Flying Your Dog To Thailand – Exporting Our Two Dog’s From The UK To Thailand
Here is the video or you can read below the video….
November 30th 2016 we brought our two dogs Molly (Rescue Cross Breed) who is 13 years young and Henry (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) who is 11 years young to Phuket, Thailand with us. We landed on Thailand soil December 1st 2016. The thought of leaving them was too much. I have had them both for 11 years and they have been through so much with me. The thought of leaving them behind and not taking them with us to Thailand was not worth thinking about. We had to bring them! So we did J
Cost of Flying a Dog to Thailand
I’m going to give a breakdown of everything that we did and the procedures we went through to take Molly and Henry to Thailand. I am sure it will be useful for anyone wanting to take their dogs or other pets abroad, outside of Europe. You can learn what to do and what not to do J
The total cost for Molly and Henry was:
GBP: £1120 (approx). I have added the charges we got in Bangkok too as we got recharged and includes the water and food bowls but not bad overall for two dogs.
This worked out as the cheapest option as we did all of the paper work and checked Molly and Henry in at the airport ourselves.
There are many animal export companies around that can do all the ‘hard work’ for you, a quick Google search will bring up many, but their costs can add up to over £2000. Plus with some companies you still have to get all the paper work sorted and find out the vaccinations and information needed from DEFRA and the Vet yourself anyway.
We really couldn’t work out what we would be paying them so much money to actually do. When checking the dogs in at the airport and getting them on the plane was the easy part!
Also if you use an export company they will most likely convince you that it’s cheaper to send your dog/s as cargo rather than excess baggage.
Cargo costs may sometimes be cheaper but what they don’t tell you is that your dog probably won’t be on the same plane as you. This means that you have to pay lots of different people from lots of different places to escort your beloved pet to your destination. Plus the dog needs to stay in the export companies kennels the night before the flight for which they need another set of different vaccinations (other than the ones you’re already paying for the flight) to be legally allowed to stay at the kennels. All of which you will be charged for. We got all this information from a Pet Export Company in the UK called www.flypets.com before realising it was much cheaper and easier for us to do it ourselves.
Broken down these costs are:
£170 – €200 each – Excess baggage fee.
Very important to note, make sure you find out the airlines fees for excess baggage for the destination you are flying to as they are all different. We generally always use Skyscanner for our flights and it ended up being an agency that we had to deal with. We had 3 flights. KLM – Manchester, China Airlines – Amsterdam, Bangkok Airlines – Bangkok. I would advise to book direct with the flight personally. The agency was a nightmare and we ended up getting charged again for all the luggage (2 bikes and 3 bags) and for Molly and Henry. We didn’t get told this until we arrived at the airport in Manchester!
The charge was 80thb per kilo when we landed in Bangkok.
If your dog weighs 10kg or less when inside the carrier, they are able to fly in the cabin with you, underneath the seat if it will fit. I didn’t do that with Henry because I know he would be stressed and would bark a lot.
IATA Approved Crates.
£50 approx for Henry and £100 approx for Molly (inc P&P).
Measure your dog/s to get the right size crate for your pooch. The crate must be nose and paw proof with enough space for your dog to stand and turn around in. Make sure to check your airlines regulations too. We were told Henry’s was not suitable because he didn’t have the screw and bolt system! So we had to go out the airport and rush and get another one! Luckily we got there super early. But we had to wait until 7am until the local crate place opened up. We arrived at the airport at 5am. We thought Henry couldn’t fly at one point.
You also get stickers for the crates, no need to purchase anymore.
£37.45 – Vet bedding for inside the crate for Molly and Henry
We bought this to make sure Molly and Henry would be comfortable during the flight, the bedding is designed to draw any liquid away from the surface, so if they needed to urinate they wouldn’t be laying in a puddle for hours! However, we did not tape them down and they didn’t even end up laying on them for the duration for the trip due to the movement of the plane. When we let them out the crate the bedding was on the side L So make sure to tape them down with some strong black tape or something.
£150 – Vaccinations and Rabies
Molly and Henry weren’t due their vaccinations until February but we still got them done. Usually a window of 6 months they will be likely need to be done but check with DEFRA and your vet. It was the yearly vaccinations plus a rabies jab. The vaccinations have to be done within a certain time period of the flight. This will vary on the dog and where you are flying to. DEFRA is the first company you need to contact to start the process. They will be able to let you know this information.
For us, we had to get Molly’s and Henry’s jabs done no later than 21 days prior to the flight.
£80 – Export Certificate & final check from the Vet (Dog Passport for Thailand)
72 hours before the flight, we had to take Molly and Henry to the Vets for him to issue us with the export certificate. He checked they were fit for travel and signed the needed papers.
£50 approx – Import and Export Office
Once we landed in Thailand, we were required to pay approx. £10 to check papers and then £40 import tax – his was as we were leaving the airport of Bangkok to go back through to re check in.
The export certificate is the animal’s passport. For trips to Europe from the UK a separate passport is issued, this is not the same for International flights.
DEFRA – Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Step by Step Guide to exporting a dog to Thailand from the UK:
0-Microchip your dog
Your dog needs to be microchipped for them to be able to travel abroad. However, non of this was checked but best just to make sure.
Send an email to DEFRA informing them of your intentions to travel with a pet and to which country. They will then email you back with the requirements.
Fill the information in when you have flights booked and email it back to them.
2-Contact your Vet
You will need to contact your vet and tell them of your intention to travel with your pet and let them know that DEFRA will send papers to them 7 – 10 days before flying.
3-Contact Department of Livestock in Thailand for the import certificate
We had to contact the Department of Livestock in Bangkok to be able to get the import certificate (you may need to find out if there is a similar department for the country you are going to) We sent an email to the Suvarnabhumi airport animal quarantine station. They will then send you an import permit which is in both English and Thai and is valid for 45 days from its issue.
It says on the permit that you will need to show this permit to the officers in Bangkok.
Telephone no: (+66) 21340731
4-Contact the agency/airline, inform them of an animal going as excess baggage
You will need to contact the agency/airline you are flying with to let them know that your pet will be travelling with you. (We actually booked the flights first but I know many people prefer to do it in this order – but up to you).
Give plenty of notice. Sooner you book your flight and let them know about the dogs goings on as excess baggage the better. Then we had to ring them again 3 days prior to reconfirm. The number of animals allowed per flight is restricted, so you need to phone the airline well in advance to make sure that there will be space for your dog/s. The agency/airline will also ask you for the details of your dog/s as well as the measurements of the kennel. Have a document set up with all the information they send you so you can have it ready to send to them 7- 10 days prior to flying.
5-Book in with Vets the vaccinations and rabies
At least have the appointment booked. They need to have their vacs and rabies done no later than 3 weeks prior to flight.
6-Buy a suitable IATA approved crate (International Air Transport Association) and Bedding
Your pet will need to travel in IATA approved crate. Buy bedding that is water absorbent. Lesson learned – seal the bedding with tape to the floor of the crate. They move around a little during transit. Unfortunately we didn’t and I don’t think they even got to lie on it. The kennel was all wet and they did some poop. Poor Molly and Henry had to lay in it all.
7.-Buy water bowls and food bowls
I would recommend the deep-water bowls and a small steel bowl for the food.
8-DEFRA sends forms to vets 7-10 days prior to flight. Double check with the vet if they have received forms.
Then 3 days prior to flight, vet has one last check and fills the Health Certificate forms and V3 forms that DEFRA posted to them. The vet signs and gives to you.
What happens at the airport:
When we arrived at Manchester, we went to the help desk. We didn’t need to go to the usual check in desk.
Once we reached the desk we told them we were travelling with our dogs and they sorted everything from there including our check ins. It was quite rushed as we were told that Henrys crate was not suitable to fly. You can imagine our panic. Luckily was arrived there super early and had to get a taxi to the nearest crate seller and was able to get Henrys crate. We paid £50 for Henrys crate, the new one was £25. We had to leave the other crate. The crate shop didn’t open until 7am and we got there just after 5am. We had to board the plane at 8.30am. So we were rushing after we got the crate at 7.45am. But I managed to walk the dogs whilst Nick went to get the crate.
I would highly recommend you call the airline directly and ask them of their crate requirements so that you don’t have to deal with what happened to us.
Be warned, this is not easy emotionally, the whole time I was on the verge of tears at the thought of leaving them.
We then had to collect them at Bangkok and re do all the check in again. Which was a nightmare and time consuming. Very stressful for the dogs because they saw us and were not allowed to go out of the kennel. I know some people didn’t have to recheck their dog/dogs in so I would check with your airline. Make sure you have plenty of lay over time if you do have to re check them in.
What happens once you land in Thailand with your dog/s:
Once we arrived at our destination of Phuket, we disembarked the plane and went to the baggage collection as you would normally. We thought Molly and Henry would come out. Once all the luggage had come off the plane, they turned the belt off, with no sign of Molly and Henry. Immediately I went to the export office and he told me that had gone to quarantine. No one told me this would happen. I explained everything was ok in Bangkok and that there would be no need for quarantine. The guy was not interested. I went into panic mode and said no, I want to speak with someone else.
A lady came and asked me to follow here. I went with her, leaving Nick with the two bikes and 3 bags. We had to go the other side of the airport. For 30 minutes I had no idea where they were! Finally, they were at the Domestic luggage carousel. They had been sent there because we had to re check them in at Bangkok airport. Phew. Now I just had to explain to Nick where we were. We picked up our rental car and off we finally went!
It took us around 2 months to gather all this information and sort out our dogs export from the UK to Thailand.
Molly and Henry have now settled in nicely to their new life in Thailand. We are very happy we brought them with us, having them here makes it feel extra special.
Leave any comments below if you need more information.