

  4. Salamat pre.. may plano akong bumili ng aso sa Bangkok pag uwi ko.

    1. Ayos yan. Mura ang mga aso sa Bangkok.

  5. Hello. Thanks for the information. Great help but the form that you have attached here is not found, Can you send it to me please, here is my e-mail: I would really appreciate it. Thanks a lot.

  6. I appreciate this information as I'm planning to move from Thailand to the Philippines and have 2 dogs I would not part from for the world. Philippine embassy also offers good information on their web page but sharing personal experience is always much more interesting.

    Salamat po

  7. Your post has been very helpful! I appreciate the information you have shared. It saves me the time to do the research myself! I plan to travel with my chihuahua in December. Thanks for this :-)

    1. You're welcome. I'm glad to be of help. I love dogs.

  8. Good Pm...Ask Ko lang poh... Sir Always Poh Ako sa Thailand
    Ask Ko lang Poh need To Pay na Poh Ba sa Customs if nag Uwi poh tyo ng Dog Sa Pinas...

  9. Good Pm Sir..Pwede Po mag Ask ? Pag nag uwi po tyo ng Dog Sa pinas Wala na po ba tyong Babayaran sa Customs..?

  10. Hi I can't find the link for the form....

    1. Hi Joanne. I wrote this in 2014. It was working then. I don't know what happened this time.

  11. Hello i just want to ask... kailangan ba may microchip ang dog para payagan magtravel?

    1. It's not needed. But it's good to have one, as well.

  12. I am planning to bring my cat.. May idea ka ba kung stay pa sya sa airport for quarantine? Kase may connecting flight pa ako domestic. I need to confirm if i should stay in manila hotels para wait ko sya ma release or i can take him right away and catch our next flight domestic..
    Your response is greatly appreciated.

  13. Kailangan ko pa bang inform PAL from thailand 48h prior sa departure date na i am bringing live animal?

  14. How much if its a delivery from bangkok thailand to baguio city philippines?

  15. alam niyo po ba pag delivery from thailand to philippines? mga magkano po?

  16. Hi found your blog passing by, thank you for the info
    I myself will be in Philippines for two weeks vacation with my dog, departing from Korea
    Paper works are done I just wonder how the ferry works with dog.
    Is there absolutely no way for your dog stay with you in the ferry accommodation ?(even if it's one person room)

    It also says you can feed them or visit them, I wonder how that works if they will keep the cargo area available always or just certain times.

    1. I don't recommend to take the Ferry. It was awful. Your dog will be in a cargo hold with chickens, other animals. It is so dirty. And yes, they close it at certain times and you can't visit your dog. There's no way they will allow your dog in the cabin. But if it just you in the cabin, maybe you can sneak him/her in (hopefully he/she is not yappy). That cargo hold is just to stressful for dogs. Take the plane but make sure, double check, asked, check again, if the cabin is pressurised.

  17. Thanks for this info as I am also going to travel with my shih tzu this December. This blog lessens my worries in flying with my furbaby. Question, did you put water like in a bottle or bowl (clip on)?

    1. They recommend doing that. But I don't think I put one, coz I had difficulty installing it.

  18. Hello, thanks for sharing about your travel with your shih tzu. I am also travelling with my shih tzu this December and this blog lessens my fear in putting my furbaby in the cargo hold of the plane. I am also travelling with PAL and confirmed with them that the plane I am on have live cargo hold with ventilation and is pressurized.

    Did you put water in the crate? Like in bottle or clip on bowl? I have read in some blogs that they put water.. but also you said that no water 2 hours before the flight.


  19. Hello po, my plano po akong mag adopt ng dog and my nakita akong site tungkol don. Kinontact q ung isa via email, nagreapond nmn. Sabi ibigay q daw shipping address q like, postal code, name, address, etc..
    Then ung babayaran q daw is 3k pesos lang...pra kasing hndi realistic.
    Pro gusto q po ung aso,.. Tama po ba ung sinasabi nya or is it a scam?

    1. Nako SCAM yan. Wag ka magpapaniwala sa mga ganyan. Na-ganyan din ako dati. Pero buti naisip ko naScam before ako nagbayad.

  20. Hi, wala po ba kayong binayaran sa customs? Hindi po ba kayo hinarang? Any tips? Thanks

  21. Thanks po sa info. Ask lang po ako pano po ag babalik ulit ng Thailand, same lang din po bah unh requirements? Thanks po in advance.

  22. Hello! Just passed by to your blog and found it very helpful, thanks so much. So travelling by ship is not recommended. I am planning to bring my 16 months old shih tzu with me when I go home to Iloilo this September. If we'll travel by by plane specially Cebupac I know it will be too stressful for him and with all the news I've heard about some shih's (because of their snub nose) not surviving in the cargo which I don't want to happen to my beloved furbaby. I'm considering 2go but as what you've said their animal section is too dirty. Till now I can't decide what to take. Do you have any recommendation? What if I will get the ship's cabin (just me) accommodation and sneak him in? Thanks for your time reading my comment.

    1. If I were you, I will book a 1st class cabin at 2GO ang sneak him in there.

      or take Philippine Airlines and make sure the cargo is pressurized/with oxygen.

      NEVER take Cebu Pac because their cargo is not pressurized. Your dog will die.

  23. Hi Regin! I'm planning to buy a small breed puppy in Bangkok. However, I don't know a breeder that I can contact and help me process from Bangkok to Mnaila. Do you have any person or suggestion where to find a not so expensive to buy? I appriciate your help. Thank you

    1. Actually I don't know any breeder. But I suggest buy from a reliable breeder-like on a farm or something. Never buy at Chatuchak. Just don't go to that horrible market


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