Admittedly, there is no better way to explore the exotic land of Vietnam with your best friend in the entire world - your beloved pets. In order to enjoy your trip to the fullest with an adorable company by your side, make sure to keep up with the information on bringing your pets to Vietnam.
Who will make the journey with you?
Identify what type of animal will travel with you will greatly help you retain your rights and ensure safety for your pretty fella. This task includes answering a handful of questions about your little (or not so little) friend. Is it a chubby dog or a fluffy cat? Or a bird? A piglet? How big or small that adorable guy is? Is it pregnant? Should your pet be kept at a certain temperature? Is it afraid of flying? Etc.
Keep in mind:
Learn about Ho Chi Minh’s weather.
Snub-nosed dogs such as boxers or Chinese pugs are not able to travel in case of extreme heat changes
Only when you have figured out the basic information can you seek the ultimate solution for your journey.
- Contact your airlines beforehand for any necessary documents and reserve your flight. Don't wait till the last minutes
- Get an import permit from the Vietnamese Government before the flight to avoid any delays at the airport
It is of vital importance that your pet is perfectly healthy and completely free from every transmittable disease and parasite. Have your pets vaccinated for rabies at least 30 days prior to your trip to Vietnam, and it must be no longer than a year before your travel. All of the procedures, along with the microchip’s number, should be proven in a certificate in English. You can download a form online and have an accredited vet fill in.
The recommended vaccines are Distemper, Parvovirus, Canine Hepatitis, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, Coronavirus, and Leptospira for dogs, Panleucopenia, Calicivirus, Herpesvirus, Leukemia for cats.
Have your pets vaccinated for communicable diseases
Upon arriving at the airport, you should also prepare a document of the “inoculation records”, which is the history of all the vaccinations ever injected in the pet. This includes the manufacturer and the batch number of the vaccine, as well as the administration and expiration dates if any.
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Pets should be able to move easily inside the crates
You can choose whether you want to have your buddy travel on board or as checked baggage, but there are particular restrictions that must be met.
Make sure to carry out thorough research on information on bringing your pets to Vietnam, because certain airlines online accept pets on board, only when the passengers have made advanced reservations at least 36 hours ahead of departure. What is more, the animal must be at least 10 weeks old and the maximum total weight of the animal combined with the kennel is 6kg (~13lb). However, should there be any certified service dogs, they are allowed to accompany owners with disabilities, but they must sit in front of the passengers.
Service dogs must sit in front of passenger’s seat
If the weight of your pet combining with the crate exceeds 6kg, then it must travel with you as check baggage. However, most airlines would not be allowed a cargo with a pet that is over 32 kg ( ~70 lb). Apart from that, almost the rest of the process follows a similar procedure as above, such as health certificates and kennel requirements.
Animals over 6kg must travel as checked luggage
Take special measures in order to respect fellow passengers. In addition to the obligatory health checks, your pets must be well-behaved and not cause any harm to other animals or to passengers and their luggage. It is also a vital reminder to prevent offensive odors so as to ensure the most relaxing flight for everyone.
The quarantine staff will examine the animal’s health status and base on the condition and the health certificates, the quarantine officer will issue a 'no entry ban' and then return the pet to the passenger.
Pets that do not meet these requirements may be returned to the home country, vaccinated, or quarantined.
Taking your pets back home follows a similar procedure. You need to be able to provide the health certification or have your pet vaccinated if necessary. Contact your airlines and your country of destinations for other essential requirements.
It is a general fact that most hotels in Vietnam don’t allow animals, but it is certainly not impossible to find one that offers the finest service and is pet-friendly as well. Apart from hotels, which generally have strict rules and guidelines, local Airbnb or serviced apartments often have a more relaxed rule and are more accommodating to specific needs. Additionally, we recommend accommodations in city centers as not only they are convenient for your expedition to Vietnam, but they also cover almost every necessity. An extra charge may be applicable for the pets, but it shouldn't be too big of a problem.
Note that some places might require an extra charge for pets.
Hanoi Astoria Hotel
Address: 151, Hang Bong, Hanoi
The hotel lies in the business area of the city, so it is especially convenient for you to explore the capital of Vietnam. It stands next to the Lake of Restored Sword and there are also theaters and traditional temples close by. You can have a drink at night time in the hotel’s bar at the clubs around the area. Hanoi Astoria Hotel offers not only a family-friendly atmosphere but also dog-friendly accommodation free of charge.
A suit in Hanoi Astoria Hotel
Greenwood Villa Saigon
Address: D6, Street No. 41, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City
Check price and availability
The surrounding as green as the name - Greenwood
Greenwood Villa Saigon is a lovely villa that is on a tranquil, green-covered street, which is incredible for a leisure vacation in Ho Chi Minh. Apart from standard services, there are also sports and leisure facilities, which include fishing, cycling, and a garden area or an afternoon tea. The most excellent part? You can enjoy your laid-back vacation with your best friend on your side, as the villa allows pets to accompany with the visitors.
Sens House - Vinhomes Golden River
Address: 2, Nguyen Huu Canh Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Check price and availability
The outdoor pool of Sens House
Not only there are a vast, evergreen garden and barbecue facilities, but Sens House also offers an outdoor swimming pool and a sports center to help you attain your fitness even on vacation. There are famous landmarks just within walking distance from the apartment, such as the General Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Diamond Plaza. Pets are allowed on request, but a slight charge may be applicable.
Look for more pet-friendly accommodations below:
Although the pet’s market is not particularly thriving in Vietnam, it doesn’t require all the effort to find food for your pets. You can effortlessly stroll around the local supermarket for a few packets of quality dog or cat food. If you happen to be in big cities such as Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi, you can check out Lottemart, Coopmart, or Citimart.
Pet’s food can also be found at some pet stores or clinics. You can find quite a few shops in Ho Chi Minh City like Saigon Pet Clinic (33 Duong So 41, District 2), Pet Center (42 Cach Mang Thang Tam Street, District 3), and Little Dogs (523 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, District 3).
Domestic flights: For the time being, only Vietnam Airlines allows pets on board for business class passengers, Platinum Lotusmile members, or SkyTeam Elite Plus members. The paperwork for the pets also follows similar procedure and requirements as bringing your pets to Vietnam - do contact the airline and prepare the paperwork a few weeks before your travel. Vietjet also accepts pets but only as cargos.
Trains and buses: Public trains and buses in Vietnam only transport pets as cargos. The best solution is to book private transfer services that cost a little higher but allow much more flexibility. Look for private buses and taxis below:
Riding a motorbike with your pets: Some types of motorbikes (mostly automatic bikes) have enough space to carry medium dogs. Do have your dogs leashed up and strapped on the bike securely to prevent them from jumping off the bike unexpectedly.
Information on Bringing your Pets to Vietnam: Pet Transportations Services in Vietnam
Bao Linh Express:
Address: 22B8 Dam Trau Street, Bach Dang Ward, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi
The Animal Doctors:
Address: 1 Tran Ngoc Dien Street, Thao Dien District 2, Ho Chi Minh City
826 Nguyen Van Linh Street, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City
Pet-related Facebook groups:
Saigon Pets Adoption: https://www.facebook.com/cuutrochomeo
Dog Lovers in Ho Chi Minh City: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1522115054746349/
- Vietnam is known for its motorbike mania, so it is advisable to always have your pets on a leash when in public to avoid unexpected accidents.
- Try to prevent your dogs from munching on grass in public or unknown places as people might have sprayed rodents and bugs killer on the grass. When your dogs are trying to eat grass, most likely they are having stomach issues.
- Most indoor places in Vietnam are not pet-friendly
It is quite a daunting task to have your pets travel alongside you on your trip to Vietnam, so hopefully, the aforementioned guides can ease off the challenges. After all, the ultimate goal is to have a blast with your little buddy, so spending some time to do careful research is by no means a waste of your effort.
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© Written by Kim Hoang for itourvn.com
Trains and public buses generally don't allow dogs on board, unless they are transported as cargos - which I don't think you would want that for your pets. You can try looking for private transfers like taxi or limousine.
Hoang Pham from i Tour Vietnam