Are you thinking about moving to Asia? Are you wondering if you can bring your dog along on such a move? Moving isn’t always easy when you are bringing your pets along with you, but knowing beforehand the specifics for bringing your dog into Asia sure makes the process go a lot easier!
Moving is always difficult to some degree, but bringing your family members along doesn’t typically make it anymore difficult. Unless of course that family member is your dog. That is why it is so important for you to be prepared when the time comes to move.
Table of Contents
- 1 Bringing your dog into Asia
- 1.1 Prepare to fly with your dog
- 1.2 Schedule a vet visit
- 1.3 Specific rules for bringing your dog into some Asian countries
- 1.4 When it’s time to travel
- 1.5 Once you arrive in Asia
- 1.6 What websites should you check before bringing your dog into Asia?
Bringing your dog into Asia
When it comes to moving internationally, bringing your dogs can be a difficult process, so it should not be a decision that you take lightly. When it comes to moving to Asia, it is also good to recognize that different countries throughout Asia have different regulations as it relates to bringing dogs into the country. That is why it is so important for you to be sure that you know the specific rules as it relates to where you are moving.
Prepare to fly with your dog
Plane travel is almost always the easiest way to transport your dog to Asia. Not all airlines are the same, however, some are more pet friendly than others. It’s a good idea to research whether or not your airline of choice will be a help or hindrance in your move with your pet. Here are a couple of things to consider when it comes to flying with your dog:
- Most airlines all require current vaccination records and certificates of health.
- Airlines have specific size requirements when it comes to your dog’s pet carrier, so be sure that you know what those requirements are before you head off to your flight.
- Many airlines have restrictions on dog breeds, so you want to be sure your dog isn’t on that list.
- Even when flying cargo, many airlines require a reservation so make sure that your dog is added to the list (and expect to pay a fee for this).
- Some airlines also have blackout dates when they don’t allow pets to fly due to excessive heat or for other reasons, so be sure to check and plan ahead.
Schedule a vet visit
Now that you have travel scheduled, it’s time to head to the vet! Each country in Asia requires different things for dogs entering, so before your appointment, be sure and check through the following list so that you are prepared for your journey. We want everything to run smoothly now that you are bringing your dog into Asia.
Specific rules for bringing your dog into some Asian countries
- Your dog will need an International Organization for Standardization (ISO)-compliant microchip.
- Your dog will either need a European pet passport or import permit (depending where you are traveling from).
- You will need to provide paperwork at the port of entry:
- Rabies vaccination certificate (microchip number and vaccination date should be included on this certificate);
- Proof of receiving distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus vaccines;
- Veterinarian certificate of health;
- A copy of the your passport; and
- Photograph of you and of your dog.
- Cambodia reserves the right to quarantine animals unless they were vaccinated for rabies 30 days to 12 months prior export.
China is definitely the strictest of the Asian countries, so pay close attention to all of the requirements before you head there with your dog. If your dog does not meet all of the requirements, they may need to quarantine, can be sent home, or euthanized. Dogs from the United States can enter China through any port of arrival. If you are coming from another country, you may need to enter only through a designated port.
- Only one pet per person is allowed to enter China.
- Please check to make sure your dog is not on any banned dog lists.
- Proof of rabies vaccination:
- Your dog will need to show at least two rabies vaccinations;
- An original copy of the current rabies vaccine certificate must accompany the APHIS-endorsed health certificate; and
- Bring extra copies of rabies vaccine certificates.
- Have an ISO-compliant microchip.
- Proof of rabies titer test. Dogs coming from Hawaii or Guam are exempt.
- International health certificate.
- The name on the health certificate must match what is on the passport; and
- You will need to get the health certificate within 14 days of arrival.
- Photocopy of your passport.
- Two photographs of your dog. Make sure to have something in the photo to help judge the size of your dog.
- Upon arrival, you will need to take your dog, applicable fees, and all documents to the General Administration of Customs of the Peoples Republic of China (GACC) office at the airport. These documents may be kept by the quarantine officials.
- Your dog will need to be registered with the local police of your place of residence within one month of arrival in China. Contact the local police office for further information on registering your dog.
Hong Kong is another country that has strict rules as it relates to bringing your dog into the country. The regulations differ depending on what country you are coming from. But in general the steps include:
- Apply (and pay) for a special import permit. This permit is valid for 6 months.
- Obtain a dog license. You will need to obtain a dog license from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD). No advance booking is needed and it only takes about 15 minutes.
- Your dog will need to be up to date on all vaccinations. This includes rabies, distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus.
- Have an ISO-compliant microchip.
- Arrange transportation of your dog. They will need to travel to Hong Kong International Airport as manifested cargo with a airline certificate.
- Prepare health certificate and residence certificate, issued not more than 14 days before traveling. Submit copies of these to airport office for checking.
- Notify duty officer of the Import & Export Section at least 24 hours before arrival.
- Quarantine may be required depending on where you are coming from.
- You can’t bring certain dog breeds into the country. These include American Staffordshire Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, and any dog of their crossbreeds. If you want to bring your Staffordshire Bull Terrier, you have to submit a statutory declaration with the application. You should contact AFCD directly with any questions.
- Have an ISO-compliant microchip.
- Import permit from the Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry.
- Health certificate from a USDA-accredited veterinarian.
- You will need to show proof that your dog has the following vaccinations: rabies, distemper, leptospirosis, parvovirus, and adenovirus type 2.
- You will need to obtain the health certificate within 30 days of arrival.
Failure to present these requirements may result in your dog having to quarantine or declined entry and returned home.
The regulations on vaccinations and quarantine differ depending on what country you are coming from. But in general the steps include:
- The requirements you need to follow depends on your country’s rabies risk. Unless your dog is coming from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, or the United Kingdom, you will need a rabies vaccination certificate. Quarantine requirements are dependent on the country you are coming from (it can be for up to 30 days).
- The following breeds (and crosses of these breeds) are banned: American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, Akita, Boerboel, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Neapolitan Mastiff, Japanese Tosa, and Presa Canario.
- Have an ISO-compliant microchip.
- Send your dog for rabies vaccination.
- Send your dog for a rabies serology at least 30 days after rabies vaccination date.
- Ensure your dog receives the following vaccinations: distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus.
- If you want to qualify for a 10-day quarantine (as opposed to 30 days), you will need to give your dog a second dose of rabies vaccination.
- At least one month before you travel, reserve quarantine space for your dog (when serology test is ready). Pay the deposit fee after you have your quarantine reservation.
- At least 1 week before you travel, you will need to apply for a dog license. You will need to provide the address of where you will be living. Once you get this license, you can then apply for an import license. Book your inspection after your obtain your import license.
- From two days to one week before you leave, you will need to get your dog treatments for external and internal parasites and get your vet to finalize the health certificate. You will also need an official government vet to sign-off on your health certificate.
- Just before leaving, submit a declaration of facts to Singapore Customs as proof that you are exempt from paying Goods & Services Tax for your dog. And make sure to present your dog’s import license during check in at the airport.
- Your dog must be at least four months old before you can bring them into Thailand. This is because they need to have their rabies vaccination, which they can’t even get until they are three months old.
- You must get an import permit for your dog before entering the country.
- All dogs that are entering Thailand need to have a specific microchip implanted before they receive their rabies vaccination.
- You will need to validated health certificate endorsed by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) veterinary services office within 10 days of traveling.
- Your dog will need receive their vaccinations at least 21 days prior to their departure against these following viruses: rabies, leptospirosis, distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus. And your dog will need to have a negative leptospirosis test within a month of departing.
- You will need to include a copy of your passport with the paperwork for your dog.
When it’s time to travel
Before hopping on a plane headed to your new home, be sure to remember to double check that you are ready for your flight. Here are a couple of things to consider in the days leading up to your departure:
- Do you have the correct carrier? Remember to check the size of your pet carrier to see that it fits the airline’s requirements. Additionally, pets that are traveling in the cargo area need a hard-sided case. If your pet is flying in the cabin with you, you will need a soft-sided carrier that again, meets the airline’s requirements.
- Make sure to bring all the documents (and copies) along with you.
- Also, be sure that you have enough food and water to keep in the carrier for your dog during the trip.
Within 24 hours of your arrival to your destination country, be sure to call the customs office. Some countries require a customs meeting upon arrival, so make sure to double check and have all your paperwork together.
Get there early. Yes, we all know that you need to arrive at the airport early, but as we mentioned earlier, traveling with pets makes everything a little more difficult. It’s good to prepare for anything that may happen.
Once you arrive in Asia
While no one really mentions this specifically, it is always wise to carry your dog’s paperwork (rabies vaccination, health certificate, USDA forms) for your first 60–90 days in a new country. Especially if you are bringing your dog into Asia where you may not speak the language.
What websites should you check before bringing your dog into Asia?
With any out-of-country move, it is imperative to continue to monitor any updates or changes to the rules, regulations, and restrictions to your destination country. Always check and make sure you are following all rules before bringing your dog into Asia.
- APHIS: This is an official website of the USDA. It is the best resource to keep track of the requirements for bringing your dog into Asia from the United States.
- Government of Hong Kong: Their Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department has the needed permits.
- Government of Singapore: Their Animal & Veterinary Services page gives up-to-date information on requirements.
- Philippine Consulate General: This site has all the needed paperwork and updated information.
- Royal Thai Consulate-General: This gives you all information for bringing your dog into Thailand for the United States.